The IRS is planning more employment tax audits and examinations over the next three years. A national research project is underway right now and the IRS has announced that it will conduct detailed employment tax examinations of certain taxpayers. The selection process for taxpayers has begun and the program will last for three years.
The IRS estimates there will be over 3000 examinations and audits. Although the IRS may look at any line on an employment tax return during the examination, it will primarily focus on the following issues: (1) worker classification (employee vs. independent contractor), (2) fringe benefits, (3) officer’s compensation, and (4) reimbursed expenses.
Often the IRS will receive Form SS 8 from a worker who wants a determination of whether he/she is an independent contractor or employee. The IRS will collect information from the worker and from the company involved. The IRS will either conduct a compliance check, make a determination based on the information collected or conduct a detailed employment tax examinations. If the IRS determines the worker is and was an employee, there are serious tax implications for the employer. It could be costly for the employer in terms of back taxes.
There are several ways to challenge the IRS’ decision about whether the worker is an independent contractor or an employee. It is best to consult a tax professional if you have been contacted about an employment tax matter.
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