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osirus482

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Hey all, I'm a newbie to freelance writing, and am a little hesitant about the following scenario:

I replied to a posting on Craigslist to write short keyword articles for automotive parts that will be displayed on automotive websites. I received a reply from a Robert Hayes that requested a sample submission to gauge my writing abilities. I returned said submission and was informed he would like to work with me.

He outlined the terms of my contract employment at great length and without typos. He mentions he pays through PayPal, which eases my mind. The whole thing seems legit. I checked for a website, and there is one found her: http://www.docrocket.net/

The only thing is he's asked for my social security number and mailing address. He asked for me to mail him a signed copy of our contract agreement, which he would sign and then return to me for my records. This would explain the need for my address, but I'd really rather not give out my SSN.

Is it standard practice to provide your SSN to a contractor? And does this situation seem legitimate to you guys?

Your input is greatly appreciated thank you.
 

Eric Summers

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I'm no expert but if he is paying you, wouldn't he be required to have your SSN so he can properly report the funds he paid out to you on his own tax documents? The IRS would need to be able to match up his claim of paying X dollars to you against your claim of receiving X dollars from him.
 

Berry

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I think you're right to be cautious, but it's absolutely standard to get SSNs from freelancers. After all, the boss will have to file 1099s with the IRS for what he pays you, and he'll have to have the number for that.

There are, pretty much, three forms of business relationship that could be in play here. First is called "corp-to-corp", and is one corporation contracting for goods or services from another. No "natural persons" are involves, and no SSN's are needed. Tax ID numbers, yes. Since (I presume) you are not incorporated, this is not applicable.

The second is commonly referred to as a "1099" basis. This is when one person offers services to a company, but is not an employee. The company pays the person, but does not withold any money for taxes or benefits. At the end of the year you get a form 1099 which reports to the IRS how much they paid you. Remember to keep enough for the tax.

THe third is the "W-2" relationship. This is the common employee relationship we all know. Even some freelancers may use this from time to time if they have an extended contract with a single client.

I should note in closing that this is actually a quite complex area, and there are times when the IRS can decide that even though you THINK you're doing 1099 work you are really an employee (say, if you have only one client and he sets your hours, etc.) If it's a big deal, you should get advice from an accountant or attorney.
 

swvaughn

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I can help you out with this. :)

I work for DocRocket. Robert needs your SSN and address because he's required to send out a W-9 form if you earn more than $600 in a year for tax purposes.

It's a great company. They have been very lucrative for me thus far. Completely aboveboard. Good luck!
 

Pomegranate

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If you really don't want to give your SSN, you can contact the IRS and apply for a TaxPayer ID number and use that instead.
 

osirus482

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thanks

great! thanks guys. I've just heard some scams out there about giving out your SSN. Sounds like Docrocket is a legitimate company, so I'll roll with it. Thanks again.
 

CaoPaux

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