President Lincoln reportedly liked to pose this question: how many legs does a horse have, if we call his tail a leg?
The answer is four. The point is that calling the tail a leg does not make it a leg. It’s still a tail.
That is also the approach of the Department of Labor when it comes to “employees” vs. “independent contractors.” Calling the person an “independent contractor” does not make them one. DOL will look right past that agreement that you signed, and look instead at the actual relationship. If it looks like an employment relationship to DOL, they will treat it as such, with all of the tax consequences this entails.
DOL has recently issued an “Administrator’s Interpretation” that highlights this issue. Take a look at the document: http://www.dol.gov/whd/workers/misclassification/AI-2015_1.htm
This is a high priority issue with the DOL, and school districts can be prime targets for investigations.
DAWG BONE: CALLING SOMEONE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR DOES NOT MAKE THEM ONE.