If I’m a copywriter/independent contractor and have many assignments that are due but I won’t be able to complete them, is it legal to pay someone else to do the work?

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If I’m a copywriter/independent contractor and have many assignments that are due but I won’t be able to complete them, is it legal to pay someone else to do the work?

As far as taxes, do I have to pay taxes on that if someone else did the work if I transferred the payment to them?

Asked on November 21, 2014 under Business Law, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

1) Unless your contract with your customers or clients specifically states that you may not subcontract, or unless you got the contracts by representing (promising) that you would do all work personally, then yes, you may subcontract.

2) As to taxes: anything you pay your subcontractor is business expense which should be deducation vs. your income (check with a tax-preparer or CPA). So say the client pays you $2,000 and you pay someone $1,500 to do the work for you: your income from the project is reduced by $1,500 and you pay taxes on the $500 you kept. Again, check with an accountant, but while this is an oversimplication somewhat, it is in principal correct: you don't pay taxes on your expenses, but rather on your post-expense profit.


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