Are you an independent contractor?

I have been a freelancer for over 10 years now, and 10 years before that, I worked for an ad agency, so I have a lot of the, been-there, done-that sort of attitude about a lot of things. You need signs, no problem., brochures, fliers, websites, sure. You need me to edit PDFs, then extract the photos, piece of cake.

But recently, I had to fill out a form to prove I was an independent contractor. I had to answer questions such as, how much time did I spend in one of my client’s office. Since I work entirely off-site for all my clients, I wanted to say 0%, but there was no place on the form for that.  You would think, since the form was in PDF form that they would have set up for that.

Another interesting thing that they made you comment on was if your client told you what order to do things in. Well, yes, they will tell you that, but you don’t have to do it that way. Since I am often balancing several clients’ jobs as once, I have to decide which ones I can do quickly, which ones will take longer, and which ones I can only do after normal working hours, because I have to concentrate. The funny things is, that because all clients like to think you are only working on their projects and that you are they’re your only client, you have to balance how to handle this. And that is probably a subject for another posting.

After proving that I did have other clients, did pay for everything, did have insurance, and all the other things one needs as an independent contractor, I got a call saying I had not qualified, and I was a w2 instead of 1099. I was floored, I kept asking what I had done wrong, how I could possible be. The woman started saying, oh well, don’t worry, but she would check to see why I hadn’t met the requirements.

Got a call the following day to say, oh, she was wrong, I was qualified.  One whole night of wondering what I could have done wrong, to know that I was doing everything right, which was good to know.

As my book keeper say, my gosh, there couldn’t be anyone who is more independent contractor than you.

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