On December 16, 2014, the Department issued three assessments to the Taxpayer for gross receipts tax, penalty and interest for the tax periods from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009, January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010, and January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. The Taxpayer filed protests to the assessments. The Taxpayer has been collecting disability for several years. At some point after becoming disabled, the Taxpayer began doing work at his local church parish. At some point in 2007 or 2008, the priest requested that the Taxpayer oversee some construction and restoration projects that the church was undertaking. The priest offered to compensate the Taxpayer for his services, and the Taxpayer accepted. The Taxpayer did this for several years, including 2009, 2010 and 2011. The church paid the Taxpayer and the other individuals who worked on the projects. The church issued 1099s to some of the workers, and W2s to others. The Taxpayer was issued 1099s for 2009, 2010 and 2011. The Taxpayer included the income listed on the 1099s in his personal income taxes, but was not filing or paying gross receipts taxes. The Taxpayer argues that he was an employee of the church, and not an independent contractor who would be subject to gross receipts tax. Though the Taxpayer claimed to be an employee of the church, but several factors showed that he was an independent contractor. These factors include that he was given 1099s, showed that he was able to retain or dismiss some workers without approval of the church, and that the church did not withhold tax from his pay, pay FICA, cover the Taxpayer under workman’s compensating, or pay unemployment insurance, do not support that the Taxpayer was an employee of the church. The Taxpayer was an independent contractor and gross receipts tax did apply to his receipts for performing services for the church. The Taxpayer’s protest was denied.
Francis J. Brown