Our small US non-profit organization would like to hire a citizen of another country as an independent consultant to do some work for us in their country. If the contract we sign with this consultant states "All actions by Consultant will comply with all applicable laws and lawful regulations", is this statement enough to put the burden of legal and tax compliance on the individual and not on us? Would our non-profit need to collect any personal information from the consultant (passport photo or national identification card for example)? Our non-profit organization would pay fees into the consultant's personal bank account based on an invoice showing time worked and the hourly rate.
If you are employing someone in another country, you will need to comply with the employment laws of that country. The contractual language that you plan to use might cover you for the obligations of an employee, but it would be unlikely to have an effect on your obligations as an employer. For employment law purposes (but not US taxes) whether a person can be treated as an independent contractor is also a question of that country's laws. The best thing to do is to consult with an attorney in that country. If you need help with that, contact an international law firm in your area or feel free to email me.
Disclaimer: Nothing in this post should be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship. Do not rely on the opinions expressed in this post without discussing them with your attorney. Legal advice must be tailored to unique circumstances and this post is for general purposes only.
Unless the work is inherently dangerous, you are fine. It'd be a great idea to make sure your relationship is clearly identified as "contracting".
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