Taxation for Independent Contractor’s Pros and Cons

contracting-with-an-independent-contractor
If you are working as a Search Engine Rater or Social Media evaluator for any company that doesn’t hire you directly, then you are known as an independent contractor. Regardless of whether you are an independent contractor, a freelancer, or consultant, you will be considered as ‘self-employed’. What this also means is that you are responsible for doing your own taxes. There can be some advantages to this and also some drawbacks.

But first some of the pro’s.

If you’ve been working for companies like Appen Global, Leapforce, or Lionbridge, you know that you are basically your own boss. It’s very rare that you have to work with other people in these jobs or have much interaction at all. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. Keep in mind that the people you are working for are not your supervisors. You’re a contract worker which simply means that you provide your services in exchange for a set wage or price. You are largely in control of when, how, and where the work is done. And you can do the work when you want to as long as it gets done.

Another advantage of being an independent contractor is that you will make more money than if you were simply an employee. The reason for this is because companies are willing to pay more for an independent contractor because there aren’t any expensive long term commitments and the company doesn’t have to pay extra money for employment benefits.

The other great thing about being an independent contractor and working on your own is that you get to deduct more business expenses than a typical employee can claim. Think about everything you need to do your job, your computer, your desk, your chair, even the internet connection you are paying for can all be deducted as an expense at the end of the year. This basically means free office equipment.

One of the first things that you will want to do is come up with a plan to save enough money to pay your taxes at the end of the year. Working as a freelancer means that no one is doing your taxes. Your pay is given to you all in one lump sum with no taxes taken out. It is important to understand the basic tax laws. If you are not sure what to do, it is advised to talk to a tax specialist in order to help you save enough tax out of your paycheck.

But there are also some cons of working as an independent contractor.

One of the big things is that contractors aren’t eligible for any type of health or unemployment benefits because you are basically self-employed. So if you need health insurance, you would have to find something on your own that you could pay per month. Now you see why being an employee has its benefits when it comes to taking care of taxes and health insurance. You can still do all this stuff on your own, and it’s not impossible to get your own health insurance, but all that stuff takes time to keep track of.

It should be noted that if you are a US Yukon project rater then you’re a part time employee and your taxes are done for you. There still are other projects that are done on contract basis.

Knowing your taxes and how much you need to deduct is the most important part. As long as you keep enough money to cover taxes then you won’t have to pay anything. The biggest problem here is not withholding the right amount or not enough taxes. A single person in the USA will pay more taxes than a married person will. So it’s important to know exactly what you should be deducting from your pay.

For the USA you must take out self-employment taxes which are Social Security and Medicare contributions.

Some things that can help you:

There are some tax calculators online that can be used to accurately deduct the correct amount of money in taxes, including the self-employment taxes. That money should be kept in a separate bank account always so that if anything happens with the main bank account, that money is safe. So create a savings account and put that money into the account and don’t touch it until the end of the year when it’s time to do taxes. It is important to remember that it’s better to save too much than not enough.

When it comes time to do your taxes, it might be good to hire someone that can put together everything for you including your business deductions such as your office equipment or computer that you use to do your work on. There are some limits of course on what you can deduct. Find out exactly what you should have paid and make out a check and send it to the tax government in which you live. In the USA it’s the Internal Revenue Service.

As an independent contractor you won’t pay less or more taxes than if you were an employee. The only difference is that you have to do all the paperwork yourself. However, you are able to take more physical deductions than an employee would because you provide yourself with all the tools you need to do your job on your own.

In closing, it shouldn’t scare you to do your own taxes. It’s not any more difficult than doing your taxes as if you were an employee, and you might actually get the tools you need to do your job for free.

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The Falcon Video Recommendations Project at Appen (Social Media Evaluator)

online-social-medi_2734204bAppen now has a new hot opportunity that anyone with a verified Facebook account can work on. It’s a very unique project that involves watching live video or live video feeds and rating these videos based on their content and whether or not they are useful to you or not. And while it sounds like a very easy job, it can be tricky if you don’t understand what Appen Hill is looking for when it comes to data collection.

Application process and set up

Step 1: the process to apply for the job is the same process that you would use normally for any other project that Appen Hill offers. Once you apply for the position, if you are selected, then you will start to receive instructions on qualifying. Yes you need to qualify for this particular job, but it’s nothing too difficult.

You may apply for Social Media Evaluator project here:

http://appen.com/company/opportunities/

The process will take 2-3 days in which you will be able to review the project guidelines, any additional materials concerning the job, including the presentation, and then completing a ‘Qualification quiz’. It’s very important that you use the same email and I recommend creating a new gmail account just for this purpose. The reason is that the emails that you will get are time sensitive, and having a new email will ensure that they don’t end up in spam or junk. Also it’s very important that you use the email address you have on file with your Appen application. So if you have already applied for Appen, use this same email.

After you have applied for the position, you will get an automated email from Appen saying that you will be contacted for the Falcon Video Recommendations Project. Once you have been contacted, a 6 step process begins. Applying for the project and making sure that your email is verified is the first part.

Step 2: the second part of the process will be setting up the Facebook Profile. You must use your Facebook account and it must be at least 1 year old and have no less than 50-55 friends. Your Facebook account has to be 100% truthful using your name that is on your Appen application. You should not have more than 1 Facebook account as this goes against Facebook TOS. Age group, location, name, and gender must be accurate.

Your Facebook ID will be used to set up your access in the Facebook tool you will use to complete daily assignments. Once set up, you’ll be given a batch of videos/pages which you will then evaluate based on the project guidelines. Through the tool, Appen Project Managers will have access to those batches, your ratings and the comments you provide. Appen does not have access to your personal FB information such as your account, messages, posts or network of friends. There will be no changes to your actual News Feed. Everything will be the same except that you will have access to what is called the FRT Tool.

Step 3: will be getting the Falcon Video Recommendations Project Guidelines. You should take some time to read through this carefully to understand exactly what you will be doing as a video rater, and most importantly, that you give the correct ratings and data. While it is an easy job, it can be a little tricky to understand how you should comment, and how those comments should reflect the numbers rating that you have given. Otherwise, you could find yourself moved off the project quickly.

If you have applied for the Falcon Video Recommendations project, and you would like some help or advice on the Qualifications Quiz, then let me know.

Step 4: will be getting your Sharepoint Access where you will be able to download all materials, including the guidelines, for the project. Take the time to get familiar with Sharepoint. This email will come from Appen Tech Support.

Step 5: you will also be invited to an open forum and it’s a good idea to check this out so that you can discuss what you’ve learned or ask others in the forum questions regarding the project or the guidelines.

Falcon project qualification quiz

The last step is receiving the instructions on completing the Falcon News Feed Qualification Quiz via Appen Global. Once you complete the online module, you will need to complete the quiz to qualify. Quiz results are instant after each question. IMPORTANT! You only get one chance to pass this quiz. They will not give a second chance to pass it under any circumstances. Qualification should take around 5 hours (Review of all emails and project documents, review of guidelines and PowerPoint presentation, open forum attendance and quiz).

Once you have completed the Quiz and successfully passed it, you will then be contacted by a Project Manager 1-2 days after the quiz. It is not necessary to email them.

Production work starts as soon as you have successfully completed the entire process. It is VERY important to once again mention that the deadlines for the process are very strict.

The Falcon Video Recommendations Project requires that you work no less than 5 days per week and one of those days must include a weekend. You can split the days as you like as long as one weekend day is worked. Each batch consists of 28-30 videos in which you are given a total time of 2.25 hours to complete. Time is automatically kept track of in the rating tool. You cannot go over the 2.25 hours per 30 video batch. If you stay on track, this comes out to about 4:00 minutes per video. There is a task at the end called the ‘bakeoff task’ which takes about 5 minutes to complete.

APPEN PROJECT CANDIDATE? FOUND THIS RESOURCE USEFUL? WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT! IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A PAYONEER ACCOUNT YET YOU CAN GET YOURS HERE. ONCE YOU RECEIVE PAYMENTS TO YOUR ACCOUNT, WE BOTH WILL BE REWARDED WITH 25$!

SIGN UP HERE http://tracking.payoneer.com/SHRq

Further details concerning how the system actually works will be laid out in the project guidelines.