There are three categories of statutory nonemployees: direct sellers, licensed real estate agents and certain companion sitters. Direct sellers and licensed real estate agents are treated as self-employed for all Federal tax purposes, including income and employment taxes, if:

  • Substantially all payments for their services as direct sellers or real estate agents are directly related to sales or other output, rather than to the number of hours worked, and
  • Their services are performed under a written contract providing that they will not be treated as employees for federal tax purposes.

Companion sitters are individuals who furnish personal attendance, companionship, or household care services to children or to individuals who are elderly or disabled. A person engaged in the trade or business of putting the sitters in touch with individuals who wish to employ them (that is, a companion sitting placement service) won't be treated as the employer of the sitters if that person doesn't receive or pay the salary or wages of the sitters and is compensated by the sitters or the persons who employ them on a fee basis. Companion sitters who aren't employees of a companion sitting placement service are generally treated as self-employed for all federal tax purposes. However, the companion sitter may be an employee of the individual for whom the sitting services are performed; see About Publication 926, Household Employer’s Tax Guide.

For more information on statutory nonemployees refer to About Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide.