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I feel like I've been taken advantage of and manipulated. I've always paid my taxes, but always used w-2 until this year. This year was the first time I was ever considered an independent contractor, And filing taxes was a nightmare because when I finally calculated my 1099 miscellaneous I discovered I wasn't getting money back as I usually did. This year, Because I filed a 1099 miscellaneous I had to pay $4000 in taxes. I've never had that much money in my bank account in my lifetime, I'm only 25 years old. I feel I was taken advantage of… The IRS independent contractor definition states, “People such as doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, accountants, contractors, subcontractors, public stenographers, or auctioneers who are in an independent, trade business or profession in which they offer their services to the general public are generally independent contractors. However, whether these people are independent contractors or employees depends on the tax in each case. The general Rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done. (I was a personal caregiver for this woman, by the way…I did private medical practices like suppository’s and bowel routines and she had no problem bossing me around ”wash my hair, shake down, soak my hair, warm my sholders, hand me the nossal, white rag, soap, blue rag, wash my lowers, shave my legs, non-stop…) From the moment I started working there, I was trained step-by-step on exactly what to do and how to do it. This contradicts independent contractor defined. I worked for this woman for one year and three months I made $15 an hour and generally worked 3 to 4 days a week 6-9 hours per day. She was constantly telling me exactly what to do and how to do it. I often described her as a micromanager. When I finally stopped working for her I even made a step-by-step what to do, when to do it, what she doesn't like, in biological order because she had a very intense regimen every other day for bathroom and shower, and a 2-3 day training period for her new contractors (I took that upon myself). I recently just read these definitions, and I think I should've been considered an employee by her. She always hang that over my head too, “you work for me” she would say. The IRS common law employee definition states, Under common-law rules, anyone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed. Is there anything I can do to amend my taxes so late in the game? I'm currently making payments to the IRS at $60 a month because I can't afford anything. Can I sue this woman for taking advantage of me, and what about everyone else she is taking advantage of? I was always there for her, now I see I was manipulated.

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P.S. Bureaucrats being the same the world over, only with different accents, I would say that I have often found tax people surprisingly sympathetic and helpful when I have got myself in paperwork pickles - as long as you never, never lie to them, never mess them around and are completely open about exactly what has happened. Have you tried asking the IRS for advice?
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Yeah, you've been ripped off. You weren't free to decide your work routine, you weren't free to provide services for other clients, you worked solely for this woman and she laid down all the terms and conditions. Contractor my foot.

Jeanne certainly knows a heck of a lot more about IRS rules than I possibly could; but as a matter of simple equity it is your de facto employer, surely, who should be liable for the unpaid taxes. I'd argue this because, although Jeanne is arithmetically correct that your total gross pay remains the same whether the contributions are made by the employer or the employee, you were kept unaware that what you were being paid was gross income, with tax liabilities to be deducted from it. If she'd done the job properly you would have been able to see that the true wage being offered was below market rate.

This "contractor" smoke and mirrors stuff is a way to hire private help on the cheap. I agree that your employer might well not have appreciated the true implications of what she was up to, but so what? - the onus was on her to know what she was doing.

Do you have access to any kind of pro bono legal advice service?
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Yes, you were this woman's employee. She should have been withholding tax money from your pay and adding employer's tax, and sending that to the IRS.

But she may simply not have realized that. She should have, yes. She should have looked into it. She should have had help setting it up. She may not have been deliberately manipulating you, though.

In other years you got money back because you had paid money in, and it was more than you owed.

That tax is due. You would have paid the employee's share if she had done this correctly. Now you also have to pay the portion she should have paid. It isn't the difference between paying or not paying. It is a matter of the amount.
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