IRS Voluntary Classification Settlement

The Internal Revenue Service has announced a new Internal Revenue Service Voluntary Classification Settlement program that provides partial relief from federal employment taxes for eligible taxpayers that agree to prospectively treat workers as employees.

The Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) allows eligible taxpayers to voluntarily reclassify their workers for federal employment tax purposes and obtain relief similar to that obtained in the current Classification Settlement Program (CSP).

The VCSP is optional and provides taxpayers with an opportunity to voluntarily reclassify their workers as employees for future tax periods with limited federal employment tax liability for the past nonemployee treatment.

To be eligible, a taxpayer must have consistently treated the workers as nonemployees, and must have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years. The taxpayer cannot currently be under audit by the IRS. Furthermore, the taxpayer cannot be currently under audit concerning the classification of the workers by the Department of Labor or by a state government agency. A taxpayer who was previously audited by the IRS or the Department of Labor concerning the classification of the workers will only be eligible if the taxpayer has complied with the results of that audit.

Participating taxpayers will pay 10 percent of the employment tax liability that may have been due on compensation paid to the workers for the most recent tax year, determined under the reduced rates of section 3509 of the Internal Revenue Code.  Participating taxpayers will not be liable for any interest and penalties on the liability and will not be subject to an employment tax audit with respect to the worker classification of the workers for prior years.

A taxpayer participating in the VCSP must agree to extend the period of limitations on assessment of employment taxes for three years for the first, second and third calendar years beginning after the date on which the taxpayer has agreed under the VCSP closing agreement to begin treating the workers as employees.

Click here for the a copy of IRS Announcement 2011-64