What are the legal implications of not giving my social security number to a former employer for their 1099 tax form?

Asked over 1 year ago - New York, NY

I freelanced for 5 wks at a company of >15 employees. They never asked for my home address or SSN while I was there. I received a terse email from their accountant yesterday asking for my SSN within 24 hours and if I did not provide it he would report me to the IRS. The accountant says I am mandated by law to give them my SSN. I made $2400 working there and intend to claim the income on my taxes. I do not want to give my SSN. What are legal implications of not responding to the email and not giving my SSN?

Another employee emailed me saying to give it to them because they cannot receive their 1099s because I am holding up the process. I find it hard to believe they can't submit 1099s for their other employees because of me. Any advice?

Additional information

What is the worst case scenario and also the most likely scenario if I don't give my SSN and they report me to the IRS for not giving it to them?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . They need your SSN so they can deduct your salary as a business expense. They probably should have gotten it at the start but they are entitled to it.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  2. Louis Black


    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you do not give your social security number to the company, the company will be required to withhold federal tax at the backup withholding rate of 28%.

  3. Ross Carl Goodman


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It's better practice to have the company issue you a 1099 to avoid any inquiry from the IRS.

    The information presented here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The... more

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