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Should I submit a W-9 to my client?

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Active Member
Meghan K Member Since: Jan 8, 2017
1 of 18

I am new to Upwork, and finally have my first contract. I have only been doing this for 2 months and have gotten a lot of spammy requests and tricky people. Fortunately I did my due diligance and weeded those requests out, but now I'm very wary and skeptical (which is probably a good thing overall). This contract and client appears very legit in every way. I am tracking time through Upwork, their account is established, etc. So far I saw no sketchy-ness. However, they asked me to submit a W-9. At first I didn't think much of it, but I sort of drug my heels on it, and now I am glad I did. 

 

I know that Upwork requires a W-9, which I just completed. And all my time tracking and payments would come through Upwork. So, why would they need a W-9? Is that a normal request? Do they use that to send me a 1099 form for taxes at the end of the year? 

 

My biggest concern is they will have a ton of personal info AND my social security number... so, my gut says that is not a good idea... 

 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
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2 of 18

yeah that's a no-go. Payment is through upwork, so they are going to report your income. 

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Meghan K Member Since: Jan 8, 2017
3 of 18

Thanks!!! Super helpful Smiley Happy

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 18

Clients (and only clients) can request a W-9 from Upwork (Upwork's own W-9) - it should not be requested from a freelancer.

 

Simply direct your client to contact Upwork Support who will send him the W-9.

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Meghan K Member Since: Jan 8, 2017
5 of 18

Thanks! I meant to accept your answer, oops.. but still most helpful!

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Cheryl R W Member Since: Nov 28, 2016
6 of 18

I had the same thing happen to me.  How are these scammers allowed to operate on Upwork?

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Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 18

 


@Cheryl R W wrote:

I had the same thing happen to me.  How are these scammers allowed to operate on Upwork?


 Just because a client asked for a W-9 does not make them "a scammer."

 

Most are just genuinly unaware how working with a freelancer via an online platform works.

 

From your other post it is clear that "the same thing" did NOT "happen to you!"

 

 

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Cheryl R W Member Since: Nov 28, 2016
8 of 18

Sorry, but that is exactly what happened to me back in December. They requested my W-9, drivers' license and since it was my first offer, I didn't know how to respond either. 

 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

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Community Guru
Jennifer D Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
9 of 18

Cheryl, the difference is that your client was asking you for that info for nefarious purposes and was a scammer, while Meghan's client appears to be legit and is simply not understanding that they don't need this information. Like Petra said, a client asking for a W-9 form in and of itself does not necessarily indicate a scammer. This is why she said the same thing did not happen to you.

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Cheryl R W Member Since: Nov 28, 2016
10 of 18

Thanks for the clarification.