Generally, employees are defined either under common law or under statutes for certain situations.taxmap/pubs/p51-001.htm#en_us_publink1000195510
Generally, a worker who performs services for you is your employee if you have the right to control what will be done and how it will be done. This is so even when you give the employee freedom of action. What matters is that you have the right to control the details of how the services are performed. Get Publication 15-A for more information on how to determine whether an individual providing services is an independent contractor or an employee.
You are responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes for your employees. You are also required to file employment tax returns. These requirements do not apply to amounts that you pay to independent contractors. The rules discussed in this publication apply only to workers who are your employees.
In general, you are an employer of farmworkers if your employees:
- Raise or harvest agricultural or horticultural products on your farm (including the raising and feeding of livestock);
- Work in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement, or maintenance of your farm and its tools and equipment;
- Provide services relating to salvaging timber, or clearing land of brush and other debris, left by a hurricane (also known as hurricane labor);
- Handle, process, or package any agricultural or horticultural commodity if you produced over half of the commodity (for a group of up to 20 unincorporated operators, all of the commodity); or
- Do work for you related to cotton ginning, turpentine, gum resin products, or the operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities.
For this purpose, the term "farm" includes stock, dairy, poultry, fruit, fur-bearing animal, and truck farms, as well as plantations, ranches, nurseries, ranges, greenhouses or other similar structures used primarily for the raising of agricultural or horticultural commodities, and orchards.
Farmwork does not include reselling activities that do not involve any substantial activity of raising agricultural or horticultural commodities, such as a retail store or a greenhouse used primarily for display or storage.taxmap/pubs/p51-001.htm#en_us_publink1000195512
If you are a crew leader, you are an employer of farmworkers. A crew leader is a person who furnishes and pays (either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the farm operator) workers to do farmwork for the farm operator. If there is no written agreement between you and the farm operator stating that you are his or her employee and if you pay the workers (either for yourself or for the farm operator), then you are a crew leader. For FUTA tax rules, see section 10
If you and your spouse jointly own and operate a farm or nonfarm business and share in the profits and losses, you are partners in a partnership, whether or not you have a formal partnership agreement. See Publication 541, Partnerships, for more details. The partnership is considered the employer of any employees, and is liable for any employment taxes due on wages paid to its employees.taxmap/pubs/p51-001.htm#en_us_publink1000195515
If you and your spouse materially participate (see Material participation on page F-2 of the Instructions for Schedule F) as the only members of a jointly owned and operated business, and you file a joint Form 1040, you can make a joint election to be taxed as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership. Spouses electing qualified joint venture status are treated as sole proprietors for federal tax purposes. Either of the sole proprietor spouses may report and pay the employment taxes due on wages paid to the employees, using the EIN of that spouse's sole proprietorship.taxmap/pubs/p51-001.htm#en_us_publink1000195516
If you and your spouse wholly own an unincorporated business as community property under the community property laws of a state, foreign country, or U.S. possession, you can treat the business either as a sole proprietorship (of the spouse who carried on the business) or a partnership. You may still make an election to be taxed as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership. See Exception—Qualified joint venture