Government Scrutiny of Misclassified Independent Contractors

Correcting Worker Classification, Analyzing Payroll Tax Impact, and Avoiding Benefits Pitfalls With Leased Employees

IRS expands Voluntary Classification Settlement Program

Recording of a 110-minute premium CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, June 6, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This teleconference will discuss IRS and DOL enforcement efforts regarding misclassification of independent contractors, minimizing tax liability and penalties by correcting misclassification, participating in the IRS's Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), and ERISA/benefit plan implications of worker misclassification and use of leased employees.


The IRS and DOL continue to aggressively pursue employer misclassification of independent contractors. Misclassifying workers subjects companies to liability for back payroll taxes and penalties, as well as potential adverse tax and ERISA consequences for benefit plans (e.g., pension, 401k, stock option).

The IRS VCSP allows participating employers to minimize potential payroll tax liability by reclassifying its independent contractors as employees. However, there are significant risks and pitfalls that employers must consider before participating in the VCSP.

The IRS recently expanded the VCSP by eliminating certain eligibility requirements so more employers can participate. For example, the IRS modified the requirement that companies not currently be under audit and waived the rule that required companies to have filed 1099s for misclassified workers.

Listen as our authoritative panel of practitioners reviews IRS and DOL enforcement efforts regarding misclassification of independent contractors and discusses how employers can minimize payroll tax liability. The panel will also provide perspectives on participating in the IRS VCSP and analyze potential adverse tax and ERISA consequences of worker misclassification, including the use of leased employees for employee benefit plans.



  1. Current IRS/DOL enforcement environment
  2. IRS SS-8 program
  3. Determining tax owed (Section 3509 retroactive relief and Section 530 safe haven)
  4. IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (eligibility, benefits and pitfalls)
  5. Tax/ERISA/benefit plan implications of misclassification and use of leased employees


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What is the IRS and DOL enforcement outlook for 2013 for companies that use independent contractors?
  • What are the risks and benefits of the SS-8 program, Section 3509 reduction of liability, and the Section 530 relief?
  • What are the terms, benefits, risks and exposures of the IRS VCSP?
  • How can the misclassification of independent contractors and the use of temporary or leased employees negatively impact the tax advantages of employer-sponsored benefit plans?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Mary Samsa
Mary Samsa

McDermott Will & Emery

Her practice focuses on executive compensation (for both taxable and tax-exempt entities) where she advises on...  |  Read More

Stephen D. Erf
Stephen D. Erf

McDermott Will & Emery

He focuses his practice on labor/employment counseling and litigation, restrictive covenants, wage and hour, union...  |  Read More

Ruth Wimer
Ruth Wimer

McDermott Will & Emery

She focuses her practice on matters related to executive compensation including international, fringe benefits,...  |  Read More

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