For the unwary business owner, the terms "independent contractor" and "employee" may seem to be a question of whether the business owner or manager elects to issue a W-2 or 1099 to the worker in question. However, these words represent important distinctions that have been specifically defined by the Internal Revenue Service. A business owner who fails to properly classify its workers can suffer significant penalties and financial detriment.
Whether someone who works for you is an employee or an independent contractor is an important question. The answer determines your liability to pay and withhold Federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, and Federal unemployment tax. In general, someone who performs services for you is your employee if you can control what will be done and how it will be done.