Cambridge Investment Research's 1,600 financial advisers are independent contractors who run their own businesses, but legislation introduced in both the House and Senate is threatening that business model.

The legislation, the Taxpayer Responsibility, Accountability and Consistency Act of 2009, would remove the safe harbor provision from Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978, and this could force independent broker-dealers to reclassify independent financial advisers as employees, subjecting the firms to back taxes, penalties and interest.

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