Top 10 Signs You May Be Misclassified as a 1099 Contractor

By Gina Beckman

There is an enormous amount of confusion, both by individuals and employers, regarding 1099 status. Many people mistakenly believe that the decision to classify someone as an employee or a contractor is solely at the discretion of the company with the work. And all those people would be wrong.

This is important stuff, as contractors carry more of their tax burden than their employee counterparts. Employees only pay half of their Social Security and Medicare taxes (FICA), while their employers pick up the other half. Contractors are burdened with the entire tax bill, including the state and federal income tax that is generally withheld weekly from employee paychecks.

The IRS has specific guidelines to help employers understand the difference between employees and contractors; but not all companies abide by the rules. So what are some of the top telltale signs that perhaps you are being misclassified as a 1099 contractor?

  1. You don’t submit a weekly or monthly invoice for your services.
  2. The guy you work for refers to himself as your boss.
  3. You have a specific schedule, are monitored by someone and are told when to take your lunch break.
  4. There are other people with whom you work that are doing the exact same job, but are classified as W2 employees.
  5. The company gives you a uniform and you are required to wear it.
  6. You drive a company vehicle.
  7. You have company business cards and a company email address.
  8. The company tells you when you can take vacation.
  9. You are using a computer provided by the company.
  10. The IRS calls and says, “We need to talk.”

We are not employment attorneys; if you have concerns regarding your employment status, we strongly suggest you speak to one or contact the Department of Labor in your state.

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119 Responses to “Top 10 Signs You May Be Misclassified as a 1099 Contractor”

  1. Cary Johnson says:

    I’m an over the road truck driver.
    The last company that I worked.for went out of business.
    Question 1. Can I be compensated
    For not telling me in advance to look for another job.
    2. Paid with a personal check.
    W2 or Contractor employee?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Cary: 1) The company has no obligation to give you advance notice of neither your termination nor of them going out of business (sad, but true). You also had no obligation to give them advance notice had you wanted to quit. 2) I would always be wary of a business paying me with a personal check; but the most important question is whether you filled out a W-4 when you started working for the company (which would show that they considered you an employee). Keep in mind, we are not employment attorneys; for a definitive answer to your question we suggest you contact one or the Department of Labor in your state. Good luck to you.

  2. Joe Campbell says:

    I am an otr driver that gets a 1099 i also driver their vehicle they pay for all expenses. By reading this Iam assume this is illegal , is there anything I can do?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Joe: Sometimes, it is not just one thing that determines classification. We suggest you contact the Department of Labor in your state for your answer. Good luck and keep us posted!

    • Emma says:

      I owned a flatbed company and also filed 1099 on employees only because I knew no better my father did this for years with his company, but unless you lease the truck and pay for fuel, tarps, chains, repairs etc., then no per a conversation with the IRS myself your employer is doing something illegal!

    • Emma says:

      Joe, I owned a trucking company and was told by the IRS in Orlando Florida that I or any other company cannot 1099 a truck driver unless that driver is leasing on AND paying for their own fuel, tarps, chains, binders, repairs, etc. Hope this helps!

  3. Jesus says:

    Hello I am looking into becoming a cable tech. Subcontractor for a major company. They are going to 1099 me and w4 also. What would be a good way to find out how much taxes I need to pay. I would like to pay quarterly.

  4. J.D.L. says:

    I work for a limo service but we don’t drive limos, we drive sedans and full size suv. Anyways this is my first 1099 job. I am required to dress up in a suit, be at the office at 6am-6pm m-f. Owner gets mad I won’t work weekends or things come up where I can’t. I’m a single mom. I was promised pay every Friday. I’m two weeks late getting paid now. And if I’m not at the office at his beck and call I get bad jobs or nothing at all. I watch this guy buy a car out of state for 5 k and he can’t pay me? Is this how being a 1099 employee is? I’m putting in 60+ hours a week for the bare minimum of 180 a week to 600 at the best. granted the work is easy but the hours SUCK. And the longer I stay the more I feel like a employee. Any opinions?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      J.D.L.: To help determine whether individuals qualify as contractors or employees, the IRS has a form called the SS-8; you can find it on the IRS website at

      It sounds like you have some other major issues and concerns regarding this job; and to address these we strongly suggest you contact an employment attorney (which we are not) or the Department of Labor in your state. Best of luck to you.

  5. mb says:

    I work for a pair of business partners at an interior design company. They hired me as an “independent contractor” and I receive a 1099 once a year from them. They claim to allow me to set my own schedule, but when I started they asked if 10am-4pm Monday-Thurs would work for me and i said yes. That has been my schedule ever since and I have to be in the office at my desk during those hours. Also I have an in-office voicemail box, they provide me with business cards that have my name on them as part of their company, I use the computer they provided me at my desk and hooked me up to an email account in their server, etc.
    Am I in some sort of “gray area” of W-2 vs 1099 because I don’t work 40 hours a week?

    Thanks for any help.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      mb: There is no grey area. Employment status is not contingent on the number of hours you are on the clock, but rather on the control that the employer has over you and your work. If we were to guess, we would bet you have been misclassified as a 1099; however, we are not employment attorneys so we suggest you speak to one for a definitive answer and to learn about your options. As it stands now, you are working part-time and responsible for your entire tax burden; you might be well-served by looking further into this. Good luck and keep us posted.

  6. william says:

    Im a schedualed employee and the company that hired me did not give me the option of 1099 they just had me sign it, is that legal?

  7. Marianne says:

    I am a nurse that works for a chain of senior nursing facilities. I have not worked there a year yet so not sure if I will get w2 or not. I was hired under the title “per diem” even tho I was hired to work 30hrs or more a week, sometimes I even work 50-60hrs a week but don’t qualify for any benefits due to their policy of having the title “per diem”. Not sure if this is legal. In our hands book it states that per diem works work less the 20hrs a week.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Marianne: Did you fill out a W4 when you were hired and have they been taking taxes out of your checks? Sounds like you have some good questions for an employment attorney or the Department of Labor in your state. Good luck to you.

  8. jeannie says:

    I work for a home health care agency, where people are hired under 1099’s to work with clients in the field who need help at home, however I work in the office. The aides that go out are told which clients to go to, what times they are to be there and what they are to do, and they have a nurse director over them telling them what they are to do. I work in the office and have a schedule of 10-3 mon – fri and we are all told what type of dress code we are to wear, and have to you office equipment and Microsoft office on the computers for billing and payroll. I also get a 1099 misc. form should we be getting w2’s instead.

  9. Katherine says:

    My husband is a commercial diver for a company. He was signed on as an independent contractor. He has to be at the shop mon-fri 8-4, uses the company’s boats, equipment, trucks, and computers to do his job. He has an provided by the company. He is also on call 24/7 and on a salary pay.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Katherine: Just guessing here, but we bet the workers’ compensation insurance would be astronomical in that line of business — which may or may not account for the company’s decision to classify their divers as contractors. Is your husband being misclassified? We don’t know. But it is probably worth looking into further. We suggest you speak with an employment attorney or the Dept of Labor in your state. If he is being misclassified, he has options on what to do next. We suggest reading this article from the AFL-CIO website entitled “Recourse for Employees Misclassified as Independent Contractors.” Good luck to you and your hubby.

  10. Chris Abram says:

    I work for a carwash in California and I was hired by the owner to wash vechiles and we have a dress code plus he provides all the equitment to wash and detail the vechiles. I also have a verbable work schecule 9 to 5 he stated as a 1099 employee he can have it in writing. He hired me at $9.00 a hour. He takes the tips. He also tells us when to take lunch. He taught me how to do car washes and detail work by this information I should be a W-2 employee I’m guessing.

  11. sonya taylor says:

    my husband works for a company and is considered a sub contract laborer, they pay him a paper check,but do not with hold taxes… and we recieved a 1099 will we have to pay taxes on his pay for this???

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Sonya: Yes.

      We are neither attorneys nor accountants; and nothing in these comments should be construed as legal advice.

  12. stacey says:

    I am working out of my home with my own hours but the company I am contracting with wants me to punch in and out on a time clock via the internet?
    wouldn’t this make me an employee?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Stacey: Being considered an employee usually involves more than just a single aspect of the job; and we are simply not sure whether the act of punching in and out on a time clock in and of itself would be the determining factor in employment status. We suggest you check out the “Independent Contractor or Employee” page on the IRS website. Good luck.

  13. Gena says:

    My husband is classified as a 1099 independent contractor but the company he does work for pays him an hourly wage, makes him turn in his hours (he is on payroll, he does not bill them for this service), provides the equipment and software to do the work on, and gives him direction on what work to perform. He could not perform this type of work without their provided equipment and software. Seems to me he is an employee.

  14. josh says:

    Myself and another I work with were both hired last year as movers and were being paid “under the table” by check for the time being. The company which is a startup begun paying us by direct deposit roughly 6 months after. We then signed a contract which states we are independent contractors and are paid so much monthly for the specific work provided ‘on-call’. The problem is that according to the standards in determining the employer-employee relationship by the DOL and the IRS we are technically in my opinion considered independent contractors. We have both brought this to their attention ok multiple occasions yet they still call us contractors. What would be the proper course of action if we were to go that direction in making things right..?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Josh: Congrats on taking this on; many workers feel helpless and remain idle even when they are certain they are being misclassified. You might want to take a look at this fact sheet from the AFL-CIO that explains some of your options. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  15. Chris says:

    I work for a family business in the health food nutritional and Bodycare field. I have a territory of stores which requires me to visit them, sell to the , merchandise and fill out promo paperwork. My mother who is retired owns the business and it is classified as a DBA. Since 2004, my brother has taken over as “president” of the company, meeting with vendors and telling the reps what needs to be done for the month. My brother receives the commission checks himself ( based on a percentage of sales) , and puts money in the business acct, but also moves money into his personal acct. this personal acct is used to pay the 5 employees a salary each month, myself included. I have always been told I am 1099 and I pay for my own health insurance and income taxes/ social security. I have recently learned that I may not be 1099 after all due to the statements mentioned above. My brother receives the commission checks personally, and I do not see those vendor commission checks or have access to them. My check every month is based on a set salary written out of my brothers personal acct.
    Am I still classified as 1099, as I have been told by my brother and my mother before him. All other employees are 1099 as well.


    • 10 til 2 says:

      Chris: We don’t know the answer to your question; but we would consider paying you and other workers from a personal account as a massive red flag. We urge you to contact an employment attorney, which as you know by now, we are not. Good luck and keep us posted on how this unfolds!

  16. Cakes says:

    I have been miss classified as an independent contractor vs employee. I was deemed an employee by the local dept of labor after filing for unemployment.

    Now I am trying to amend my 2013 tax return. I was given a 1099. And already am filing a SS-8, and plan to file an 8919 as well. However, how do I amend the income portion??? Or do I not?! I’d like it to be known to the IRS that it should of been reported on a w2 vs 1099 if there is any chance of getting even the slightest tax return for SE taxes I should of not been paying.

    Any advice?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Cakes: We suggest you call the Department of Labor back and ask them for clarification as to how to proceed. Best of luck to you.

  17. Ryan says:

    I was recently hired by a horse trainer to clean stalls, feed, turn out horses and the odd occasional repair. The job add stated that it was a Salary job ($300 for 5 days, $350 for 6) and at the time of the interview I was told that the day usually lasted about 5 hrs. I’d been out of work for a while after being laid off and having trouble finding work and this sounded somewhat reasonable (in my head I was thinking it worked out to about $10/hr). Also at the interview I was told that I would be classified as a 1099 worker (something I’ve never dealt with before) and in my ignorance, said “sure”. The problem arose when those 5 hr days were on average 10 hr days (work day is done when all the stalls, feeding, general cleaning etc. is done). I’m told they’re flexible with hours, but generally expected to be there at 7:30am, starting any later would have me working into the night. Basically I’m just wondering if I’m getting screwed? My first week of 5 days Tue-Sat was nearly 50 hrs, basically $6/hr in my book. Any advice would be helpful.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Ryan: The answer to your question depends on whether you are comfortable working manual labor at a contract job for $6/hour (which incidentally is below the national minimum wage). Another thing to consider is that if you get injured on the job, as a 1099 contractor, you are in all likeliness not covered by Workers’ Comp. Plus you are working for someone who you believe may have been less than forthcoming with you. Best of luck to you on whatever you decide to do. Please understand that we are not attorneys; if you need legal advice, we urge you to speak with one.

  18. duke says:

    I am a 1099 worker, but I basically work for a beverage company. I drive for them all the time, setting up events and doing deliveries. (All in my own truck)they pay me 55cents per mile plus an hourly wage of 20$ ph. At first they paid me for the driving time but now they are telling me that the 55cents per mile should compensate for the driving time, But it doesnt its for gas and wear and tear on the car. They said if I’m just setting up the event and leaving I can only log 2 hours for that, but sometimes with LA traffic it can take much longer For me to get everything done and I don’t feel it’s fair to have me out of the house for 4+ hours when I’m only getting paid for 2. Another exp.- I had to transfer beverages between 2 storage units today and was out of my house (using my own truck) for 3 1/2 hours. Is it legal for them to only pay me for 2 hours? Citing that the milage pay should compensate the extra time although that’s not it’s purpose? Also when I work an event 5pm-9pm they are telling me I can only log those 4 hours and not the time I spent picking all the stuff up from storage, transporting it, unloading it to set up and then after the event break it down and transport it back to the storage unit. Is that legal??? If I keep logging my drive time and they fire me can I file a wrongful termination lawsuit? Or maybe violation of labor laws?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Duke: You have some very valid questions; however, we are not employment attorneys. We strongly urge you to contact one. Best of luck to you.

    • jr says:

      as for leaving home no the time you get compensated for is when pick up merchandise to the time you drop things back at the co.
      if you deduct mileage on irs forms the time from the house to the first stop if your truck is a open pu or passenger van a rack tk or service van is different as your carrying tools and your ride home is not deductable either but compensated time should be from pu to return at business.not a lawyer bud a delivery driver who lost 2 10 year long jobs to contractors who basically pay a wage but the expenses are yours so often 12 bucks winds yp 7 after expense and before tax and work without workmans comp is dangerous

  19. anne says:

    My employer has reclassified me as an independent contractor. I do not supply my own cleaning supplies, they own the cleaning company and have the contract with the business I clean. Am I an employee?

  20. Pam says:

    I’ve worked for a cleaning company for years. They give me a 1099 so I have to file a scheduled c. I think they’ve misqualified me as an independent contractor. They give me a weekly time sheet and set my schedule. I make an hourly wage. Now the state is wanting me to pay gross receipt tax for my labor.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Pam: You are smart to question your employment status; however we are not employment attorneys. We suggest you speak to one or contact the Department of Labor in your state. Also, you might want to check out this page on the IRS website that might give you some clarity. Good luck to you.

  21. Derek says:


    I was told that you could not 1099 someone that completes the same work as you. For example, if I was a roofer and obtained a job I could not sub another roofer to cover for me and 1099 them. Have you ever heard of this? Not being able to 1099 someone in same trade/vertical of the work you complete?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Derek: Good question; but one that we are not really in a position to weigh in on. We recommend you contact the Department of Labor in your state. Good luck to you and your roofing business!

  22. Connie says:

    My son was just hired by a commercial flooring company as a forklift operator. He is the only one working there beside the owners. He has other duites, such as cleaning up restrooms & office. They supply everything including forklift. He is to work M-F, 8am-5pm. He is told when to go to lunch and when to leave, if they close earlier than 5. He has also been given the key to open & close if owners are not there. Today is 1st payday and he has been told he needs to fill out his own 1099, and hasn’t a clue what to do. I believe he should be an employee & that owners are just wanting to avoid paying for workers comp etc. He really likes the job & owners, but is afraid they will let him go if he asks.

  23. Jonathan M says:

    I worked for a guy for four years passing out flyers for nightclubs. He decided the schedule etc etc, he was my boss and reminded me of that many times. Anyway, he has AIDS and is on Sec. 8 so told me if I wanted the job passing out flyers for the clubs (was 19 at the time, 30 now) I’d have to sign for the checks from one of the clubs, because he could only claim a certain amount of income to retain his benefits. I (stupid) said yes and knew nothing about 1099 vs w2, I was a W2 before and have been since then. I’ve never been unemployed, my “real job” is restaurant server. I thought the IRS would send me a bill at the end of the year if I owed them money. (Young and stupid.) I received a check for $1,100 every two weeks, I’d cash it, give him $600.00 and I’d take $500.00. This went on for about two years. I’d never been taught or told how to deal with the IRS so as a result of all this I now owe them $26,000 when I am just barely able to pay rent and afford to eat and get to work and see my family once per year. He would have me make two money orders out to myself at the grocery store and then cash them in order to keep a “receipt” of my payment to him in the form of their stubs. Any advice would be highly appreciated; the guy who did my job before me with this guy’s father is a tax accountant and filed years of tax returns for me pro bono because his son had the same job. Because of his kindness I’m caught up through 2013 with filing but I just started being garnished at work. I wrote them a letter explaining what happened years ago in ’09 and they sent a reply saying “we are sorry for any inconvenience we may have caused you.”

  24. sam says:

    I worked for ABC courier ( Katy , Tx), as an Independent contractor, on 60% commission. Made 15 deliveries in 5 days, drove 272 miles. total load was more than 450lbs , spent approx 35 hours, spent $ 60 on gas and got paid $174.64….
    can anyone believe that? I was shocked and then smiled and thanked GOD.. ( this was the best i could do )…

  25. Aaron says:

    I work for a trucking company (OTR) and they provide me with the truck. I pay for my workers compensation insurance, they just tell me when to pick up and when it needs to be delivered and I have 2-3 days to get it done, route is dependent on me, breaks, lunches, etc are my choice. I have to abide by federal laws when I am driving but there are no rules set by the company. Should I be classified as a W2?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Aaron: It is probably a good idea to check out this page on the IRS website or contacting the Department of Labor in your state for the answers you seek. Best of luck to you.

      • philip says:

        I work for a tree company I am 1099 but I am paid on an hourly basis have company shirts I must wear and drive company vehicles am I being misclassified?

        • 10 til 2 says:

          Philip: We are not attorneys, but this is probably worth looking further into on your part. As we mentioned in our reply to your other comment, one thing you might want to consider as a contractor is the likely lack of workers comp should you be injured on the job. This is important stuff, as there is room for accidents and injury both while you are onsite working on the trees and in transit driving the company truck. Keep us posted.

  26. philip says:

    if I am being misclassified what does that mean for me? do I get in trouble somehow?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Philip: I think it is safe to say that Uncle Sam is more concerned with the employers who are misclassifying workers rather than the workers themselves. But there are several reasons that you should be concerned, the main one being that as a contractor you are responsible for more of your income tax bill than you would as an employee (and the company is paying less of it). You are also likely not covered by the company’s workers comp should you be injured on the job. We are not employment attorneys; if you have concerns we suggest you speak with one or contact the Department of Labor in your state. Best of luck to you.

  27. dusty says:

    I am a general contractor. I have one w2 employees and I do bath and kitchen remodels. I have plumber, electrician, mechanical, painter, drywallers and so on. They are all sub contractors and independent employees. They have LLC established. They have there own work comp and general liability which I collect certificates every 6 months and I send them all a 1099. They all use there on equipment and I schedule out jobs based on building inspections and time requirements. I nit pick the jobs before I pay them when they are done or before I pay a draw. This is what 1099 subcontractors are. They don’t work by the hour. That would be a w2 employee which is my part time foreman who drives a company trick and meets inspectors. Delivers materials and so forth. This should help anyone know whether they are being paid wrong or not. Now I don’t get invoices on every single job because they have negotiated rates for toilet installs and so forth so I know how to bid jobs. But I write the address of every job and description in the check memo. If you don’t have your own insurance and own llc or at least tools and equipment of some kind. Then you are an employee by law. Bottom line.

  28. Lucy mora says:

    I am a stylist I’ve been classified as 1099 for about 12 years I always worked in a salon not owned by me. I don’t not rent my space I have to follow salon policy. I pay a percentage for products and a percentage of how much I make
    To the salon. My owner is now forcing us to buy “Insurance”
    The insurance Is classified under BUS-MERCANTILE whatever that means.
    My question. 1. Do I sound like a 1099
    2. What is this insurance
    One final note. When I was forced last year to get the Insurance I had to mail a picture of my personal home the front and the back along with my policy. I did question this they responded that in order to process the policy it needs to have a photo of a structure front and the back.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Lucy: We are not employment attorneys; you might be well served in speaking with one. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  29. tony says:

    I get a 1099 from this painting company I have a boss tells me when I can take a brake or when to eat lunch I do what he tells me to drive my truck to jobs but he pays me every Friday tells me what to do works with me like iam a employee but sends me a 1099 and tells me I work for myself but he is my boss and pays me like I work for his company’ I stepped on a nail left laying with nails up it puncherd my bone and know I have to have surgery on my foot he will not even pay for two days of missing work and now I will have doctors Bill’s plus no compensation for anything what can I do because he lies to Irs and gives me a 1099 when its his jobs and he tells me what to do every day and where to go what time and does not pay over time are time and half after 40 hours a weak

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Tony: Your comment illustrates why this topic is so important. We are in no way implying that you should be classified as an employee (and we are not attorneys) but we will say that proper classification is vitally important as it relates to not just compensation but also things like workers comp and liability. We suggest you contact the Department of Labor in your state; they might be able to help you figure out your options. Best of luck to you.

  30. Ryan says:

    I’m a tow truck driver and I work a schedule set by my boss 6-12hr days and there are days i work more than 12 hours a day, he tells me I’m a 1099 employee but yet he gives me a schedule and he provides me with a uniform that I have to wear. Do I have a case

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Ryan: We are not attorneys; so we are unable to weigh in whether you “have a case.” We suggest you contact an employment attorney or the Department of Labor in your state. Good luck and keep us posted.

  31. Jon Heintz says:

    I am in the process of starting a buisness washing homes and i am trying to figure out what i need to do for either a 1099 or W-2. A friend told me that I am allowed to 1099 at the end of the year so i dont have to do taxes etc. As im finding out that might not work. I would have people working for me,driving my vehicles etc. Looking for some guidance. I wont be starting until spring of 2016.
    Thank you

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Jon: If they are driving your trucks, wearing your uniforms, told by you when to work and when to take a break, they would be in all likeliness considered W-2 employees in the eyes of Uncle Sam. Let’s be clear; employee status is not an arbitrary decision. The scope of the position and the amount of control you have over them are the things that determine employment status. A business owner can decide to hire a contractor to conduct work for him, but the control that the business owner has over that contractor is different than if he/she were an employee. Does that make sense? Also, be wary of what friends tell you; one generally does not decide at the end of the year how to classify their workers; forms need to be signed at the onset of the work. And the worker needs to know whether he is a contractor or employee. We are not attorneys; we suggest you speak to one that specializes in employment law or contact the Department of Labor in your state. They should be able to give you some guidance. Good luck on your new business!

  32. William Jones says:

    I am a Limousine Driver in the state of Florida with a Class B CDL which the company I drive for has required. I am considered by them to be a 1099 contractor and all checks are made out to the business name and not me personally. We were paid weekly and only turned in daily all limo runs we made that day. It only listed the starting and ending times. Under contract we are guaranteed 20% of the base rate negotiated by the limo company and an hourly pay for the hours worked on each run. We were never advised of the base rate quoted to determine if we were in fact being paid our 20% commission. Is there some type of IRS regulation that would require the company to provide drivers with a Drivers Earnings Statement. We would like to coincide with each check to determine if we were paid what we were owed. Thanks

  33. John says:

    I own a company and we are independent manufacturer’s reps. I have one manufacturer we represent that is becoming overbearing. He wants me to discuss with him the new salesmen I hire.
    Also, I have 2 locations. He also threatens to fire us if I don’t visit each location as often as he thinks I should.
    Both of these sound like something that would change this from a sub-contractor relationship to an employee relationship. Your thoughts?

    • 10 til 2 says:

      John: Not sure about that. People in the business world try to wield their muscle and influence all the time; doesn’t necessarily change you contractor status. Sometimes when you run a business, as you are, you find yourself having to have tough conversations (and detailed contracts that draw clear lines). Please understand that we are not employment attorneys. Best of luck to you. Keep us posted.

  34. Katherine says:

    I was recently hired by a painting company for a job in a chemical plant. They paid for my forklift training and site specifics. They put me to work under a subcontractor they hired… They pay him, he pays me. I have to be at the plant at 6 am. I am told when to break, and when knock off time is by a foreman who works directly for the painting company. It’s a really confusing situation for me, and I received a 1099 at start of employment. Because someone else is technically paying me, but the business who bid the job controls what I do, I can’t tell whether I would be an independent contractor or an employee.

    • 10 til 2 says:

      Katherine: Let’s be clear; we are not employment attorneys. We suggest for a definitive answer to your question, that you consult one or the Department of Labor in your state. That being said, it is our guess that you might be an employee of the subcontractor. This is important stuff; should anything go wrong in that plant, as a contractor you are likely not covered under the company’s workers’ comp. We strongly suggest you look further into this. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  35. Jeff says:

    Im working as a brick/block mason in Maine.2 weeks after starting I get my 1st check.Shows no taxes being taken out.When I speak to the owner he says Im subcontractor?I use my own vehicle,tools.Start same time 7-330. Owner buys all materials,delivers said materials.Told when jobs start and are suppose to end. Just wondering what Im classified as?Worried Im going to get screwed by taxes. And If I push the envelope also losing my job.

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Jeff: We have heard questions and concerns like yours many-many times. While we certainly can’t speculate whether you should be classified as a contractor or an employee, there is another issue at hand. Professionals need to ask the right questions when starting a new job and be aware of the mandatory paperwork involved when being hired as an actual employee. All employers are required by law to have newly hired employees complete both a W4 and I9 form BEFORE THE ONSET OF WORK; they are not required to have contractors fill out these documents. You may want to contact the Department of Labor in your state for more information. Best of luck to you.

  36. James says:

    Just to confirm from a learned person(s) on this: I have worked for a suburban taxi company which classifies us as ‘independent contractors’, yet reprimands us when we (viz., us drivers) do not tell the company where we are at all times. They ‘order’ us to tell them when we are finished with customers and where we are going throughout the day hour-by-hour; they make a schedule; I was angrily told more than once ‘don’t ever give your phone number to a customer’ when a passenger wanted my phone number to give me a definite pick up address; it’s very overt in a policing manner. What might I be missing? Can’t this company get in big trouble? When complaining about a driver, a customer was once retorted with ‘our drivers are independent contractors and we have no control over them’. That’s just a flat out lie, and indicates intentional misclassification. I am just shocked by this taxi company’s temerity. Are some companies ‘immune’ to labor laws? I would think not at all. Is it difficult for the Labor Dept./IRS, etc. to catch such violators?

    Thanks, James.

  37. Dan says:

    Hi, I work as a 1099 employee installing satellite television. We are required by the company to wear a certain kind of pants and uniform shirts and hats. They also require us to download the company’s application onto your phone in order to do our job. I could go on and on but does this misclassified me as a 1099?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Dan: We can’t say for sure, but it is probably worth looking into further. And your concern should go beyond just the income tax issue; as an independent contractor, you are likely not covered with workers’ comp should you be injured on the job. We suggest you contact the Department of Labor in your state for the clarification that you seek.

  38. Nancy Christie says:

    I have been a 1099 employee for 10 years at this same spa. Now they say I need to fill out paper work to become an employee. I work maybe 12 to 16 hours a week. My appointment times vary per client. I receive 50% of the massage service plus my tips. I choose the days that I work in cooperation with their scheduling. I get payed bi-weekly with a automated payment into my account. Am I a 1099 employee or not?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Nancy: We are not employment attorneys and are simply in no position to make the determination you seek. You might consider contacting the Department of Labor in your state. Best of luck to you.

  39. Steven says:

    Hello I worked for a taxi company and I filled out a w4 the owner has been known to really screw people with the 1099 she payed cash and controlled what I did and when I worked but when I wanted to quit she got mad and took a bunch of money from my last pay for gas and. Travel in her taxi. Then payed me with a personal check and wrote on the check two weeks tax takin out. Is that legal. And do u have any advice. I have a feeling she will try and screw me come taxes.

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Steven: We suggest you contact an attorney that specializes in employment law (we are not attorneys and are in no position to give legal advice). We will tell you that we would find the personal check thing very troublesome too. Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  40. Sue says:

    My husband works for a small business doing hvac when he was hired he did fill out a w4 and taxes get taken out but when the employer does not have enough money to go thru payroll he gives the workers cash or handwritten checks but at the end of the year he 1099 and w2’s but the workers are doing the same exact job they get 1099 for monies earned when the employer gives them cash. Is this legal?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Sue: Let’s be clear, we are not tax or employment attorneys so anything we tell you would purely be layman’s speculation on our part; and you would be better served getting expert advice. That being said, we would guess that the IRS would likely have some major concerns with that payroll structure. Best of luck to you and your husband.

  41. Jennifer says:

    We did electrical work for a homeowner, and she’s adament that we provide her a 1099 form – she’s threatening to call the IRS if we don’t. I don’t believe e have to since she’s not a business. Must we provide one?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Jennifer: You are a company that contracts work and are surely claiming the income no matter what; so the fact that she has requested a 1099 is probably not a big deal (although she might really mean she needs a W9 form). But we are not employment attorneys or tax accountants; if you have concerns we suggest you speak with one. Best of luck to you!

  42. William says:

    I signed a W-4 but got a 1099. I had expenses paid including has, hotel and good stipend. What will this company error cost me? What can I do about it?

  43. Joseph says:

    I was hired as a 1099 salesman. I am on a 500.00 week draw and supposed to make my money on the gross of the sale of buildings paid once a month minus the draw being taken out. I have a guy who calls himself my boss I have hours I am to be on site. They provide company shirts, e mail address and a computer that I enter customer information into to create contracts into their point of sale software. I work out of their building on site and now they want me to go back and once the financing is approved enter in the codes for each customer for them. The company sets what price I charge for each of their buildings and even charges me 200.00 out of the gross of each sale for their employees to deliver their buildings and I am not allowed to use anyone cheaper outside of the company employees although other lots use other companies for their deliveries. They set the terms and prices of each building which controls how much money I can make off each building. I am entering all the information on their software controlled and ran by employees at the main office. Don’t think this is right please advise? I get paid once a month on a company issued Com Data card and hardly ever see what customers I am being paid for at the time they pay and have had to threaten to talk to a lawyer the past 2 months to even get paid which came after the specified day I was supposed to be paid. Help as I am wanting to file taxes but have no idea how much I made as I have not gotten anything from them showing a figure.

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Joseph: First off, regardless of whether you are an employee or a contractor, the company is required to provide you with documentation (either a W2 or a 1099) that reflects the amount you have earned from them and any related withholdings for that calendar year. We wish we could weigh in on your specific situation but we are not employment attorneys. We strongly suggest you contact one or perhaps start with the Department of Labor in your state. But let’s say this. If your employment status were a question on a game show and we were to ring our buzzer, we would answer, “Employee.” Best of luck to you and keep us posted.

  44. Worker says:

    I worked for the same company from 2007-2010, then I moved t a different state. In 2011, they offered me work from home as another company they formed where I write news articles and help them with the original company’s Facebook page. I have been working from home, Monday-Friday, since 2011. I don’t take vacation and I’ve only ever not worked on major holidays. Some days I only work four hours but some days it can be as much as eight. Either way, I’m expected to do work every Monday-Friday. Recently, they have been telling me to have work done at specific times of the day. They send me training videos so I know how to do my work. They say they are planning to give me a raise when business picks up. However, I get a 1099 every year. Do you think I am an independent contractor since I work from home, or an employee?

  45. Worker says:

    I worked for one company, wore their uniform and clocked in and out of their clock. The guy that ran our crew in the beginning referred to himself as the “boss”. I never submitted an invoice to him (and just turned 18 myself); the IRS now says I owe them money. I never recieved a 1099 from this “boss” either. Do I have any protection from the IRS?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Worker: We are not employment attorneys nor tax specialists so we are not in a position to give you legal advice (but the short answer to your question is probably, “No”). But you might want to ask yourself a few questions to help gain some clarity. Were you receiving a company-issued, printed paycheck? If so were there taxes taken out by the company? I think we are safe to say that, in the eyes of the IRS, someone in your work relationship (the company, you or both) are responsible for the income tax on the wages paid to you. Whether the company considered you an employee or a contractor, they are still required to give you documentation of the money they paid you for the year. Here is the deal. People should not enter into a work relationship without a clear understanding of whether they are considered a contractor or an employee; and what tax burden they are responsible for. You may want to consider contacting an employment attorney for the expert advice you seek. Best of luck to you!

  46. Evan G says:

    If I am being paid as an independent contractor, and the company ends up hiring me as a full-time employee after 2-3 months of doing work for them, would there be any potential issues where the IRS may view my 2-3 month contractor period as a misclassification and audit the company?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Evan: We are not employment attorneys nor payroll tax accountants. We suggest you speak to one or contact the Department of Labor in your state for expert advice. Best of luck to you.

  47. SHARON says:

    I deliver newspapers. I got a 1099 but it doesn’t match what I made. I do not work for the Newspaper Company. The newspaper Company contracted out from another company. I made more than my 1099 says. Am I considered owing my own company since I received a 1099. I don’t know where to put this on my taxes. Thanks

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Sharon: We are not tax accountants; we suggest you speak to one for advice on your situation. Best of luck to you.

  48. IHN says:

    I was employed by my college as a Residential Advisor. As part of my job, I had to reside in the dorms and be responsible for the overall supervision of the students, among other things. Previously, I had the same job and was designated as an “employee”; however, the designation was changed to “independent contractor”. (Possibly because the college took on board a new HR team) Was this change a rightful designation?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      IHN: Your question is a good one; however we are not employment attorneys or payroll tax accountants so are unable to give you the professional advice you seek. We can tell you this: The designation as an independent contractor is not an arbitrary one; meaning there are specific aspects of the position (and how much control “your boss” has over the way you conduct your work) that determine whether the worker should be classified as an employee or a contractor. You might want to look further into this for many reasons – one of the biggest being that if you are to get injured on the job, will the school cover you under workers comp? You might want to take a look at this page on the IRS website for further clarification. Best of luck to you and keep us posted on how this unfolds!

  49. Juan says:

    I work for a moving company im consider a contractor but my boss says i have to wash the truck on my own time without getting payed.
    Am i suppose to get paid for that time?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Juan: The best way to answer your question is by not answering it. Instead we will let you in on a few things. First off, contractors don’t have bosses, they have clients (therefore if someone considers themselves your boss, they should also consider you their employee, not a contractor). As a contractor, “your client” really has no say over when — or if — you wash the truck (as it would be your truck and not the company’s). No say. An employer can require that you wash the truck, but can’t insist you do it on your own time (you would need to be on the clock and thus compensated for it). We can’t tell you that you are being misclassified as a contractor, but we do speculate that your boss is indeed a boss and not a client. We are not employment attorneys; for expert advice we consider you consult with one or contact the Department of Labor in your state. Good luck to you.

  50. Steve says:

    I was doing HVAC for a company for 6 weeks. Getting paid cash. Company uniforms, trucks, payroll. Boss never gave me full weeks pay and the debt kept growing so i stopped working for him. Hes not paying the remaining wages and says he wants a 1099 form. Thanks for your help!

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Steve: Getting paid in cash is risky business for many reasons. We suggest you contact an employment attorney or the Department of Labor in your state. And be sure to ALWAYS complete your W4 forms prior to the onset of any future job you in which you expect to be treated as an employee. Best of luck to you.

  51. Sam says:

    I am still confused concerning this aspect. I have a Very Small Business and looking to hire only two additional persons. Even by the list above makes it the more confusing:
    You don’t submit a weekly or monthly invoice for your services. — I will have them submit the hours that have worked on said project at the end of each Month for Payment. So would this classify as an invoice? I have designed my own in -house clock in portal.

    The guy you work for refers to himself as your boss. — No I do not consider myself their boss just a person of contact concerning any issue

    You have a specific schedule, are monitored by someone and are told when to take your lunch break. — No, they work when that want just as long as the assignment is completed before the deadline date.

    There are other people with whom you work that are doing the exact same job, but are classified as W2 employees.
    –No it is just myself and only the two i am looking to hire

    The company gives you a uniform and you are required to wear it. — No they work from home and can wear whatever they choose

    You drive a company vehicle. No– They have their own transportation.

    You have company business cards and a company email address.Yes– I will provide them with a personal email address that is under the Companies platform

    The company tells you when you can take vacation. No– They can vacation all they want just as long as the assignment is complete before the end of the month, there is no set time for them to clock in

    You are using a computer provided by the company. –No but i will make them sign a cell phone waiver to complete the job and to stay in communication

    The IRS calls and says, “We need to talk.” I speak with them to stay on top of things

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Sam: This is purely speculation on our part (as we are not employment or tax attorneys) but it looks like these two workers might qualify as 1099 contractors. Here is another question you might want to ask yourself: Do these two workers perform their work for other companies as well? That is a strong telltale in addition to the ones you mentioned. For clarity, we suggest you contact the Department of Labor in your state. Best of luck to you!

  52. Amy says:

    My husband works for a company as a full time employee and the company has parts that need to be assembled for their production team. If I (his wife) get a DBA, could the company hire me to assemble these parts? Is there anything illegal or a conflict of interest with him being a regular (W2) employee and me being a contract (1099) worker?

  53. stephanie says:

    My father in law works for a plumbing business at 1099. Recently he was in a car accident in the company van that he drives, a driver hit him from the back when he was stopped at a red light. The river was going 40+ mph and it resulted in a 4 car pile up with my father in law being the only person who had injuries requiring emergency care. He’s now on leave recovering from injuries, he does not have personal insurance but the owner of the business has insurance on the vehicle. Will my father in law be compinsated for time lost or medical expenses?

    • 10 til 2 Central says:

      Stephanie: This is definitely a question for an attorney; we suggest your family contact one. Best wishes to your father in law on a speedy and full recovery.

  54. HR says:

    I was hired for a “work from home” job and have been doing this for two years. I do work from home, and I am paid on a 1099. Recently, myself and the other 1099’s were forced to create LLCs. So, here is my issue… other than working from home, I have little control over my work. I have a virtual boss who emails and calls, constantly. We are told how to do our work, even down to the fonts that we need to use. I am also paid by the hour, not by the project. Furthermore, we are essential to the work that the company does. The company would not exist without us. We are work from home sales recruiters for a sales recruiting company. They give us 6-month contracts and just renew them again and again and again. Many of the other 1099s have been doing this work for years. More and more, I feel like myself and the other 1099s are completely being taken advantage of as I feel like we should be W2 work-from-home employees, not 1099s.

  55. Steven says:

    Wow, this is just sad to read. I can’t believe so many businesses either don’t know who gets a 1099 or are taking advantage of their employees by making them a 1099 so they don’t have to pay benefits and taxes. If you get a 1099, you should KNOW why you got one either from experience or contacting someone who does know.

    This is probably over simplifying, but If the person who pays you is your BOSS, you’re an employee end of story. If the person is your client you are a 1099. For a 1099 you are hired to do a job, for an employee you are hired to do work at a job. Employees have requirements, 1099s have requests.

  56. Nelson says:

    I work 1099 but my employer tells me I have to work Monday through Saturday from 8am to 7pm. I also clock in and out of work. I have to take my lunch break at 1 pm along with the rest of the company. There is also someone who works with me who does almost the exact same work but he is a w2 employee. Do you think I have a case of misclassification here?

  57. Michael says:

    I was just offered a remote position that is full-time 8-6 Monday through friday. I will have a company phone and business cards. I will also be submitting invoices. If I am considered full time and have a set schedule, should I be classified as 1099?

  58. Glenda says:

    My husband just started a job with a medical transportation company that takes people to their doctors appointments and dialysis appointments. They are calling him an independent contractor and pays him 43% of whatever the days take is and he’ll get paid weekly. This is only 1-3 days per week as he is on Social Security too. Should we be saving part of his earnings for FICA, FED and STATE taxes?

  59. Shea Drury says:

    I’m a Pilates instructor, I have my business set up as an LLC. I hold weekly pilates events in local breweries. I teach these myself, however, I’m looking to occasionally utilize the services of different instructors to cover for me. I’m not looking to hire anyone on a regular basis; this will be on an as-needed basis. I don’t want to have restructure my business as an S-corp, as I still only make less than $5,000 per year, and payroll would eat a big chunk! Can I simply have these instructors invoice me and treat them as a 1099 contractor? Will i then be able to deduct the cost of their services?

  60. max says:

    I looking into working for a courier service company who will 1099 me. I will use my own vehicle, and they will give me a cell phone so they can dispatch me work. My questions is: (1) Can I have this company 1099 my business instead of me? (2) If you’re paid weekly, does a company submit to the IRS your earrings weekly or at the end of the year? Last, (3) Can I deduct my vehicle gas, car insurance, and car payments? and my car’s monthly services, and my car’s weekly car wash? Thank you.

  61. Terry Bricker says:

    I was just hired by a painting co. And was told NOT to worry about the taxes. They pay me 14 an hour by co. Check and say its the same as making 18hr. They say they will 1099 me at the end of the year. I am told what to do,when to do it. I have a forman and a supervisor. No overtime even though i work 70-90hrs wk. I use all thier tools. What can i do so i wont be held responsible for the tax? I dont feel like a subcontractor and dont want to be. But i must! Work to pay bills???? I havent signed anything but they do have my ss#. Please help Thank you

  62. K Lipscomb says:

    I have a question. I work for a cell phone company where I am primarily the only worker. 98% of the time I am in the store alone. I have to wear a uniform and have a daily schedule but I receive a 1099 form around tax time and normally end up owing the IRS. I am trying to figure out, in the state of Arizona if I am eligible to receive paid sick time or any other perks that an employee would receive. HELP!!!! I have been at this job for about a year and a half but I’m not sure if I am being treated unfairly.

  63. Donel Meadows says:

    I worked for a company that required me to download an app on my phone to clock in and out and they could monitor if I was on site or not. Would I be considered an employee or contract labor?

  64. Kaliko says:

    It is my general understanding that you’re an employee if you are told when to come in, told what work to do, and use the employers resources. Form SS – 8 sent to the IRS will help clarify. I’m very tired of Secretarial work being misclassified. You pay double the taxes and do not get any protection like workers comp or unemployment. If a job tells me they’re going to 1099 me I tell them sorry I’m out of here. Only once did the person say I’ll do the right thing -amended to a W2

  65. Jerome lynn says:

    I have a question I build sheds and one contractor when he pays gives cash but ,say he owes you a thousand on pay day he wants to give us 800 and keep 200 to pay for his insurance and our taxes . I’ve been doing this 20 years and this is a first for me . My question is that even legal?

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