Are you an employee, self-employed or an independent contractor?

The question of whether you are an employee or a self-employed
independent contractor is very important and may not always be easy to
answer. You should understand the category you fall under, since it will
affect how you pay your taxes.

You are an employee if:

Your payer (the company you work for/with) has the right to direct and
control your activity. The factors of control fall into three key


Behavioral control


Financial control, and


The relationship between you and your payer.

No one single fact determines worker classification, rather all of the
facts and circumstances of a relationship weigh in the correct worker
classification determination.

If you are an employee, you are required to report the wages you
received during the calendar year on your personal income tax return
because they are taxable income. Your employer is required to report
wages paid to you during the year on a Form W-2. Your employer is also
required to ask you to fill out a Form W-4 and you are required to
return that form to your employer. Form W-4 directs your employer on how
much tax to withhold from your pay.

You are an independent contractor if:


You have the right to direct and control the most important
aspects of your activity.

People such as contractors, subcontractors and auctioneers, who maintain
an independent trade, business or profession in which they offer their
services to the public, are generally independent contractors.

If you are an independent contractor, your income earned will be
reported to you by the payer on a Form 1099-MISC, unless the payer pays
you less than $600 in the calendar year. _*However, you must report all
the income you earned during the year*_, even if your client does not
issue a Form 1099-MISC for your services.

As an independent contractor you are self-employed and are generally
required to attach a business return to the annual income tax return
that you file and to pay estimated tax quarterly. Self-employed
individuals generally have to pay self-employment tax (Social Security
and Medicare tax) as well as income tax.

IRS Increases Standard Mileage Rate to 55.5 Cents per Mile

The Internal Revenue Service announced an increase in the optional standard mileage rates for the final six months of 2011. Taxpayers may use the optional standard rates to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and other purposes.

The rate will increase to 55.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011.

Gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure but other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs.

The optional business standard mileage rate is used to compute the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business use in lieu of tracking actual costs. This rate is also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage. But don’t forget, you must always keep a mileage log AND some form of verifiable evidence of mileage claimed.

The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute and remains at 14 cents a mile.

Below is a quick reference chart of mileage rates for 2011.

Mileage Rate Changes
Purpose Rates 1/1 – 6/30 2011 Rates 7/1 – 12-31 2011
Business 51 55.5
Medical/Moving 19 23.5
Charitable 14 14

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Great Service! Premiere Business Services provide great service. Not only do they do my payroll and deliver the checks to my door, they handle my taxes, and help fix my Quickbooks. They come to my office and help me work through the problems. They warn me of impending tax changes. They are my chief financial officer! How great is that!

Jim Elder, CEO/President of Allegra Marketing, Print & Mail

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Premiere Business Services has, on more than one occasion, saved our members time and money when it comes to their accounting and payroll services. Premiere Business Services is excellent for start up businesses because they understand the needs of the start up company. There is one time in particular that I remember Premiere Business Services saved our member almost $10,000 in taxes, just by reviewing the tax return and locating legal deductions and credits missed by our members CPA firm.

Richard Dillard, Vice President of Sales and Service, West Community Credit Union

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Melissa Wilson, Wilson Monnig Creative, LLC