Off Duty Police Officer is Independent Contractor

Many churches hire off duty policemen to assist with traffic control or provide security, and the question normally arises as to whether to treat them as part-time employees or independent contractors. Wages paid to a part-time employee would be subject to tax withholdings, and the individual could become eligible for other employee benefits. On the other hand, payments to an independent contractor are not subject to withholdings, and the person is not eligible for employee benefits. A recent tax court case considered this issue, and in this case, the off duty policemen was considered to be an independent contractor. He was paid by the hour, and the company that hired him did not provide him with any training or control the details of his job. He provided his own uniform and carried his own gun. His pay was reported on Form 1099-MISC, and he was required to report the income as a self-employed independent contractor. For more information about the case see http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/Specks.TCM.WPD.pdf