Independent Contractor Classification

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University Policy Number 2229

Categorized:

Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

Steps for Purchasing Consulting Services

Related Law & Policy:

Federal Tax Code, 26 C.F.R. § 31.3401(c)-1

Policy 2221: Background Investigations

Policy 2224: Recruitment and Hiring of University Employees

 


I.  Scope  

This policy applies to anyone contracting for services to be paid by George Mason University, regardless of the source of funds. This policy affects payments for services made to individuals, partnerships, sole proprietors, or other entities or associations.

II.  Policy Statement

Service providers must be properly classified as employees or independent contractors in accordance with federal and state tax and employment laws. Proper classification of a worker determines the University’s tax withholding and reporting obligations.  Prior to engaging the services of any individual, the hiring or contracting department must complete the Employee/Contractor Evaluation Form. Individuals shall be presumed to be employees of the University unless the relationship satisfies IRS standards for independent contractors.

For the purposes of this policy, an Employee is a service provider over whom the University exercises direct control, specifying what must be done, how it must be done and the result to be accomplished.  For example, employees are usually assigned work schedules and assignments; provided training, tools, and materials; and have a continuing relationship with the University. Any individual performing a teaching function must be treated as an employee.

An Independent Contractor is a service provider responsible for the means and methods of completing a task specified in a contract with the University.  Independent contractors are paid for performing the service and not for the hours worked. Independent contractors may be individuals, sole proprietorships, partnerships, and other organizations (either for profit or non-profit).

 III.  Compliance

Payment requests for services submitted to Accounts Payable must follow the procedure for purchasing consulting services, including a completed Employee/Contractor Evaluation Form.  Accounts Payable in conjunction with Human Resources and Payroll will review the payment request and make a determination.  In cases where there is disagreement, the Chief Human Resource Officer and the Controller will make the final determination.

IV.  Forms

Employee/Independent Contractor Evaluation Form

 V.  Dates:

 Effective Date:   

This policy will become effective upon the date of approval by the Senior Vice President and Provost.

Date of Most Recent Review:

 N/A.

 VI.  Timetable for Review

This policy, and any related procedures, shall be reviewed as needed.

 VII.  Signatures

Approved:

                        __________/S/________                                  ______8/5/13_______

Senior Vice President for                                         Date

Administration and Finance

       Approved:

                        __________/S/________                                _______8/5/13______

Provost                                                                       Date