So why does the IRS care so much about employee vs. contractor? Two reasons. One is the penalties they can collect. The other reason is they usually collect more taxes when someone is treated as an employee, because a contractor can take business deductions which directly reduce taxable income.
The answer is yes, you have to pay self-employment or FICA taxes.
There is one exception, where a person can opt out of paying these taxes (but this means not receiving benefits later on). This exception only applies to members of the clergy and members of certain religious sects.
The term Social Security Wage Base refers to the maximum amount of wages or self-employment income on which the 6.2% Social Security tax is based.