Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Question of the Week

What is an independent contractor and can PTAs use them?

An independent contractor generally includes any person or entity retained for a limited duration (generally not to exceed one year) to provide professional or specialized services that may not be readily available otherwise.  Such persons are often paid either on an hourly or project basis as opposed to weekly or monthly.  Also, their work is not subject to the control of the person or entity that hires them.  Because they are not employees, independent contractors are not entitled to benefits provided to employees under federal and state employment laws. PTAs may use an independent contractor, but should use these guidelines when hiring their services:
  1.  Ask to see the independent contractor's business license.
  2. Ask to see a certificate of insurance.
  3. Sign a contract with the party PTA is hiring.  See pages 25-28 in PTA and the Law for information on writing contracts.   You could be sure to state in your contract that the person is an independent contractor.
  4. Make sure the activity is truly a PTA activity so that it covered by the PTA insurance.
 When hiring instructors there are some things to remember.
  1. They are either an employee or an independent contractor.
  2. To be an independent contractor, the instructor should have a business license.
  3. They would complete an IRS W-9 form. (user name and password
  4. A sample contract that you would have the independent contractor sign is available here  (user name and password are on the cover pages of Leadership Packet handbooks)
  5. An independent contractor is not covered by AIM Insurance.  They need to have their own liability insurance.
  6. If your PTA pays an instructor $600 or more in a calendar year (Jan. – Dec.) then you would complete IRS Form 1099 for them by January 31st.
  7. If they are not an independent contractor then they are an employee.  You will have to follow IRS regulations and Washington State Employment regulations.