Dear Tax Talk,
I worked for my employer from October 2014 to January 2015. I received $2,048.08 after taxes on a (mostly) biweekly pay schedule. The verbal employment agreement was that I would be paid biweekly and would get a W-2. I also have an email from the company owner to me on the company domain asking for my Social Security number so that the owner could file the W-2 before the deadline.

When I received my wage statement in February or March, I found that the owner had filed a Form 1099 for the wages paid instead of a Form W-2. For 6 months, I have asked the employer to resolve this and have failed to get a response. What recourse do I have? I still have not filed my 2014 taxes pending the outcome of this situation. Can you point me in the right direction?
— Gina

Dear Gina,
The Oct. 15 deadline for filing your Form 1040 tax return is fast approaching, and the IRS is ready to help you with filing your return and determining your employer situation.

First, as soon as possible, you need to complete and send in IRS Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. This is a 4-page form requiring detailed information, so do your best and, as it says in the instructions, “answer all questions as completely as possible.”

The IRS will acknowledge receipt of the Form SS-8, and your case will be referred to an IRS technician who will start the process of determining your status as an employee or subcontractor.

This will take time, as your employer will be contacted during the process.

Employee or contractor: What’s the difference?

  • You’re an employee if an employer controls the details of how your services are performed.
  • You’re an independent contractor if the person who pays you for your services has the right to control or direct only the result of your work, and not what will be done and how it will be done.

Source: IRS

More than likely, you will not hear back from the IRS before the deadline for your tax filing. So the next step is for you to complete your tax return and attach Form 8919, Uncollected Social Security and Medicare Tax on Wages. This form is used to figure and report your share of the uncollected Social Security and Medicare taxes due on your compensation.

You can get Form SS-8 and Form 8919, along with the instructions, from the IRS website.

Thanks for the great question, and best wishes for a quick resolution of this matter.

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