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CA - Self-employment tax question

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  • CA - Self-employment tax question

    I am having trouble figuring out whether I must pay self-employment tax.

    My employer had me fill out a W-9, not a W-2. I have recently received form 1099-MISC. However, it seems to me that I am in an employer-employee relationship and nothing remotely like self-employment. I work for an event production company, providing labor for outdoor events, such as company picnics, parties, barbecues, etc.

    The IRS site says: You are self-employed if any of the following apply to you:

    You carry on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor.
    You are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business.
    You are otherwise in business for yourself.

    Am I carrying on a trade or business?

    Am I “otherwise in business for myself?”

    I do not operate my own business.
    I am not a sole proprietor.
    I am not an independent contractor.
    I am not a member of a trade or business partnership.
    I am employed by only one business.
    I am not working under any written contract.
    I do not solicit my services freely in public or private.
    I do not use my own vehicle or tools.
    I am not conducting a specific trade.
    My employer is in charge of where, when, & how the work is done.
    My employer determines the rate of pay.

    Nothing about the way I am working seems to be self-employment. When I filled out the form W-9, did that give me independent contractor status regardless of whether my actual situation meets the criteria outlined on the IRS site? My employer is temporarily unavailable, so I cannot inquire with them what to do about this until after April 15th.

    Can anyone tell me if the IRS considers me to be self-employed?

  • #2
    Well hard to say- ask HR whether you are a 1099 or if they are paying the FICA, withholding, etc...for you like an employee. I think many places are now cheap and 1099 most folks. So you need to ask them how they are classifying you. It sounds like they consider you a 1099 indep contractor and if you are that, and you are not having withholding happen when you get paid, sounds like you need to pay self employment tax on your income. I suggest that you consult a tax advisor or call a tax help line.


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