Should I have received a W-2 and reimbursement of FICA and Medicare taxes?

I was laid off in 2010 by my employer and was initially denied unemployment benefits because I had been classified as an independent contractor (without my knowledge). On appeal the ALJ found in my favor and I received benefits. I never got a W-2 from my employer, nor any compensation for the self-employment taxes I paid in lieu of the W-2.

I established an account with the SSA and I found out that I show no taxes SS earnings for 2000-2002 and 2008-2009, and in other years I show earnings that are much less than I remember earning. All of those years I worked for my former employer and because it was my parents' company their accountant did my taxes for me.

What in the world can I do?

1 answer  |  asked Aug 11, 2014 10:14 AM [EST]  |  applies to Florida

Answers (1)

Phyllis Towzey
It sounds like there's much more to this that what you were able to share in your question - I can only answer based on the information provided. That being said, although you state that you did not know you were classified as an independent contractor, you also state that you never received a W-2 and that you paid self-employment taxes. That sounds like you did know you were an independent contractor, and that you certainly knew your employer wasn't withholding taxes. Since you were paying the full 15% for Social Security yourself, it's unclear why you now say the earnings reported on your 1099 each year were incorrect, as you would have used that information to pay your taxes each year. Typically, an individual who is misclassified as an independent contractor is not able to recover the 7 1/2 percent of employer SSI as a reimbursement from the employer. You may have had a claim against your former employer under the Fair Labor Standards Act (if you should have been earning overtime as an employee working in excess of 40 hours per week), but if the job ended in 2010 you are already beyond the statute of limitations. If you believe the accountant who filed your taxes made errors, then you could look into that issue for potential liability - however, I assume you reviewed and signed your tax returns at the time they were filed. Since all of this occurred four years ago, I would advise you to seek legal and tax advice immediately if you want to pursue any possible remedy. I suspect, however, that there really isn't much you can do about this situation other than to consider it a lesson learned, and move forward.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Aug 11, 2014 10:32 AM [EST]

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