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We have individuals who work for the church, such as the janitor, lawn maintenance worker, and part-time music director. Can these individuals be classified as contractors and not as employees?

This is a very common question but one that demands our careful attention. The law is very clear as to who is an employee. If you provide the place for them to work, provide them with the tools or equipment to conduct their work, supervise their activities, and assign a specific time and place for them to work, they will be considered as an employee and should be treated as an employee.

Another factor to the contrary is, if the person cleaning the church is in the “cleaning business” and declares themselves as such, advertises their business, etc., then this person would be a contractor.

So, the janitor, lawn maintenance worker, or part-time music director usually are considered to be employees. As such, the employee would receive a W-2 form and would be subject to income tax withholdings.

Beginning for the year 2016, the W-2 forms are due by January 31, 2017 and should be provided to the employee and mailed to the Social Security Administration by January 31.

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