When you need eDiscovery services, there are plenty of reasons to take on a temporary worker instead of a full-time employee. Maybe you need help fast, maybe you’ve seen high turnover for the position, or maybe you don’t have enough hands in HR to work on hiring. Whatever your reason, your first instinct will likely have you turning to a staffing agency for help.
If you’re an attorney working as an independent contractor, determining how you will be labeled and taxed as a contracted employee includes getting to know the way the IRS classifies you as a worker. When it comes down to it, the company you are contracted with will need to decide if a W-2 or 1099 is filed. To help you better understand what this means for you, we break it down so you can fully understand before you commit and contracts are signed.
There are two primary differences between an employee’s and a contractor’s tax obligations: how and when they pay tax to the IRS, and what forms they are required to submit.
As a worker earning a salary or wage, you are used to receiving Form W-2 in the mail at the end of the year. IRS Form 1099 is the tax return form you’ll receive as self-employed individual from any client who has paid you at least $600 during the tax year. (Self-employed individuals are defined as anyone who carries on a trade or business as a sole proprietor or an independent contractor, are a member of a partnership that carries on a trade or business, or anyone who is in business for themselves, including part-time.) . Even if you are working under a contract company, like LexInsight, you will still receive a 1099 as an eDiscovery professional.
The biggest difference between a full-time employee and a contracted employee is simple: determining who pays what, and when. Because you don’t have an employer who normally withholds these taxes, you could also be subject to paying an estimated quarterly tax. Much like you, the government doesn’t like waiting to be paid. With estimated quarterly tax, you’ll need to send in 25% of what you estimate to owe next tax season using Form 1040-ES. The four dates for filing these taxes are April 15, June 15, September 15 and January 15 of the next year.
In addition to income tax, any contracted employee given a 1099 must pay what’s called a self-employed tax. This tax is a Social Security and Medicare tax, which is normally taken out of a full-time employee’s salary when she receives a bi-weekly or bi-monthly paycheck.
Though it does typically take more work come tax time, one of the perks of being a 1099 independent contractor is the list of eligible deductions. It may at first seem as though your taxes are higher than some of your peers. At the end of the day, however, your deductions are designed to keep you at a similar, if not lower, rate than full-time employees. Some of the deductions include things like the electronics you use while contracted, transit fees(including repairs to your car), and even your home office. You can find a full list here.
Contracted employees also lose out on typical benefits afforded to salaried employees, like health insurance benefits or retirement plans. Don’t worry — these costs are also deductible. In fact, health insurance premiums and costs are usually fully deductible.
For more information on how to file as a contracted employee, it is always best to consult a tax professional or the IRS Tax Code. Looking for more information on how to become a contracted eDiscovery document reviewer? Visit our website now and sign up free of cost today!
A malpractice lawsuit can be an attorney’s worst nightmare, putting a lawyer’s competency and ethics under the microscope. Considering the fact that five to six percent of all attorneys will face a malpractice claim this year, the cost of which usually outweighs the cost of insurance, choosing to operate without legal malpractice insurance is ill-advised.
As a contract attorney, you already know how complicated and involved a law career can be. Your time is literally money. Yet, there are a few easy ways you can make your hefty workload a lot more manageable. The key is to work smarter, not harder. By getting a bit more organized and giving yourself a leg up in terms of efficiency, you can transform your complex day-to-day routine into a streamlined methodology. Here are five of the best ways to make it all happen:
Thinking about transitioning from traditional attorney work to a career as a freelance attorney? You’re not alone. Many lawyers are choosing to leave the traditional practice of law, and for good reason: the interests of lawyers and law firms are often contrary to each other. Law firms are incentivized to make lawyers work more so that they can increase their billable hours. According to this study, lawyers often fall under the category of least happy workers in the US.
Lawyers are often so busy that holidays can come and go in a blur. In case you missed it, the New Year just rolled over. It’s 2017, and everybody is making New Year’s resolutions. And, why not? After all, the holidays are the perfect time to slow down to reflect on the past year and the steps we can take to improve in the coming year. While you’re deliberating about how to better yourself, why not commit to making your law firm better as well? As it turns out, what’s good for you is often just what your practice needs, too. Here are three New Year’s resolutions for your law firm that you can begin implementing today:
No matter how well your law firm is performing, there’s a great possibility that it hasn’t reached its full potential. Luckily, the implementation of a few small changes is often all it takes to boost productivity in a major way. In fact, there are a number of small changes that firms can make today to maximize productivity and boost profits. Below are a few ways in which law firms can supercharge their productivity by embracing a healthy balance between new technology and long-term thinking.
Contract attorneys perform work for a law firm pursuant to a contract. These legal professionals aren’t employees of the firm, but rather are either “on call” to assist when needed or are full-time employees who aren’t associates and not on the firm’s partnership track. Contract attorneys can be leveraged to help a law firm be more cost-effective and efficient.
The practice of law often involves long hours at a desk reviewing agreements, conducting diligence, or drafting complaints or memos. Often, many legal professionals make sacrifices for the sake of convenience and efficiency in an attempt to shorten a long workday or power through a tough week. A study conducted by the Forum for Health Economics and Policy found that working long weeks could have a detrimental effect on health by increasing the obesity rate due to three types of behavior:
Lawyers who studied hard, got good grades and passed the bar exam have all it takes to succeed, right? Not necessarily.