Saturday, October 8, 2011


IRS Announces New Voluntary Worker Classification settlement Program (VCSP)

The Internal Revenue Service announced a new program that will enable some employers to resolve worker classification issues by voluntarily reclassifying their workers. This new program will allow employers to resolve worker classification disputes by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit. Full details, including FAQs, are available on the Employment Tax pages of, and in Announcement 2011-64.

Under the program, eligible employers can obtain relief from federal payroll taxes they may have owed for the past, if they prospectively treat workers as employees. The VCSP is available to businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government entities that are uncertain whether to treat their workers or a class or group of workers as employees or independent contractors, and now want to correctly treat these workers as employees.

To be eligible, an applicant must:
• Consistently have treated the workers in the past as nonemployees;
• Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years; and
• Not be under audit by the IRS, the Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers.

Interested employers can apply for the program by filing Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, at least 60 days before they want to begin treating the workers as employees.

Employers accepted into the program will pay an amount effectively equaling just over 1 percent of the wages paid to the reclassified workers for the past year. No interest or penalties will be due, and the employers will not be audited on payroll taxes related to these workers for prior years. Participating employers will, for the first three years under the program, be subject to a special six-year statute of limitations, rather than the usual three years that generally applies to payroll taxes.