Consultants / Independent Contractors

Last Updated 06/03
Applies to Administrators and Staff


In situations where University departments use the services of outside consultants or independent contractors, specific criteria are used to determine the worker’s relationship with the University and thus the appropriate method of payment for their services. These criteria are defined by Internal Revenue Service guidelines and are reflected on the Individual Payment for Services form that is used for payment of independent contractors.

Determination of employee versus independent contractor status is based upon such criteria as:

  • Frequency with which services have been performed
  • If the payee is required to personally perform the services (no subcontracting)
  • If the payee performs the services only for the University and not for the general public or other clients
  • If the University sets the payee’s hours of work
  • If the payment is a salary or hourly versus a flat fee
  • If the task is performed on University premises
  • If the University furnishes the payee’s tools and equipment
  • If the payee is directly supervised by a Notre Dame employee

In general, all payments to Notre Dame employees should be processed using an Employee Status Form and are reported on their W-2 with applicable payroll taxes withheld. Exceptions are made for royalty payments and other qualifying payments such as payments for: book editing services, honoraria, and certain services related to athletics (e.g. referee, athletic official, timekeeper, and scorekeeper).

An affirmative response to any of the above criteria may indicate that the individual should be treated as an employee. Assistance in determining appropriate status and payment method can be obtained from the Office of Human Resources Employment Services.

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