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Independent Contractors-- Arizona

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  • Independent Contractors-- Arizona

    I work as an Independent Contractor for a company out of Arizona, and I reside in Colorado. I'm concerned that I'm not correctly classified by the company as an IC and that I would be properly classified as an employee, according the information I've read on the IRS' website regarding this subject.

    The company has approximately 20 of us who do the same work, though about half are classified as employees and the other half as contractors. Those who live out of state are considered ICs.

    The company provides a schedule for all of us (both employees and ICs), dictating where we will be working (we all travel extensively), has provided on-going training for me and others, dictates how the work will be performed, reimburses us for expenses (including rental cars, food, fuel, mileage, and other miscellaneous expenses), requires us to attend a monthly conference call, etc. They book our travel arrangements and provide detailed instructions on how to perform the jobs. There is virtually no difference between the independents and the employees on any of this, except for who gets benefits, taxes withheld and PTO.

    Recently, some of us independents have been getting frustrated by what we perceive to be unfair practices by this company. We know we can file the IRS form SS-8, but we're wondering what happens after that. If the IRS agrees with us that we are employees, are we entitled to any compensation from the company? Would that require us to take legal action after the IRS makes its decision or does the IRS take matters in hand and decide who--if anyone--is entitled to what? What about taxes already paid by us in the past? Is that reviewed by the IRS? What are the ways the company can get around any financial responsibility after the fact?

    Thanks in advance for any insight and/or advice!

  • #2
    Oh, and some of the other ICs home states are: Mississippi, New York, Idaho and Pennsylvania.

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    • #3
      So...no one can answer my questions? Seriously?

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      • #4
        I'm not positive what happens after you file the SS-8. I'm assuming the IRS goes to the employer and asks them to justify their treatment of you as in IC.

        If the IRS determines that, for IRS purposes (which is all they can determine) you are an employee, then the employer will be liable for all the taxes they should have withheld from you.

        I don't see any justification for treating you as an IC. Have you contacted the federal Dept. of Labor? Have you filed any wage claims?
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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        • #5
          We have not contacted the Dept of Labor. Truthfully, no one thought about it, thinking it was more of a tax issue and therefore under the domain of the IRS.

          Should we contact them? And should we file wage claims as well?

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          • #6
            It can't hurt and could help. The IRS isn't the only agency with a dog in this hunt.
            I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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            • #7
              Thank you muchly!

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              • #8
                Although the IRS definition is the one most referred to as "common law", the DOL has its own standards. You can't file a wage claim with the IRS; you can with the DOL.
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  It's just too bad we all love our jobs and aren't quite sure if we want to stir this pot just yet, because we don't want to lose our jobs--some of us more than others.

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                  • #10
                    Arizona has a pretty short time frame for filing wage claims if you want to wait until you do find another job. You would have longer if you filed a civil suit, which could possibly include damages. Just saying, those are a couple of options.
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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