Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.
Unfortunately, an employer and worker cannot simply agree that the worker will be an independent contractor. Instead, a worker is either an employee or an independent contractor based upon the employment relationship. There are a few factors, but the most important is control. How much control did the employer have over the worker? If the employer told the worker how to do his job, then the worker will probably be considered an employee by the IRS. On the other hand, if the employer did not tell the worker how to do his job, then the worker may be considered an independent contractor.
So, the worker in your case may claim that he was an employee on his tax returns. If the IRS investigates and agrees, then you may be in a situation where you are forced to pay back taxes. Unfortunately, arguing to the IRS that you both agreed otherwise would be pointless, because such an agreement, as mentioned above, has no force. A worker's status is based upon the nature of how he worked, and not upon any agreements.
I am truly sorry that my answer is bad news for you, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer.