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Do I have to pay tax / what happens when I fill out w9 form?

Active Member
Lola C Member Since: Jun 6, 2019
1 of 11
Hi! I am new to upwork and I have a few questions that I need answers to and help with so I can be clear on what I am getting myself into.

I am in the USA and it says I need to fill out the w-9 in order to withdraw money once I start getting jobs.

My question is:

What happens when I fill out this w-9 form?

Does the state receive my information now and are aware that I am working with upwork now? Or who receives that information? Or does it start private in the upwork app?

I am unemployed and just want to use upwork as a side hustle. I didn’t think people had to pay taxes on here. So my question is after I fill out the w-9 form, what happens? Can I then start withdrawing money and everything is set and ready to go?

My other question is: I think I saw a certain number, that If make $1000 or more then that means I have to pay taxes and fil irs? Or what is the minimum requirement of money made that forced me to file taxes?

If I only make $100 from each person
That means that I do NOT have to file taxes for upwork. Is taxes and w-9 only if I am making thousands of dollars from each client?

Do you mind clarifying this for me, please.

I just want to be sure I am following the law properly and I do not want to get in any trouble.
Ace Contributor
Javier C Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
2 of 11

Hi Lola,

I have the same questions, and I will try to review Upwork's terms and conditions again, and let you know if I understand some or all of it, please be patient, thank you.

Ace Contributor
Javier C Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
3 of 11

This is the information I found that best matches your questions and mine:


If you're a freelancer whom the I.R.S. defines as a “U.S. Person” you need to file a W-9 form with Upwork and report income on your tax return.

About W-9 Form
All freelancers who are U.S. persons should file a Form W-9 with Upwork (all others should file a Form W-8BEN). You sign electronically by submitting the form.
You can submit by filling in the "Tax Information" fields here:

Update my tax information

Be sure to provide us with your:
Legal Name – Your own name, or your business name if you're filing as a company entity Address – Where Upwork will mail your Form 1099-K or other tax forms, if necessary
Filing Status – Type of IRS tax filing you will use for earnings Taxpayer Identification Number – TIN type and # you will use for your IRS tax filing
Please contact your local accountant or tax advisor if you have questions about your filing status or TIN.


I Ia m also unemployed and want to abide by the law.  So, I don't know exactly what we need to do, but I assume that we need to contact the IRS first, I am new so this is my guess.  I have never done any taxes, never had an official job.  I tried to find a way to contact upwork directly, but no luck, so I used the "bot" to answer my questions.  I saw other options somewhere and maybe I think that those other contacts will get me straight through Upwork's customer service, take care.

Active Member
Giles Dionne P Member Since: May 16, 2021
4 of 11

Where can I find or locate my W-9 earned income for tax purposes?

Pradeep H Moderator Member Since: Jan 11, 2021
5 of 11

Hello Giles,


You can access your earnings from Transactions History page and speak to your Tax advisor for more information your country's tax laws.


Thank you

Pradeep H.

Goran V Moderator Member Since: Mar 24, 2017
6 of 11

Hi Lola and Javier,


All US freelancers need to submit their W9 form in order to be able to withdraw their earnings. To learn more about this check out this Help Article


Regarding your taxes, I can advise you both to consult yourselfs with a local specialist about your earnings from Upwork and how to report them. Thank you.

~ Goran
Ace Contributor
Javier C Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
7 of 11

Hi Goran,


Thank you very much for your advice, I will use it as best as I can.  Take care. Smiley Happy

Active Member
Irit H Member Since: Jun 5, 2019
8 of 11

Hello Lola,


As a freelancer on Upwork you are considered to be independent contractor and every US person who is independent contractor need to file and sign form w9. The W-9 itself is informational form that stays with Upwork. However, Upwork uses the information on the W9 to prepare and file with the IRS form 1099 on behalf of the contractor. The 1099 is a report for your total earning on upwork for 2019. Upwork will send you a copy of the 1099 that was filed with the IRS next year by 01/31/2020 .  You will need to report the earning declaration on the form next year when you prepare your 2019 tax return.  


Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
9 of 11

One correction - Upwork does NOT provide a 1099 under a certain level (I think it's $10k).  You are supposed to keep track of your income and pay taxes on it.  Also,  keep track of your business expenses (internet, phone, office supplies, whatever) to claim against your income.

I use TurboTax for self-employed which makes the entire process very easy.  And the cost of TurboTax is a business expense, so it's deductible.

Community Guru
Wes C Member Since: May 3, 2019
10 of 11

If you make more than a certain threshold amount, regardless of where it comes from, you have to file taxes.  That threshold depends on your situation, but it's easily found with Google.