Discussion:Home medical help

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> Advanced Tax Questions --> Home medical help


Discussion Forum Index --> Tax Questions --> Home medical help

Ztom (talk|edits) said:

12 August 2012
I have hired a person to care for my friend. She works around 10 hours per day and I pay her $16 per hour. My question: Is she an employee or contract labor.?. She is not a rn nor a nurse. She changes him, bathes him and feeds him. He really needs 24 hour care per Dr. She does not do houswork.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

12 August 2012
From what facts you have given, almost certainly an employee.

Separate question. You are paying these expenses. They are medical expenses (see Publication 502 under "Nursing Services". Are they deductible by you?

Ztom (talk|edits) said:

12 August 2012
He is paying the bills we write the checks from his account. We are going to take a medical expense for the costs.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

12 August 2012
Got it. His worker, his economic cost, you help by hiring person for his care and writing checks on his account.

Hammock (talk|edits) said:

12 August 2012
As a check writer, you would be liable for payroll taxes if not paid for an employee even in this situation. No good deed goes unpunished!

Ztom (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
the person doing the work does this for a living. She just finished another job for an elderly person. Does this have a consequence on Contract Labor or Employee.

Ztom (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
the person doing the work does this for a living. She just finished another job for an elderly person. Does this have a consequence on Contract Labor or Employee.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
Not particularly. The arrangement between this person and your friend is what you meed to look at. There are many individual home-caregivers out there who go from job to job. That does not necessarily make them ICs (nor does it necessarily preclude that status). Look at all the tests. It is hard to picture, in your friend's circumstance, how the facts in your OP amount to anything but employee relationship. But if there are other facts that help, let us know. Apply the published tests.

Also, the fact that she just finished another job, which at first glance might sound like she is a contractor going from job to job, does not itself control. It is just one fact. Working 10 hours daily for one patient at the patient's home until, perhaps, the patient dies or goes into a nursing home, sounds like employment. Sometimes those jobs last for years.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
Publication 15-A lists the tests starting at page 7.

Doug M (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
If this worker does this work for a living, it sounds like s/he is self employed. There is actually a very good summary of this issue in the instructions for Schedule H. It has some good examples on page H-2.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
Here is what I find in the source you reference. Workers who are not your employees. Workers you get from an agency are not your employees if the agency is responsible for who does the work and how it is done. Self-employed workers are also not your employees. A worker is self-employed if only he or she can control how the work is done. A self-employed worker usually provides his or her own tools and offers services to the general public in an independent business. Am I reading the right stuff? If so, how do you conclude he or she is self-employed?

Doug M (talk|edits) said:

13 August 2012
From this quote above by Ztom

the person doing the work does this for a living. She just finished another job for an elderly person

My experience is that many times these workers are not full time employed by one client, but work varied schedules for many clients during a week/month/year.

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

14 August 2012
I'd be interested to see more TA discussion on this. I hope you are right. I'd like to be convinced. So far, i am not.

Hammock (talk|edits) said:

14 August 2012
I think the issue is still is it worth the risk to you as the check writer to assume the risk?

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

14 August 2012
"the person doing the work does this for a living." That can cut both ways; if she does work for several people at once, the case for self-employment would be strong, but "She works around 10 hours per day." For the sake of the next person, I would hope she is not off to another patient????? Sounds more like she does one job at a time, like union electricians or the like.

A client of mine whose mother lived in Westchester County NY, worried about her mother and her aide, talked to his mother's insurance agent who convinced him that the person should be on payroll....same scenario.....no medical help but the aide would sometimes lift the mother etc.....agent worried about a claim for injury.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

15 August 2012
Does the lady treat her business like a business? If she has a business card, get one. What kind of statement does she give?

I think this nurse goes from one person to the next. She's in demand and she's probably self employed. Her business is to give patient care in the home. The man does not control what is patient care. Patient care is standardized. This is something the lady has learned. She knows how many ways people can fall in the bathroom, all those kinds of things. What is a comfortable shoe for the sick. A good sock that won't bind the ankle, etc. Where to get a bargain on a cane.

Different skin emollients, she knows. Odor control, mastered.

She can watch someone totter and predict with remarkable accuracy the direction they will fall (like an experienced lumberman can do with a tree). Therefore the patient does not direct her work, the nurse knows what to do. No control here. That would be my argument.

Keep all the paper evidence like business cards, picture of the magnetic sign on her car, invoices; and try to get her on tape saying that she works for herself. It would be nice if she had a form contract she used for her services, in large print. "Sally's Nursing and Home Care, Agreement to Provide Services".

Podolin (talk|edits) said:

15 August 2012
Assuming, as I do, that you are all serious, I confess I am amazed. Not disagreeing, just amazed. This looked to me like a clear employee situation. As I said above, I hope you are right.

Fr. Mackelhenry (talk|edits) said:

15 August 2012
Back when I was a baby there was a lady who worked in our area named Miss Dean. She knew her babies. She would come into the home of the new parents and help the mother with the baby the first two weeks to a month. Back then all mother's were considered in a somewhat delicate state after giving birth, and usually they were iron poor.

Miss Dean was a stern but kindly old bird. She made a great impression on me as a newborn. She was one of those people who could only read out loud. She would read her "Dr. Spock on Babycare" while she rocked me. This was the first book I ever encountered and I can still quote entire passages from the book today.

The lady ran a business and she was in great demand. It's a business.

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

15 August 2012
In a case where the aide spends 8-10 hours a day with the person, I have to agree with you, Len.....and for any who wish to treat the aide as an IC, I would make damn sure h/she carried insurance, for any accident helping this 'invalid' will surely come back to haunt when suit is brought. A nice back injury while helping the patient out of the tub, or a tumble down the stairs as the patient grabs the arm and pulls the aide with him is not going to be covered by most homeowner insurance.....penny wise/pound foolish.

Smokeytax (talk|edits) said:

16 August 2012
You can, and probably should, buy Worker's Compensation insurance even if you treat her as an independent contractor.

MWPXYZ (talk|edits) said:

16 August 2012
The National Private Duty Association website, under Quicklinks, has quite a bit of information on this topic; and deals with other employee/sub issues, other than tax; that you may find useful.

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools