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I am considering hiring 3-4 high school and college students who are advertising on Craigslist. Will be having them do about a week's-worth of heavy cleaning, tearing out some debris (old fence, kitchen cabinets), hauling stuff to the dump, and the like sometime this spring.

Are you considering deducting the expense, like is it for a rental property?

As far as I can tell at this point, Idaho has no laws requiring me to do anything, or regulating these kids. I believe that, from an IRS perspective, they'd be easily considered independent contractors.

I wouldn't be too sure. Are they going to be supervised? If so then I would question whether they are employees or independent contractors. It would sound more like employees to me. They might be required to have a business license in Id. in order to be independent contractors.

In Idaho, this is an important distinction. Worker classification affects how workers are paid and their rights under wage and hour laws. It also affects their eligibility for benefits and tax responsibility. Under Idaho laws an independent contractor is free from direction and control over how the work is performed. Some Idaho laws also require that independent contractors be established businesses which may include having business expenses and income. If you are unsure whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor, contact a local Idaho Department of Labor tax representative.

Here in WA this type of work is sales taxable. So if they were contract labor they would have to collect and pay sales tax. I don't know the rules about this in Id.

However, because of their ages, I'm a little concerned that they know nothing about filing self-employed taxes or insurance. I'm guessing about $10-$12/hour, so we aren't talking about a lot of money.

What are my legal and ethical/moral responsibilities?

As independent contractors they should bill you.

Look at #2 at this site:

One other thing to consider is insurance. What happens if one of these workers gets injured while working?

Depending on the ages there could be a problem with the use of tools and the age of the worker.

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