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Tag Archive for Section 530

Classification of Workers: Could Section 530 Come to the Rescue?

William Rogers - Worker Classification

The IRS and employers often are at loggerheads over the classification of workers as employees or independent contractors. Typically, many employers want to to treat workers as independent contractors, while the IRS often determines that workers are misclassified employees. Sometimes, the issue winds up in the courts.

Fortunately, there might be a way for employers to obtain a measure of protection if the IRS challenges the classification of a worker or workers. With “Section 530 relief,” an employer may avoid adverse tax consequences from a misclassification of employment status. However, this special safe-harbor rule is only available if the employer can show it had a reasonable basis for treating workers as independent contractors.

A Brief History of Section 530

As we stated in the main article, Section 530 is part of the Revenue Act of 1978. Initially, it was scheduled to expire on December 31, 1979. After then being extended twice, it was made permanent by the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFRA) of 1982.

In 1996, a paragraph was added to the existing Section 530 provision, requiring the IRS to inform an employer about the safe-harbor rule, when appropriate. This notification must be provided before the IRS begins an audit of the employment status of an employer’s workers.
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Worker Classification Questions—Employee or Contractor?

Annette Nellen

Worker classification—whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor—is a longstanding and sometimes difficult issue. There are a few different classification schemes applicable to different types of laws (labor, tax, etc.). Employers tend to favor contractor status when possible to avoid payroll taxes, application of most labor laws (such as overtime), and state laws governing how someone is paid, sick pay, reporting, and more.

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