These are the questions, as small business owners, we ask ourselves – or should be! In the ever-changing business taxation environment, this question of a contractor vs. employee classification, in Jacksonville and outside our local geographic area, has remained relevant for a good portion of the past decade. And even today, when it feels like the entire world has been turned upside down, and all rules seem to have been broken, this remains a current and relevant topic for us to worry about.
California, always a leader in adopting tax reform, is actively pursuing contractor vs. employment classification – and MIS-classification. This year, if you hire a person in the same line of work as your business, you MUST classify them as employees. Most prominently, that means that the thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers are now required to be classified as employees; no longer are they considered independent contractors, no longer can they file a Schedule C and claim business expenses. They will be forced to convert to the companies’ employees, as has just been confirmed by the Appeals Court in CA.
But this ruling affects many others, not just the Uber and Lyft drivers as seen throughout California, small business owners such as beauty salon owners, insurance agencies, contractors, restaurant owners – are learning that the workforce they have traditionally classified as independent contractors are now legally their employees, with all the consequences that bring about.
Does this affect others living and working outside of California? Absolutely, you bet your sweet….bottom! You see, California has always been at the forefront of tax reform. Other states are quick to jump on this bandwagon. At the same time, others will also look to the Gold Rush State in how the independent subcontractors are to be treated very shortly! States already starting to follow in the trailblazer’s path include New York, New Jersey, and Illinois – each planning its own version of the legislation affecting the classification of the freelance workers.
As a small business owner, be responsible if you were to classify these freelancers as employees in an audit? Layers of taxation and compliance vary from state to state, and the main compliance points would be:
There may be more, but these consideration points are pretty universal, and you should be aware of it. If you think you may need to re-think your independent contractor employee classification, reach out to our Jacksonville CPA firm for a consultation. You may call us at 904-330-1200 or email at email@example.com.
I have exciting news that I couldn’t wait to share with you! It’s official, as of last week, September 17 to be exact – I am now an Enrolled Agent, admitted to practice before the IRS!
Although I’ve been deeply involved with tax planning and preparation for well over six years now, working closely with Greg at Freyman CPA, and helping our firm grow, this really takes it to the next level. This designation took over a year of hard work, studying every free moment, giving up weekends, weeknights, and working toward this goal. I have achieved this success because I love what I do, as much as I do.
The designation involves passing three separate exams of 3 ½ hours each, and the bar to pass is quite high. Passing the exam demonstrates a thorough knowledge of individual and business Federal taxation, as well as in-depth expertise with representing clients before the IRS. I am so excited to bring this additional qualification to our firm. I look forward to helping you address existing tax issues and to work proactively on avoiding and preventing such pitfalls!
An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete continuing education courses to remain active.
Enrolled agents, like attorneys and CPAs, have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before. Because this is a Federal, not state, designation, enrolled agents can practice and represent clients in all 50 states.
Enrolled agents are experts in taxation and are the only federally licensed tax practitioners. The designation dates back to 1884, enacted after questionable claims had been presented for Civil War losses. Congress acted to regulate persons who represented citizens in their dealings with the US Treasury Department.
And for you, that means the next time we prepare a Power of Attorney form for your signature, you will see my name right next to Greg’s as the authorized representative, and you will know that both partners at our firm are working on your side, resolving and communicating with the IRS and other tax authorities.
Angie Freyman, MBA, EA – and the team at Freyman CPA
If you ever need help from a trusted Jacksonville, FL accountant or an Enrolled Agent call 904-330-1200 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Clients and Colleagues,
As we wrote in our prior blogs, tax reform has had a significant impact on the tax deductions you can now claim for business entertainment and meals.