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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 12-16-2010, 12:18 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1
Default Leapforce taxes

I just started with Leapforce this past Monday. Love the job so far. For those of you who have worked with Leapforce for a long time, can you tell me how you handled taxes?

Federal: Did you file quarterly for estimated taxes or did you just wait until the end of the year to do it all at once?
State: I live in Columbus, Ohio. Do I need to file for both Ohio and California?
Local/City: Do I need to file for local taxes?

Thank you very much.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-16-2010, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 93
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You would have to check with your own locality about local (city and/or county) taxes, but it is unlikely you have to do anything there. The only possibility I can think of is a business license, and most places would not require it for this sort of work.

You don't have to pay California taxes unless you are working in California or are a California resident (full or part time). The fact that Leapforce is based in CA does not mean we have to pay CA taxes.

If Ohio has a state income tax, which I think it does. you will have to file there. You need to check (on their website would probably be easiest) to see if you need to do anything now, but it is unlikely you will earn enough, starting this late in the year, to have to worry about the state taxes until filing. In the future you may need to pay quarterly state taxes.

If you don't have other self employment income for 2010, it is unlikely you will earn enough to matter much for this year. Do be aware, though, that you will end up owing about 13 % of your earnings for self employment tax, as the self employed don't have an employer picking up the tab for half their social security and medicare payments. As to whether you will need to make quarterly payments in 2011, no one can really answer that for you without having the complete picture of your tax situation. If you do not make quarterly payments, and you end up owing money, you may have to pay penalties and interest for what they consider late payments. If you normally have a tax professional do your taxes, you should call and talk to them. If you do your own taxes, I would suggest you go to the irs.gov website and get their publication for small business owners, because that is actually what you are considered as an independent contractor. If you used Turbo tax, or other software to do your taxes last year, you can use that software to work out a rough estimate of how the added income you expect next year may affect your taxes. With all the credits, deductions, etc. that people get in different situations, there just aren't any simple answers. I'm sorry that I can't be more helpful and give you clear answers; but I work, full time, in a CPA's office, preparing tax returns during the tax season, so I know how complicated these things can be.

I hope you continue to enjoy this job. I have worked as a rater for LF for 16 months now, and, although some of the fun has worn off I am still very glad to still be working for them.

Good luck to you!
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2011, 11:38 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Default Available Tasks

Hi Diane,

I started working for them around the same time you started and I was wondering if you're able complete any tasks lately? When I logged on new years day it says; "No Tasks Available".

Diddy (Dee)
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2011, 07:45 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 6
Question Leapforce taxes

I also am filing taxes with Leapforce income for the first time, and was doing some research on the IRS site concerning self-employment taxes. I came across this info and am now wondering if we really are considered independent contractors in IRS's eyes (I know we are according to LF):

"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. The earnings of a person who is working as an independent contractor are subject to SE tax.

You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. What matters is that the employer has the legal right to control the details of how the services are performed.

If an employer-employee relationship exists (regardless of what the relationship is called), you are not an independent contractor and your earnings are generally not subject to SE tax. However, your earnings as an employee may be subject to SE tax under other rules discussed in this section."

Since LF tells us what to be done and how it will be done, this seems to me that we aren't independent contractors. Any ideas on this?
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2011, 09:56 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 93
Default Employee versus independent contractor

I think that, in the past, the search engine companys had in-house raters, rather than contracting out to intermediary companies who hired their own "independent" contractors. The change to the present system, I think, was made for financial reasons. It is much cheaper for the employing companies to have the work contracted out, so that they don't have to pay benefits or any share of taxes, or do the paperwork involved in all that. The rules about independent contractors are complex and there has been continuing conflict about them for years. I am sure that many attorneys have been involved in setting up the current system being used for raters, so that the IRS requirements are satisfied. The bottom line, for us raters, is that we do not get to make this determination for ourselves. We are paid as independent contractors and given 1099s. If we were employees we would be given W-2s and taxes, including Social Security taxes, would be withheld. You can't file your taxes as if you are an employee when that system is not in place. It is the employer who is responsible for making that determination and it is their responibility to get it right. As this system has endured for several years now, the odds are that the IRS is okay with it.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2011, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Salem, Oregon
Posts: 93
Default

"Since LF tells us what to be done and how it will be done, this seems to me that we aren't independent contractors. Any ideas on this? "

I think that whether LF tells us what to do and how to do it is open to interpretation. They don't tell us where to work or when to work. They provide work, and we choose which of it to do. We decide what kind of equiptment to use (within some perameters) and make our own decisions about how we approach tasks. LF gives us "guidelines" to help us produce acceptable results. I am not saying I, necessarily, agree with one side or the other. I am just trying to point out that these issues are not really clear cut.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 6
Red face

Thanks WAHgrandma. I do understand that we do have to file taxes as independent contractors because that is what our "employer" considers us to be. From my further research on the subject, I have found that there are ways around this, but they are time consuming. I would have to first file a SS-8 (Determination of Work Status) to have the IRS determine if I am correctly designated as an independent contractor. This process could take as long as 6 months. If the IRS determines that I am not an independent contractor, then I would have to file form 8919 (Misclassified worker) to determine my share of Medicare/SS taxes. I would assume that my employer would not be too happy if I did this, however, since the IRS would most likely contact them about the misclassification.

Regarding your second comment about what and how we work, I guess the line in the IRS verbage that stands out to me is "You are not an independent contractor if you perform services that can be controlled by an employer (what will be done and how it will be done). This applies even if you are given freedom of action. " We do have the freedom of our work setting and times that we work, but we really don't have much flexibility in the work that is given to us or how we are to do it (since there are quality reviews to make sure we are following the guidelines.)

I'm not trying to stir things up - I'm planning on filing as an independent contractor - I just wanted to see what others thought about it.
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