Learn More About the 1099 Rules for Hygienists

1099 Form: Hygienists

Professionals That Choose to Offer Services Using the GoTu Platform Are Properly Treated as 1099 Independent Contractors

What is GoTu and how does it differ from a dental office or temp agency?

GoTu is a technology company that operates a multi-sided digital website or application (“Platform”) that allows licensed dental offices and licensed, National Board of Dental Hygiene Certified registered dental hygienists (“Hygienists”) to connect with each other and form short-term, business-to-business arrangements under whatever terms.

The Platform provides dental offices with credential compliance, manages internal schedules, and eliminates the need for agencies by advertising open shifts directly to Hygienists. GoTu requires Hygienists to provide their own Occupational Accident Insurance (“OAI”) and malpractice insurance or to purchase it through the Platform. Hygienists must prove their credentials before being allowed to offer services to clients using the Platform. Once they do so, they gain access to hygienist opportunities posted by dental offices in a geographic area identified by the Hygienist. Hygienists have full autonomy to choose the date, time, dental office, and rate based on specific requests made by the dental office and negotiated by the Hygienist. Hygienists can also choose not to provide services at all or for significant periods of time.

All services offered by Hygienists utilizing the Platform are offered as independent contractors. GoTu is not a staffing agency and does not place employees for these short-term opportunities. GoTu neither employs Hygienists nor provides dental services. GoTu is not a dental office; it is not affiliated with any of the Hygienists or dental offices who use its Platform. GoTu provides access to a two-sided marketplace platform and ensures credential compliance and payment.

How can GoTu give 1099s?

A 1099 is not a classification; it is a type of IRS form that most closely identifies the worker situation. Differentiating between employees and independent contractors requires businesses to apply confusing and sometimes inconsistent state laws that change and evolve. This confusing system is only exacerbated by the multi-party system necessary to facilitate large-scale temporary work as GoTu does. To understand the legal relationship between GoTu and its professional users, it is essential to understand that the users are not employees of either GoTu or the dental offices using the Platform.

It is important to consider the following general protocols followed by GoTu in classifying Hygienists as independent contractors:

  • GoTu and the Hygienist users agree in writing that the Hygienist is an independent contractor, in law and in fact.
  • The relationship between GoTu and Hygienists under the Terms of Service is temporary and sporadic; it is not permanent or ongoing.
  • The Hygienist has no authority to bind GoTu or its affiliates.
  • GoTu does not unilaterally prescribe specific hours during which the Hygienist must be available to accept service requests from dental offices, nor does GoTu guarantee the Hygienist any minimum number of hours.
  • The Hygienists choose whether to accept and how frequently to accept offers from dental offices. They have autonomy over the duration of offers accepted and the manner in which they complete the services.
  • GoTu does not prohibit the Hygienist from using any online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered by other marketplace platforms or even from working for a competitor.
  • GoTu does not restrict the Hygienist from engaging in any other occupation or business. GoTu does not require Hygienists to use specific supplies or equipment or wear any specific uniform.
  • GoTu does not provide Hygienists with any mandatory training with regard to services provided.
  • GoTu does not control the means and methods for the services performed by a Hygienist by requiring the Hygienist to follow specific instructions governing how to perform the services.
  • The Terms between the Hygienist and GoTu may be terminated by either the Hygienist or GoTu only upon providing prior written notice or due to a material breach of contract.
  • GoTu provides no medical or other insurance benefits to the Hygienist, and the Hygienist is responsible for paying taxes on all income derived as a result of services performed to third parties from the assignments or connections received from using the GoTu Platform.
  • All payment to the Hygienist is based on performance of services to third parties who have engaged the services of the Hygienist through the GoTu platform. GoTu merely facilitates the dental office’s payment of the applicable charges on behalf of the Hygienist.

Common Myths*

I’ll be taxed twice if I use a 1099All wage income is taxed by the federal government. Individuals who are self-employed generally receive a 1099 and are responsible to pay all of their own taxes on their earnings. Employees typically receive a W-2 tax form from their employer identifying the taxes already paid through payroll deductions so that the employee can then file his or her return. No earnings are subjected to both sets of tax policies.
I could lose my license if I use a platform that sends 1099sState boards only address licensing and not tax forms. A 1099 is an IRS form and is entirely separate from licensing.
Having both a 1099 and a W-2 will get me auditedProfessionals of all kinds are legally allowed to submit 1099s and W-2s to the IRS with their annual tax return. This is a common occurrence and does not trigger any reason for an individual to be audited. For example, an individual may hold a job with one company and run a business on the side or provide services to others outside of the job. As long as all earnings are reported with your tax return, there is no violation.
Hygienists are supervised workers, so that means they’re employeesThere are two crucial components to breaking down this myth. First is the definition of a supervised employee. While hygienists may accept some direction from or consult with dentists in the offices they visit, this alone does not constitute an employee relationship. In fact, the primary functions of a hygienist are completed at their own discretion, based on the knowledge and skills they have built through education and practice. The second component to this myth is that a supervised worker is always an employee. As demonstrated in the tests above, that is merely one gauge to determine employment classification. Even if a hygienist is operating under some level of direction from a dentist during their shift, that alone is generally not sufficient to determine classification.
I’ll need a 1099 for every office I work atAs all work is contracted through the GoTu platform, GoTu sends one 1099 to each professional that made over $600 on the platform in the previous tax year. Prior to the recent tax year, this type of aggregated 1099 required much higher earnings.

* GoTu is not a law or accounting firm, so please do not consider this marketing circular as tax, accounting, or legal advice. You should consult with your own professional regarding your unique circumstances.

GoTu believes that by operating under this model, it empowers workers to make the most of their careers and work on their terms. In an industry desperate for staffing solutions, the Platform’s flexibility and broad appeal leaves it poised to make a significant positive impact on the dental community.