Employee or Independent Contractor? Know the Rules

IRS Small Business Week Tax Tip 2017-02, May 1, 2017

The IRS encourages all businesses and business owners to know the rules when it comes to classifying a worker as an employee or an independent contractor.

An employer must withhold income taxes and pay Social Security, Medicare taxes and unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. Employers normally do not have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

Here are two key points for small business owners to keep in mind when it comes to classifying workers:

  1. Control. The relationship between a worker and a business is important. If the business controls what work is accomplished and directs how it is done, it exerts behavioral control. If the business directs or controls financial and certain relevant aspects of a worker’s job, it exercises financial control. This includes:
    • The extent of the worker’s investment in the facilities or tools used in performing services
    • The extent to which the worker makes his or her services available to the relevant market
    • How the business pays the worker, and
    • The extent to which the worker can realize a profit or incur a loss
  2. Relationship. How the employer and worker perceive their relationship is also important for determining worker status. Key topics to think about include:
    • Written contracts describing the relationship the parties intended to create
    • Whether the business provides the worker with employee-type benefits, such as insurance, a pension plan, vacation or sick pay
    • The permanency of the relationship, and
    • The extent to which services performed by the worker are a key aspect of the regular business of the company
    • The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses

The IRS can help employers determine the status of their workers by using form Form SS-8, Determination of Worker Status for Purposes of Federal Employment Taxes and Income Tax Withholding. IRS Publication 15-A, Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide, is also an excellent resource.

Original Article

Hire a Hoosier Veteran!

Registration for the 11th Annual Operation Hire A Hoosier Veteran Employment Fair is now open.  We look forward to once again connecting actively hiring Hoosier employers with job seeking Veterans, current service members, and their family members.  OHHV will be April 19th, 2017 10am-3pm at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  More information will be forthcoming on preparation workshops.

Job Seekers: Free as always.  We strongly encourage job seekers to register online and to attend a preparation workshop prior to the fair.  Nearly all past participants have said it was worth the effort and enhanced their job searching.

Employers: We have four great registration options to meet the needs of employers. New this year, we hope to offer a preparation workshop covering HR/employer aspects to recruiting and managing Veterans.

Non-Hiring Community Organizations: For organizations that would like to participate, but are not actively recruiting for employees.   This typically includes Veterans Service Organizations, Government programs/agencies supporting Veterans, schools and training opportunities, and other civic organizations.  As Operation Hire A Hoosier Vet is first and foremost an Employment Fair, hiring employers have priority for our limited booth space.  Your registration does not guarantee we will be able to offer you a booth.

Apple Hacked?!

WHAT HAPPENED: Recent news reports indicate that Apple has been threatened by a malicious hacking group.  Apple was instructed to comply with certain demands by April 7 or all data will be removed from the 300 million iPhones, iPads, and other devices that are connected to allegedly compromised iCloud accounts.

WHAT CAN YOU DO:  Ensure you are properly protecting your iCloud account by resetting your iCloud account password and taking full advantage of Apple’s Two-factor Authentication services.

The two-factor authentication feature can be enabled right from your iPhone in just a few simple steps:

  1. Go to Settings > iCloud > tap your Apple ID
  2. Tap Password & Security
  3. Tap Turn on Two Factor Authentication

We encourage you to take these steps at your earliest convenience.

 

Wear that gorilla down!

Success is like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired.

Scott Lynch Agency

Cyber Crimes Still Common—and Expensive

by Amanda Prischak on February 23, 2017

We’ve reported before on how common—and how expensive—identity theft can be. Sadly, it appears that this is still the case.

Research from Hartford Steam Boiler shows that 37 percent of Americans’ accounts were hacked in a recent year. That’s a surprising statistic—and it wasn’t the only shocked contained in the report. Other ones included:

  • Cyber crimes cost you. Victims of cyber crimes nearly always spent money to recover from an attack. The main costs were to restore data and purchase software. In 23 percent of these cases, people spent between $1,000 and $5,000 per incident.
  • Young people are affected the most. Almost half of those who experienced a cyber attack (42 percent) were between 18 and 24. Another 34 percent were between 55 and 69, while 22 percent were older than 70.
  • Cyber extortion is on the rise. A cyber extortion threat or demand was experienced by 11 percent of respondents. More than half (53 percent) of them refused to pay, although some paid multiple times—15 percent of them four or more times.

Experts warn that these kinds of crimes will likely only grow as a result of the many devices Americans use on a regular basis. While there are many steps you can take to prevent identity theft, no measure is 100 percent fullproof. That’s why it’s worth looking into identity recovery coverage. It will help you undo identity theft damage and reimburse you for covered losses like lost wages, administrative expenses and even some legal fees. It protects everyone in your household, including your children. An Erie Insurance agent can tell you more about this affordable coverage.

Original Article: Cyber Crimes Still Common—and Expensive

Driven — Behind the Wheel Trucker Documentary

Driven — Behind the Wheel Trucker Documentary – YouTube

Former Yale University swimmer and aspiring Olympian Siphiwe Baleka is on a mission: end the trucker health epidemic. See how he went from the pool to “the pull” in Driven, the second installment in our Behind the Wheel trucker documentary series.

View the video here: Driven — Behind the Wheel Trucker Documentary