Know The Rules Before The Internal Revenue Service Knocks On Your Door

If you rent a shoeing rig to other farriers, are they employees, subcontractors or independent contractors?

The following is a scenario being used by a full-time farrier. His name, town and state are not being provided in order to keep an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agent from knocking on his door in regard to this unusual hoof-care business arrangement.

  1. A farrier has two fully equipped trucks. One is a truck that he works out of as a full-time farrier while trimming and shoeing.
  2. He has a friend who has occasionally trimmed and shod horses as a part-time farrier in the past while holding down a non-equine job. The friend now wants to spend more time doing footcare and less time working at his other job. This friend uses the full-time farrier’s second truck during the first and third weeks of each month and works the remaining 2 weeks at his regular job. In exchange for providing the truck and farrier tools, the full-time farrier is paid a commission on each horse the friend trims and shoes.
  3. The full-time farrier’s wife does the scheduling for both farriers. The full-time farrier also refers horse owners looking for a new farrier to the friend.
  4. In addition, the full-time farrier has a recent shoeing school graduate who works as an apprentice on a regular basis.

By next spring, the farrier believes he can turn the apprentice loose with the second truck to work on a subcontract basis during the second and fourth weeks of each month.

With this arrangement, the second truck will be used every week of the month.

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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