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Created by Samrita

In category:
08.09.2015 13:47

How do sites like Upwork (odesk) deal with taxes?

I asked a client if he'd send me a W2 form / whatever the correct form is next year, and he responded that he doesn't have to, since he goes through Odesk and the service pays me.

There's a small section on Odesk where you put your address, but I've never received anything W2 or tax related. I tried to read up some about it on the website, but it's pretty brief. Is it mostly just up to me to file my taxes?


  • Landon

    09.09.2015 13:54

    Well, that's very easy!

    Freelance income comes into bank account directly either via Wire or PayPal or any other source out there so that's absolute visible income.
    You will have to pay tax according to Government Rules of your country also, you will have to pay ServiceTax keep in mind because you have provided service to overseas client(s).

  • Vidima

    09.09.2015 13:58

    Given that Odesk and Elance are the same company; I'll assume that they follow the same process. Elance sends all American users the tax form required at the end of the financial year - but be warned, they have got this very badly wrong in the past - so check the forms before submitting them.

  • Ajith

    30.12.2015 09:35

    I am an Indian and am trying to sign up in upwork. I have to fill a W-8BEN form which asks me to certify that " the income related to this upwork account will not be effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business". But I AM conducting business with a U.S. trade or business (upwork), right? What does that statement mean? Please help.


  • Linda Merrill

    17.10.2016 08:57


    If you live in the United States, Upwork recommends running the "Earnings by Client" report and using that info. However, if you earn $20k or more, then they will issue you a 1099-K. If you live outside the US there is a different form they will issue to you. You can check it out under their Support section and search by taxes to pull it up.


    Linda Merrill, editor and essay writer of AceWriters writing service.

  • Bailey Belmont

    10.05.2017 12:41

    They have special form 1099-MISC for people who earn less than 600$ per month. If you are located outside the US - you will fill a W-8BEN form. Either way, we recommend that you use your “Earnings by Client” report to accurately document your earnings because you are more likely to solve all the problems with banks in your country, not with upwork support. Also, there are a lot of services except upwork  where you can get writing help -, for example!

  • inquisitive_mind

    09.06.2017 13:38

    Hello! After working on these websites for a bit, I found their tax policy to be a rip-off. That eventually made me look for other online platforms. I was lucky to stumble upon They actually care about their freelancers and provide fair work conditions. You should definitely check it out

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