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

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?

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?

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Attorney answers 3


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. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.



Thanks for the quick response! I understand why they want it, but I feel like their business accounting/taxes are not my concern. 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?



I also understand that they get fined for sending in a incomplete 1099 on their end.


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%.


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 Goodman Law Group, P.C. recommends that you consult an attorney with experience in your specific legal issue. Please contact us to schedule a confidential discussion of your situation. Such communication does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind until a formal engagement agreement is signed by both you and the Goodman Law Group, P.C.

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