Auditors Crack Down on "Independent Contractors" - Quotes Jeffrey Risch

March 29, 2010


Practice Areas article, "Auditors Crack Down on 'Independent Contractors'," discusses that in hopes to boost tax revenue, the IRS and many state governments are cracking down on how companies classify their workers. The Internal Revenue Service launched a program last month that will randomly examine 6,000 companies over the next three years for employee misclassifications. The federal government estimates it will raise $7 billion over the next 10 through tighter enforcement.

Some business advisors say a true independent contractor is employed by a separate corporation or legal entity, either one they own or a third-party firm. That rules out freelancers who don't formally set up a business structure to house their 1099 income. Jeff Risch explains that hewing to this definition didn't work for Mega Builders, a Chicago-area construction company that got hit with a $328,500 state fine in December on the grounds that it had misclassified 18 of its employees as independent contractors. The company allegedly forced its workers to incorporate, even though they didn't operate bona-fide businesses.

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