Just over a week ago a great article went online at fxguide.com that is a summary
of a recent Visual Effects Society event called The 1099 Dilemma
. While one might think an article summarizing the event might not be of interest to those of us currently on a company payroll, it doesn’t hurt to arm yourself with some knowledge (or at least save the link
) about wages, taxes, insurance and other necessary but mundane topics as you never know when you might suddenly become self-employed. If you’re self-employed, freelance or an “independent contractor” 1099s
are a way of life. During my nearly ten years of freelancing, I remember the yearly flood of 1099s that would hit in January. Good ‘ol tax paperwork!
The article summarizes four presentations from speakers who each presented on their own topic: Wage & Hour: Robert Rogenson, California Labor Attorney and 1099 Specialist; Taxes: Russell Saffer, CPA Saffer & Flint; Insurance: Jeff Gelineau, CEO United Agencies; and TEAM Payroll Services: Muriel Katz. As mentioned in the article, the panel discussion was “focused on California Labor Law; if you are not in California you should check local laws for how they differ.” That goes without saying. If you are a freelancer and you don’t have a good tax person, get one today. I did my own taxes the first couple of years of self-employment and it wasn’t fun. With all the deductions, receipts, 1099s and overall paperwork that goes along with self-employment, the cost of an accountant/tax preparer is easily offset by the headache—and time—they can save. It’s not so bad to do your own taxes when you’re on staff and have a single W2 to contend with, though the piece of mind that a dedicated professional can bring to full-time employees when tax time rolls around is often worth the fee.
Here’s a taste of the fxguide article. Hopefully it peaks your interest enough to give the entire piece a read:
In conclusion, this was a great event with outstanding panelists. Companies would be wise to examine their practices as the penalties can be severe and enforcement is ramping up. Workers should be proactive in understanding their rights and options. The various agencies involved have robust web sites and, as speakers at this event pointed out, complaints to these agencies are an effective tool if you cannot resolve [your issues] on your own.
Thanks to fxguide
for the post about the event so those of us who aren’t in California or a member of the VES
could benefit as well.