The general answer is no, but the question is technically open to more than one interpretation. A foreign independent contractor is not a 1099 worker in most circumstances. These international workers may provide specific talents at a more affordable price than hiring a full-time employee. Keep in mind that “1099” is the Internal Revenue Service’s code for U.S.-based contractors. The IRS does not expect or require businesses to withhold taxes or report income from their foreign contract workers. You should only file a 1099 form if:
- The international contractor is a U.S. citizen operating outside of the country
- The contractor lives abroad but is a U.S. citizen who completed work in the U.S.
Make sure a foreign international contractor files IRS Form W-8 BEN. The form certifies their foreign status as a worker. Pay workers using common methods, such as an international wire transfer, paper check, international money order, or digital payment networks (e.g. PayPal).
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