If you are not being paid W2 wages, then you may fall into the category of self-employed, freelance, or independent contractor. Or, you may simply be being paid incorrectly. If this is the case, then don’t be surprised when the red flag goes up and the IRS comes knocking.
The Business Dictionary defines independent contractor this way…(I added the bold.)
Self-employed person (architect, consultant, engineer, etc.) who provides certain services to a second-party called the principal (or client or owner), or to a third-party on behalf of the client. An independent contractor is not under the control, guidance, or influence of the client and, unlike an employee, does not owe a fiduciary duty. The client neither deducts the payroll (or the withholding) taxes from payments to the independent contractor, […]