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Independent Contractor

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An independent contractor is someone who is self-employed and not committed to a long-term job. Also referred to as “Freelancers” or “1099 Employees,” independent contractors work on a project-by-project basis.

Examples of independent contractors

  • Graphic Designer
  • Musician
  • Photographer
  • Writer
  • IT Consultant
  • Blogger
  • Translator
  • Yoga Instructor
  • Uber Driver
  • Developer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Contractor
  • Marketing Services
  • Attorney
  • Accountant

“Nearly one in three working Americans is an independent worker.”

The Freelancers Union

Independent contractor vs. freelancer

The two are similar in function, but independent contractors typically have only one client at a time and work with them for a longer term than a freelancer. Freelancers can have many clients or just one.

Accordingly, independent contractors aren’t necessarily freelancers, but freelancers are always independent contractors.

Tax issues

Freelancers must withhold their own taxes. They also do not receive employee benefits, such as vacation time, health insurance, or sick days. Independent contractors are responsible for calculating their own payroll taxes and then submitting them to the government.

1099 Forms

When a freelancer or independent contractor is called a “1099 Employee,” the term refers to the tax form they must fill out. The form 1099 reports to the IRS how much money was paid to the contractor. Rather than receiving a W-2 form to determine income tax payments, freelancers receive the 1099 tax form.

If you are an independent contractor or self-employed, you get a Form 1099-MISC from every business that pays you $600 or more.

If you are an employee, you get a W-2.

Here is a link to the 1099 Form.

Check it out

Calculator: How much will you have at retirement?

Pros and Cons of Being an Independent Contractor

Where to find them

  • Upwork
  • Craigslist
  • Temporary agencies
  • Professional associations

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