Are you an employee or independent contractor?

You may run into a situation where an employer in Pennsylvania wants to classify you as an independent contractor. This means you will be responsible for paying all employment taxes. However, it also means more than that when it comes to the relationship between you and your employer. 

The IRS is strict about worker classification. Your employer cannot simply say you are an independent contractor just to get out of paying employment taxes. There are actually specific rules that define what is an employee and what is an IC. 

An employee typically is managed more closely with a stronger relationship to the employer than an independent contractor. For example, if you are required to work specific hours, which are set by your employer, then you are probably not an IC. As an IC, you may have certain hours you can work, but you choose the exact hours you work. There is generally a contract if you are an IC that outlines the work you will do for the employer. You typically do not have this as an employee.

As an employee, your employer will usually hire you for an indefinite amount of time with a guarantee to provide you work. As an independent contractor, you usually are hired on a contract basis and work is not always guaranteed. 

The bottom line is that if you are an independent contractor, you will generally have more freedom as to when and how you work than if you are an employee. This information is for education and is not legal advice. 

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