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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Who's the Employer?

Answers are provided by S. Derrin Watson

Client Organizations and Recipients

(Posted May 27, 2002)

Question 186: What's the difference between a "Client Organization" (CO) under Rev. Proc. 2002-21 and a "recipient" under the leased employee rules of IRC 414(n)?

Answer: There is no difference other than a difference in perspective. But that difference is critical to understanding the relationship between the leased employee rules of IRC 414(n) and the PEO rules of Rev. Proc. 2002-21.

The leased employee rules affect the leased employee and the recipient organization (the organization receiving the individual's services). Those rules say that the recipient must treat the leased employee as its employee for many qualified plan purposes and welfare plan purposes. The leased employee rules do not affect the leasing organization at all. The focus is on the worker, and hence the organization for which the worker provides services is the “recipient” of those services.

By contrast, Rev. Proc. 2002-21 affects the PEO. It only indirectly affects worksite employees or Client Organizations. Because the focus of the Rev. Proc. is the PEO, the organization for which it is providing workers is the "Client Organization".

For more about the leased employee rules, see Chapter 4 of my book "Who's the Employer." For more about Rev. Proc. 2002-21, click here for a detailed analysis.


Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.


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