Was Fired Dental Associate Classified as an Independent Contractor Incorrectly?

I just got canned yesterday because my boss found out I was shopping for a practice…

Now that I have some free time on my hands, I’d like to organize my finances.

The other associate that works there claims to be an IC.

The specialist claims to be an IC.

They both tell me how great it is to be INC. I have yet to incorporate.

I’m uncertain as to my status, and I’d like to get this straightened out.

I work(ed) Mon-Thurs. 9am-6pm.

My schedule was determined by the front office.

I don’t get to keep the patients.

All tools, supplies, etc were provided by the employer.

So what now? Is there an easy way to get a ruling as to whether I’m an employee or IC?

Quote Jason P. Wood (Dental Attorney):

NO CONTRACT!?!?!?!? That is great news!!!! For you, not the owner.

1. Patients are yours for the plucking

2. You may want to let them know that you feel “uncomfortable” at being classified as an IC and are going to inquire from the IRS as to whether or not you in fact were, just so you can sleep better at night.

3. You can set up shop next door and no one can stop you.

Thanks for the info so far… I will file an SS-8 inquiry with the IRS.

Please keep the comments coming though. I’m sure there is more to it.

I would also appreciate information about any personal experiences with IRS misclassifications.

Quote Tim Lott, CPA, CVA (Dental CPA):

How long were you working there? Why are you even asking these questions now AFTER you’ve been canned? Why didn’t it dawn on you to ask the question after your first check? Sorry, ignorance isn’t an excuse in the eyes of the IRS. I’m not trying to be mean, those are just the facts.

At this point if they did not withhold taxes and you were not provided a paystub detailing your tax withholdings as an employee then you’re an IC and by NOT questioning it after your first check I’d say you accepted that fact by default (or by your actions, or inactions) and you should just deal with it at this point.

That means figure out your net taxable income as an IC. Determine how much you want to contribute to a retirement plan. Determine how much home office expense you have to do your adminbooks for your business. Determine the business use of your automobile and estimate if you owe any estimated taxes from Sept 15th.

I just think it’s WAY too late to cry foul on the EE vs. IC issue AFTER you’ve been canned. You should have been raised after your first check if you were really concerned about it.

Just my opinion.

Just got my final check in the mail… and of course, it was short.

I guess the trickery and deceit continues.

Again, the EE vs. IC issue should have been addressed BEFORE you started or immediately after your first check. I suggest you work with what is and continue to move forward instead of worrying about what should have been. Certainly call them to the carpet on the amount you are still due.

P.S. I doubt you’ll find “if someone else pays your assistant’s wages you’re an employee” on any government agencies checklist to determine EE vs. IC status. These checklists aren’t industry specific.

This first appeared on Dentaltown.

Send your questions to Tim Lott, CPA, CVA at tlott@dentalcpas.com

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