Since I’m misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, if my employer gets caught, can I also be in legal trouble?

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Since I’m misclassified as an independent contractor instead of an employee, if my employer gets caught, can I also be in legal trouble?

Asked on October 26, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The fact that your employer "gets caught" does not automatically get you in trouble; you would only owe additional taxes if you are audited or your returns otherwise reviewed and the IRS determines that you did not in fact pay all the taxes you were supposed to pay, owing to your income and employment status. It is not at all a given that the IRS will look at you if they look at your employer; and even if they do, while you might owe more taxes (i.e. any amounts you should have paid, had you been properly classified), if you had good cause for how you treated your taxes and did so in good faith, you are very unlikely to owe any penalties or fines--you'd just owe the extra taxes themselves, plus any interest.


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