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Hired as Independent Contractor, treated as an employee. Michigan

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  • Hired as Independent Contractor, treated as an employee. Michigan

    Hello all, I was hired as an independent contractor at a small art studio and worked there for 7 months. When I was hired, my boss informed me that he was hiring me as such and had me sign a paper agreeing to this. At the time I only had a vague idea what an independent contractor was and I was so happy to find a job in my field, as they are hard to come by, that I threw caution to the wind and signed the contract. Yeah, yeah, big mistake. Well, after talking to friends, I was told that what I do is not a contractors job. I read the IRS description and I believe that my job did not fit the criteria for I.C. My boss set my hours, and he definitely told me what to do, and my tasks were recurring and also done by both volunteers and lower wage people. What I would like to know is this, is it legal to agree to break the rules by signing this contract? Is there a legal way to get him to pay taxes for me? He never explained anything about what an I.C. does, or told me that it would allow him to not pay taxes on my behalf. I am having anxiety already and it isn't even tax time as the tax money I was saving went to fix my broken down car. One more question, if I may: Is there a way to prevent this business from doing this to future employees? BTW, I was let go yesterday, in part because my resentment was growing over this issue. Thanks for any advice.

    Melba
    Last edited by Melba; 07-27-2014, 09:19 AM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    If you feel that you were not correctly classified as an independent contractor, your recourse is to report the employer to the IRS.
    I am not able to respond to private messages. Thanks!

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    • #3
      http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...ontractor.html
      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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      • #4
        The IRS will expect you to pay your own taxes. Even though your former employer may have misclassified you, this does not mean your responsibility for paying your own taxes is automatically lifted. In other words, just because your former employer violated one law does not mean it's his fault you spent your tax money before giving it to the IRS. That's on you and you only. Had you been classified as an employee your former employer would have been deducting your taxes from your pay, and you wouldn't have been able to spend it on your broken car.

        You can't have it both ways; either you pay the IRS via your employer's payroll system or you pay the IRS directly.

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        • #5
          Thanks to all who answered my question, you were all very helpful.

          MARKETEER:I have decided that I will file the paper to report this because I have no doubt that my former employer has listed me as an independent contractor for his own gain. BETTY3: The NOLO article you directed me to is excellent, thank you EERELATIONS: I know I have to pay, that is usually the case, but the NOLO article says there is a form to fill out so that you can pay your half if you think that your employer has labeled you in error. Regardless of that, I will be prepared to pay the entire amount just in case.

          Again, thank you all so very much. I found help when I needed it and I am grateful.

          Kind Regards,
          Melba
          Last edited by Melba; 08-04-2014, 12:15 PM. Reason: typo, sorry Betty3...

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          • #6
            You're very welcome for the replies - glad you found the help you needed.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

            Comment


            • #7
              As an aside, dig into the Michigan unemployment compensation rules a bit. What the two of you called the relationship is not binding as to if you are covered by the unemployment laws as being treated as an employee. May matter IF you need the coverage while searching for next job. ....and you otherwise would qualify for UC.

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              • #8
                I remember a few years ago when I was in a management role at a retail store I worked at, and my boss did the same thing to me- I did all the income tax forms for being a typical employee, but the owner said I was a contract employee. I discussed that with the state labor commission and they said that even if I am labeled as a contractor, but the employer treats me as an wage-earning employee instead, it all boils down to the conditions the state sets for contract employees.
                I don't believe what I write, and neither should you. Information furnished to you is for debate purposes only, be sure to verify with your own research.
                Keep in mind that the information provided may not be worth any more than either a politician's promise or what you paid for it (nothing).
                I also may not have been either sane or sober when I wrote it down.
                Don't worry, be happy.

                http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html is a good resource!

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