Your employment status has a significant impact on the employment tax you pay and on the amount that an employer pays on your behalf. When an employee is misclassified as an independent contractor, discrepancies arise with Social Security and Medicare taxes. That's usually where Form 8919 comes in.
What makes a worker an "employee"
A business may hire a worker as an independent contractor, but the worker may be classified as a paid employee by the Internal Revenue Service, depending on how their position is structured. An independent contractor generally decides how and when to complete their workload, so if an employer reserves the right to control that, they’re likely an employee and not an independent contractor. A worker who uses tools and equipment owned by the employer may be considered an employee, since a contractor usually has their own equipment.
When to use Form 8919
You may need to file Form 8919 if you:
- Perform services for a company that aren’t those of an independent contractor as defined by the IRS, and Social Security and Medicare taxes were not withheld from your pay
- Filed Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding
- Received a determination from the IRS confirming employee status or if you have not yet received a reply by tax time
- Received a W-2 and a 1099-MISC from one firm in the same tax year, and the amount on the 1099-MISC should be included on the W-2 as wages
Don't use Form 4137
Prior to the introduction of Form 8919, workers may have used Form 4137 to report Social Security and Medicare amounts. Since 2008, usually only tipped employees use Form 4137 to report Social Security and Medicare amounts on allocated tips and those not reported by their employers.
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