I'm NOT Your Employee
OK, so it's tax time. Those of us who pay them have a lot to think about this time of year. Those of us who basically work for ourselves and freelance the year through, feast or famine, need to pay some special attention to what we pay and how we're paid - or pay we will.
I am no fan of the IRS at all, believe me - especially in the current Administration. But, that's a different entry. Anyway, I have been to countless lectures and have heard from many experts on what the differences are between being an independent contractor (freelancer) and an employee. Been there, done that. I know I am not an employee.
For those of you who may want a quick low-down, here are a few quick items of note (borrowed from my friend, Shel Perkins, who is THE guru in the business of design):
* You don't need training from the person who hires you
* You set your own hours (thank God!)
* Not a continuing relationship (I have issues with long term relationships anyway - oops, that's another different entry)
* You have the time and can pursue other work
* You pay your own expenses (shaky as they may be)
* You can work for many different clients at the same time
Shel offers the 20 factors that the IRS looks for when determining if you're truly a contracted worker or hiding under the skirt or pantleg or your employer - but these six are pretty clear to me. They're all in the March/April issue of STEP.
There are many different ways in which we, in the design profession, work to make our income, or a little extra income in order to make ends meet. I just think it's wise to pay attention to what we're doing and how we're doing it. We have enough stress in our lives with deadlines and clients without having to worry about Big Brother knocking on our door - even if he works for the "village idiot". (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)