If I’m a college student who worked as a part-time receptionist in a pediatric medical office, what can I do if I got a 1099 instead of a W2?

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If I’m a college student who worked as a part-time receptionist in a pediatric medical office, what can I do if I got a 1099 instead of a W2?

My boss gave me 1099 form without asking me. I made only $8 per hour. And with 1099 tax form, I have to pay $2000 tax from my own pocket. My salary then is way less than the minimum wage. Is that legal for them to do it?

Asked on February 2, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you  were a part-time receptionist in the office, you *were* an employee not an independent contractor, and you should have received a W-2 (and had withholding taken out by your employer on your behalf). You should explain to your employer that you were an employee and needed the correct withholding and should get a W-2; you can direct him to both IRS and department of labor websites to verify for himself that under the conditions of your job, you were an employee, not an independent contractor (only true independent contractors, not part-time employees, get 1099s). If he won't do anything, you could contact the IRS to report a seeming tax violation, though, of course, doing so opens up a can of worms about your own taxes (e.g. if paid on a 1099 basis and you did not have money taken out of or withheld from your check, you should have paid quarterly estimates). As an alternative, since you possibly should be owed money (e.g. any tax payments which should have been made on your behalf), you may wish to consult with an attorney (many provide a free initial consultation to evaluate a case; you can ask about this before making an appointment) about whether you have a viable lawsuit.


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