[Foundation-l] [ANNOUNCEMENT] Greenspan illustration project

phoebe ayers phoebe.wiki at gmail.com
Sat Nov 3 08:47:48 UTC 2007

On Nov 2, 2007 6:22 PM, George Herbert <george.herbert at gmail.com> wrote:
> I think you may misunderstand.  The concern is that the WMF will now, for
> the first time that I know of (but I could be ignorant), be paying or
> purchasing something (good, or services) from members of the community, and
> not from a normal vendor or paying an internal employee.
> The WMF might be required, under some interpretations of tax law in the US
> and how the payments are structured, to get a US IRS tax form (form 1099
> probably) for each person it paid for an illustration.  Which is a lot of
> administrative and recordkeeping headache and requires things like a social
> security number to be provided, etc.
> If it's structured so that the foundation is buying the rights to an image,
> then that may be outside the contractor / pay for work structure enough to
> be safe.  But this is legal / accountant territory.
> -george william herbert

Yeah, there's generally a difference between hiring someone to do a
bunch of work (as a contractor or employee) and buying a particular
piece of art (or rights) from someone that's non-commissioned. if
you're a contractor, the person paying you needs to provide tax
documentation. If you're an independent artist selling individual
pieces, then it's usually up to you as a self-employed individual to
figure out your own taxes. (Imagine an art show: if someone walks up
and buys a painting for $100, the artist doesn't ask them to fill out
a 1099 along with writing a check). But I don't have any idea about
non-US situations, IANAL etc.

Basically, it's the difference between whether the WMF intends to
commission particular illustrators to do work on an ongoing basis as
contractors, versus choosing to pay for various nice pieces that may
get submitted. As far as I could tell this was pretty vague in the
resolution, but it sounded like the latter?

-- phoebe

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