Independent Contactor

What if the work is to be performed outside of Massachusetts?

Requests for work to be done outside of the United States present different challenges and
risks. If you plan to engage someone outside of Massachusetts, you should understand that
Harvard is not registered as an employer in every state. If the individual is not eligible for IC
status, options to engage the individual may be limited. Every situation will be unique so please
be sure to allow enough time for proper determination.

What if the work is to be performed outside of the United States?

Requests for work to be done outside of the United States present a difficult and still more
complex set of challenges and risks. If you plan to engage someone outside of the United
States, you should understand that each situation will be unique as the country in which the
work will be performed has their own set of labor laws. When considering an IC who will
perform the work outside of the United States, please be sure to allow enough time to work with
the available resources to reach for proper determination.

If someone is misclassified, what happens?

Penalties, taxes and fees are significant.

  • Harvard will be liable for triple damages awarded on the value of the contract, plus 
    benefits that would have otherwise been paid, without exception.
  • FAS will be liable for payroll and other taxes, Interest, attorney’s fees for the plaintiff 
    or the state as well as potential additional civil penalties.

What if I need to hire an IC for one day or one event only?

If you need to retain someone for one day or one event and 1) have not hired them as an IC
previously within the past twelve months; and 2) will not hire them again for the next 12 months
period, the individual may be hired as an IC because the University has determined that this
poses a low risk. Requests of this nature will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What are the other classifications that I may consider and who can help me determine another classification?

Options include temporary employees, term employees, LHT employees and interns. You
should work with your IC Liaison to determine the best classification. It may also be possible to
engage the individual’s services through some other alternative such as through a vendor
relationship with a third-party employer or another institution.

Our process is driven by the laws and regulations noted above. No exceptions exist in the
statutes and there is no location, frequency or dollar amount threshold or exception.

What is included in the IRS 23-Factor Questionnaire?

The IRS 23-Factor Questionnaire includes questions that pertain to three categories:

    1. Behavioral Control (the degree to which the individual controls the performance of the work)

    2. Financial Control (the degree to which the individual assumes financial responsibility
      for the performance of the work and the business)

    3. Relationship of the Business and the Worker (the degree to which the individual and the business can be shown to be independent from the control of FAS)

    How do I request IC status for an individual?

    You should have a conversation with your HR Consultant who will help you decide whether
    or not you should proceed with the request for IC status. If you choose to proceed, you must
    complete the following and submit them to your IC liaison for review:

    • Massachusetts and IRS Tests for IC Determinations
    • IRS 23-Factor Questionnaire
    • Statement (description) of Work