Amazon Mechanical Turk

Colleen asks this question:
Saturday afternoons are busy for me, but I did happen to catch your show Jan. 30 and heard about Amazon Mechanical Turk. I went to the site and checked it out. I am new to this kind of thing and was wondering how safe a site like this is. In the process of signing up to the site, I learned that as a worker I would be asked to supply my social security number so 1099's could be made out by the requester and sent next tax season. I am not sure that is a wise thing to do. Any insight?

Brian's answer:
You're very smart to be conscious of the security consequences involved in giving anyone your Social Security Number. Bravo! Taking a look at the IRS instructions, it appears that a requester would only need to issue a Form 1099 to you if you earned more than $600 in a single year. So if you really want to avoid this problem, you might just be careful to not exceed $600 worth of work for any individual requester. That having been said, if you've done $600 worth of work for any person or company, you've probably had a sufficient chance to figure out whether they're honest or not, and whether you'd be willing to give them your SSN. By the way, to get your tax information, the requester has to supply his or her own EIN (Employer Identification Number) as well.

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This page contains a single entry by Brian Gongol published on February 2, 2010 10:57 AM.

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