It’s all about control. Regardless of what you call them, your “independent contractors” may very well qualify as employees for tax purposes. The degree of control the hiring party exerts over the party performing the work largely determines whether the person or company is an independent contractor or employee, regardless of the hiring party’s intention. Ensuring you have the proper contracts in place that clearly lay out the responsibilities of both the worker and the employer is an important step. These agreements should address specific information about things like the availability of employee benefits and the party responsible for tax reporting, among a number of factors that define the nature of the relationship between the hiring party and the contractor or employee.