Fixing Independent Programmers’ No-Win Scenario

DeveloperWorld calls Joe Stack’s fatal flight into a government building ” callous, selfish, and inexcusable,” but also points out that he has a legitimate point about tax laws that treat programmers unfairly. Under Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Reform Act, a “computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work” must be considered an employee, not an independent contractor.

Although the law was designed to prevent corporations from taking tax breaks aimed at small businesses, it’s practical implications have actually made it harder for independent developers to find work.

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