If you do a bit of research on paying people being compensation or whether to treat them as employee or independent contractor, you will see an obvious trend in the discussions.
If someone is providing services to your church and you pay them, there is usually going to be some taxable income. It is fairly unusual for those services to be in the category of independent contractor.
Corey Pfaffe has three more Q&A discussions posted at MinistryCPA blog. All deal with whether amounts paid to a person for services are taxable and whether such payments should be reported on a W-2 as an employee or on a 1099 as an independent contractor:
- Compensation to Volunteers
- Classifying Church Leaders as Non-Employees
- Employee or Independent Contractor
Here is a greatly oversimplified, one-question test. Is the service provider serving just your church or do they have a number of other customers?
(Embedded in that one question are many other issues, such as control over when and how services are provided, bringing your own tools, level of supervision, amount of training or instruction, and possibility of having a profit or loss. See, I said it was a simplified question.)
If you have questions, consult a tax professional. For a first round of research, try going to MinistryCPA and typing ‘independent contractor’ in the search box.