April 2017 Newsletter
In the April 2017 Newsletter you will find our important dates to remember, 5 ways to increase your happiness, the pro’s and con’s of hiring independent contractors and 3 easy ham glazes for Easter! Don’t forget Sunbiz Annual Reports are Due May 1st! Late filing is a $400 fee.
Pro’s and Con’s of Hiring Independent Contractors
What are the benefits of hiring independent contractors? Businesses can often save money by hiring ICs instead of employees. In addition to salaries, employers must pay additional expenses for employees, like payroll taxes, insurance premiums, and employee benefits. When hiring ICs, you don’t have these expenses. You can pay an IC to handle a specific task, allowing your business to get specialized expertise for a short period without having to pay for training. Once the IC’s job is complete, the contract ends and your business and the IC simply go your separate ways.
What are the risks of hiring independent contractors?
Many businesses are wary of using ICs because they have heard about the consequences of misclassifying workers as ICs when those workers should be classified as employees. It’s true that the consequences can be economically devastating. A business must pay the IRS all back taxes owed, with interest, plus a penalty of 12% to 35% of the tax bill. Another major disadvantage of hiring ICs is that they can sue you for negligence if they are injured on the job. This is something employees normally cannot do, because their work injuries are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
Once I hire an IC, are there steps I can take to avoid classification problems with government agencies?
Yes. For the most part, these strategies boil down to treating the IC like an independent business person rather than an employee. For example, you shouldn’t train or closely supervise an IC, nor should you require an IC to work certain hours or attend company functions.
Should I ask freelancers and consultants to sign written independent contractor agreements?
Absolutely. Using a written agreement avoids later disputes by providing a written description of the services the IC will perform, when they are to be performed, and how much the IC will be paid. A written IC agreement can also help establish that a worker is an independent contractor. For further assistance in determining if a worker is an employee or independent contractor visit our website for the IRS 20 Factor Test on Employment. |
1. Check your thoughts— overthinking a negative situation can also lead to over-dramatization of it. Quell the drama by concentrating on positive thoughts, and every time you catch yourself thinking negative, turn that thought around and look for the positive.
2. Create a gratitude journal—As Oprah became more successful, she started to realize that although her wealth, possessions and responsibility had increased, her happiness did not. She went back to journaling and now notes whenever she has a grateful moment. “I know for sure that appreciating whatever shows up for you in life changes your personal vibration.”
3. Do random acts of kindness— This can be as simple as holding the door, paying for coffee for the next in line, helping a co-worker bring in boxes, or saying “thank you” to the clerk at the office supply store. This simple act not only makes someone else’s day, it brightens yours as well.
4. Get physical— Exercise makes us feel better, look better and sleep better by releasing dopamine into the brain, easing stress and anxiety and increasing energy. Physical activity can also boost happiness, and significantly decrease depression.
5. Volunteer— Focus on others and less on yourself. Volunteering and helping others can help you reduce stress, combat depression, keep you mentally stimulated, and provide a sense of purpose. There may be no magic potion that bestows contentment, however, these practical steps will start you on your way.