AB-5 & HR2474 & Business Articles
The information in this category contains information on AB5, HR2474 and various types of businesses, including Sole-proprietor, LLC, S-Corp, C-corp and professional corporations. It's important to note that these articles are for information purposes only. It is not legal advice or tax advice. For information regarding your personal circumstances, I would recommend contacting the appropriate licensed professional. That may be a lawyer or a tax accountant, your state revenue department or the IRS or an entity I haven't thought of.
Congress Bill HR2474 is innocuously labeled Protecting the Rights to Organize Act of 2019. In fact, it appears to be so harmless that you might be tempted to ignore it. The truth is that this bill is a national version of AB-5 that is causing real financial harm to independent contractors in California. The goal of this bill is to “amend the National Labor Relations Act, the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947, and the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959, and for other purposes.” It was sponsored and introduced into congress by Rep. Scott, Robert C. "Bobby" [D-VA-3] on 05/02.2019, and placed on the Union calender on 12/16/2019. So far, this bill has only been introduced. In order to become law, it must pass the House (It passed the House on 2/6/2020), pass the Senate, be brought to the attention of the President and signed into law.
Protecting the Rights to Organize Act of 2019 (H.R.2474)
While everyone has been hyper-focused on AB-5, which affects independent contractors in CA and independent contractors that do business with companies in California on a contracted basis, this bill has been quietly sitting in Congress. The bottom line is that if this monster gets passed, moving out of California won’t save your freelancing business.
If you live in California, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of AB-5, which is officially known as Assembly Bill 5. This bill was intended to curb the number of independent contractors a business hires and uses. For example: let’s say a business wishes to cut their employee expenses. One of the ways to do that is to fire all the employees and hire them back as independent contractors. This means that a business no longer has to send out W-2s or pay employment taxes on its employees. Instead, they simply send out MISC-1099s to employees at the end of the year. For a large business, this is a great way to reduce overhead by not paying employment taxes or benefits, like health insurance, personal days and holidays. In practice, this bill has the real potential to put freelance writers and gig workers out of business. The law was approved September 18, 2019 and takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.
If you’ve recently decided to be your own boss as a sole-proprietor, you might be wondering about your tax situation and how it’s going to change. This is particularly important if you’ve always held a job where your taxes were removed from your income prior to your receiving your check or direct deposit.
W-2 Employee Versus 1099-MISC Employee or No Tax Reporting
It’s important to understand that this article will cover the basics of W-2, 1099-MISC and No Tax Reporting as far as income sources. There are other ways that your income can be reported to the IRS. This article is not meant to be professional tax advice. If you have tax questions, it is best to call your accountant, CPA or the IRS or other licensed tax professional.
If you're a new freelance writer thinking about joining Textbroker to write blog posts, articles and webpages for clients or an existing freelancer who's worked on orders for textbroker for months or even years, you may be interested to know that they are switching from paying writers via PayPal to Payoneer. Textbroker is calling this move and "improvement to their payout process. However, you'll have to be the judge of that.
We [Textbroker] will be changing payment processors from PayPal to Payoneer. This new processor will allow authors to receive payment directly to their US bank account. This should mean money into [the author's] bank account as fast or faster than paying via PayPal, where [authors] then need to transfer that money from PayPal into your bank account.
As of this week (Notice recieved Friday October 11, 2019), all new authors will use this new process, which means the FAQs on our website about payments will not be totally accurate for [existing authors.]
All existing authors will continue to use PayPal through December 31st, 2019. For those [authors] who receive more than $600 from Textbroker in 2019, your 1099 will be mailed to [the author] in January 2020.
Before January 1st, 2020, existing authors will be prompted to create a Payoneer account via your Textbroker account in order to receive pay-outs. When creating that Payoneer account, [the author] must link it to a US bank account, meaning you must have a US bank account to get paid. All future 1099 tax forms, starting with the tax year 2020, will be handled by Payoneer, which will send the forms via email. We will provide detailed guidance on how to go through the Payoneer process as we get closer to year-end - please do not create a Payoneer account now on your own!
BETTER PAY-OUT BUTTON FUNCTIONALITY
In connection with our move to Payoneer for new authors this week, we have changed how the pay-out button works. Now, once you have at least a $10 balance in your account, you only need to click the button once before 11:59 PM PT on Thursdays, and we pay-out whatever is in your account at the time we process pay-outs on Friday morning. For example, if you have $12 in your account on Tuesday, you can click the button. The button then disappears. If you have more orders accepted on Wednesday and Thursday so that there is $32 in your account by Friday morning, then you get $32 in Friday’s pay-out. This is now true whether you are an existing author getting paid via PayPal or a new author getting paid via Payoneer. The button reappears on Friday after we process pay-outs.
TWO PAY-OUTS PER WEEK STARTING IN JANUARY?
In addition, we are considering implementing twice per week pay-outs starting in January. The new pay-out request deadlines would be 11:59 PM PT on Sundays and Wednesdays and we would process pay-outs on Monday and Thursday mornings (whether there is a national holiday or not). Our hope is that the money would be available in your bank account by Tuesday/Friday, although that is controlled by Payoneer and your bank, not by us. Authors who request a pay-out before we process pay-outs on Monday would be charged a $1 fee as otherwise our pay-out processing costs would double. Authors who want to avoid any fees could wait and request a pay-out any time between noon PT on Monday and 11:59 PM PT on Wednesday and continue to get paid just once per week. The decision to request zero, one or two pay-outs in any given week would be entirely up to you (of course, you must have at least a $10 balance each time you request a pay-out). You can decide what works best for you each week.
These new implementations will help us transfer your money into your bank account as quickly and frequently as possible! Let us know what you think about twice per week pay-outs with the first pay-out of the week incurring a $1 fee by completing a survey.
I have not had time to look at Payoneer to determine if it's a trustworthy site and if it's safe to sign up with them. I have heard that they require a lot of personal identification, including a photo of your driver's license. If you know something about this payment company, feel free to leave a comment. If you want to check them out, they can be found here: https://www.payoneer.com/
December 27 is the last time authors can expect to be paid via PayPal from Textbroker. At some point on the 27th, authors should get an email with a link to Payoneer. Authors are advised to not create a Payoneer account on their own. TB has some sort of deal with Payoneer. If an author fails to create a Payoneer account, they can still work for TB but they will not be paid. The bottom like - If an author on TB does not make the switch to Payoneer, TB will no longer pay them.
Update Dec 22, 2019 Specifically for California Writers on Textbroker
Textbroker will eliminate your ability to see the open order pool on December 24, 2019. You will still have access to team orders and direct orders but will only be able to write up to 34 articles per year. This is because of California's AB5? law/legislation regarding independent contractors. It's important to note that clicking the "accept the order" button counts as an order, which means if you later drop it, it still counts as if you wrote it. It's important to note that I do not live in CA, so I am not familiar with that law. However, this was just brought to my attention.
Not TB, but important to note that Scripted will be suspending the accounts of all its California writers on Jan. 1, 2020, which is also related to AB-5.
Upate December 31st - Textbroker/Payoneer Switch
On December 28, writers for Textbroker should have recieved an email. I'm getting mixed responses or whether or not an email actually went out. I think some authors recieved one, and some did not. With that being said, the link to Payoneer is located at the bottom of the MY DATA page, which I'm assuming is not the payout window. I've heard whispers that CA writers are being prevented from making the switch to Payoneer until sometime in January 2020 due to AB5. Of the experiences that I've heard about, the switch either went very smoothly with no documentation needed if you know all your information, or it's hell in a handbasket with the need to submit personal documents either through the mail or email. I'm not sure which that is.
Does Textbroker know if this is going to work? From what I've heard, and it's in the comments - No. They have no idea if it's going to work.
Update January 7 - January 3rd Payments
At this poiint, you may be wondering if writers got paid on January 3, 2020. From what I understand, very few writers recieved their money on January 3rd (which is a Friday). I heard of no one getting paid on Saturday. Most, saw the funds in their bank accounts or in thier business PayPal accounts Monday. I do know that if you did not recieve your money by end of the day January 6, you need to contact TB. For the week of Jan 6, TB is offering a second payout, but you need to request your funds by Jan 7, 11:59PM, and I forget if that's PST or EST. The hope is that writers will get paid Friday this week if they request a payout Tuesday. I don't know what TB is doing in the future for single or twice-weekly payouts. I will update as I hear.
Good luck, Textbroker writers. Feel free to leave your comments below and let people know how it went for you. The comments can be anonymous.
**I will answer questions related to this, but it's important to note that I'm getting information via email and comments. I'm not staff at TB or Payoneer, so I have no insider information**
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