I got my electronic W-2 from Free Agent Source last week and I’m ready to file my income taxes. Even though I am an independent consultant and project manager, I have all the convenience of filing taxes with form W-2 that traditional employees have.
IRS form W-2 is our ticket to legitimacy. Our culture is still incredibly biased in favor of traditional employment. Therefore, if our employer files our income on form 1099, or if we are a sole proprietor, the IRS and creditors look at us more closely and life becomes harder.
But if our income is reported on form W-2, suddenly, magically, we are legitimate. With your W-2 it’s like having VIP access: that big frowning bouncer un-hooks the red velvet rope and nods you into the club ahead of the line.
So this is why I am happy. I don’t have a traditional employer telling me how much vacation I can have each year. I am not stuck with a bad job and I am always looking for the next interesting project. I’m living what many still believe is “not a stable work life” (which of course is not true). And yet, I still have all the legitimacy of a traditional employee. Oh, and on the W-2, box 13: “Retirement plan…”, I have that too. Full-out 401(k) plan.
When I am looking for a loan or consumer credit, the conversation with the loan officer goes smoothly:
What is your profession? “Project Manager”. Are you employed? “Yes, Free Agent Source Inc.” Can you provide us with your last 2 pay stubs and last year’s W-2? “Sure, no problem.” After they check my credit score and see no problems there either, I get waived into the club – loan approved.