TN 6 (04-10)

RS 02101.027 Factors to Consider to Determine Control


Internal Revenue Ruling 87-41

A. Factors of control

To determine if a worker is an employee, weigh the factors or elements that show control over the details of work against those that point to an independent contractor status. Any single fact or small group of facts is not conclusive evidence of the presence or absence of control. Weigh all facts before making a determination. It is the combination of these facts that determine an employer-employee relationship or independent contractor status. We discuss the main factors to consider in making employer-employee determinations in detail throughout this chapter.

B. Twenty main factors of control

SSA and the IRS compiled a list of twenty factors used in court decisions to determine worker status. They are an analytical tool and not the legal test for determining worker status. The purpose of the legal test is to determine the right to direct and control the means and details of the work. These are general guides intended to assist you in reaching a conclusion. The weight to give these factors is not always constant. Their degree of importance may vary depending on the occupation and the reasons for their existence. Some of them do not apply to particular occupations. Use judgment and discretion when applying these guides. The twenty factors used to determine worker status are:

  1. 1. 

    worker instructions

  2. 2. 

    work training

  3. 3. 

    integration of worker’s services in the business

  4. 4. 

    services performed personally

  5. 5. 

    hiring, supervising and paying assistants

  6. 6. 

    continuing work relationship

  7. 7. 

    set hours of work

  8. 8. 

    full-time work

  9. 9. 

    place where work is performed

  10. 10. 

    order or sequence set of services performed

  11. 11. 

    oral or written reports

  12. 12. 

    manner of payment

  13. 13. 

    payment of business expenses

  14. 14. 

    furnishing tools and materials

  15. 15. 

    significant investment

  16. 16. 

    realization of profit or loss

  17. 17. 

    working for more than one firm at a time

  18. 18. 

    availability of services to the general public

  19. 19. 

    employer’s right to discharge/terminate workers

  20. 20. 

    worker has the right to quit at any time

C. Reference

Social Security Handbook, Chapter 803: Factors which show control

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RS 02101.027 - Factors to Consider to Determine Control - 04/23/2010
Batch run: 07/03/2014