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Difficulties of self employment

© December 2005 Tony Lawrence

At Avoiding Employee Classification, we talked about the problem of being seen as an employee when you don't want to be one. Unfortunately, governments tend toward more strict interpretation because of abuse by employers wanting to avoid legally required employee benefits.

While I lean toward libertarian principles and say that you should be able to choose freely yourself whether or not you are an employee, it is unfortunately true that people can be forced into agreements that they really don't want to make, so government interference in this area is necessary. However, it can make it more difficult for people who really are deliberately choosing to be independent without coercion.

Governments are also very suspicious of tax evasion by the self employed, particularly if you are in a business where cash payments are common. That means that the self employed are more likely to be audited and have arbitrary assumptions applied to their income.

Because businesses you work with are also apt to be scrutinized for mis-classification of employees as independent contractors, you may be asked for forms or other proof of your independent status so that they can avoid problems with regulations.

It's too bad that greed, dishonesty and simple lack of decency can cause problems for those who legitimately and honestly wish to be independent.

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