There’s a Big Difference Between Working on a 1099 and W-2

If you’ve been out there on the freelance grind or just working a series of cash jobs, you know the struggle: the 1099 is the worst. If there’s any drawback to being your own boss, it’s doing taxes, managing what you’ve made, and trying to keep a clear picture of what your financial year looks like. Being on 1099 can be hard unless you’re willing to save a lot of receipts as well as know when you took a business lunch, or you were actually out with a friend.

If you’re a full-time senior creative or someone who’s got an infrastructure setup that includes an office, tracking miles, buying materials, etc, the 1099 has its perks. If you’re someone picking up gigs to make a few extra bucks a month to pay the car note, ultimately, the W-2 is a lot less of a hassle.

Being on a W-2 is so much easier. Yeah, there’s that initial part of filling the whole “do I need to claim 1 or 2 or should I just claim 0?” and that can get a little confusing, depending on what you want taken out. But, there’s also benefits of being considered full-time like benefits, insurance, paid time off whether you’re sick or just want to hit the beach.


Pro tip:

  • If you’ve got kids, claim 1 or 2 for them, because kids are expensive.
  • If you don’t have kids, claim 0 – it’s easier for you in the long run because you don’t have any dependents.


In the end, getting on the W-2 is easier because the government already takes your money out, so you don’t have to think about it. Because, some of us just aren’t good at math or keeping a long, historical datasheet on spending. Even more so, some of us spend what we make and having money come April just isn’t realistic, so many folks want that money taken out so they won’t spend it.

Hopefully, down the line, you’ll even get money back when it comes time for refunds (that’s a how different blog regarding how refunds work.) It comes down to worker classification.


The difference between the two worker types is simple:
  • Independent contractor: 1099
  • Full-time or part-time employee: W-2

Which filing type matters for you?

Your company is supposed to keep track of wages, hours worked, tips, and bonuses. This is all collected on the W-2, which then collects all applicable taxes for Social Security and general governmental stuff.

A 1099 on the other hand, is a different tax form which says an employer is paying you cash, and you’re supposed to set money aside either every quarter or at the end of the year for Uncle Sam. The 1099 also states that you’re not a full-time employee, but a free agent who’s not eligible for non-payroll benefits like health care, life and disability insurance, the 401K, etc.


The line is blurred

The thing is with the gig economy along with freelancing and in-house freelancers, there are a lot of exemptions sitting right next to one another in every office. The IRS has specific guidelines, but even those are starting to blur thanks to new markets opening up daily.


Adia is different

Here at Adia, we put all of our workers on a W-2 because, for a lot of people, they’d rather just have taxes taken out. It’s a pain in the neck to deal with all of the red tape involved in tax season, plus we think it’s a bigger commitment to our community of workers.

Because we want the Adia community to flourish, every worker is vetted and put on a W-2, and if they work enough hours, they’re eligible for full-time benefits such as insurance and paid time off – all on their schedule.

Does every gig economy app put workers on a W-2? Nope. In fact, most of the competition has fought against giving the worker more power, so much so that rideshare drivers recently went on strike to protest Uber’s IPO, which left drivers feeling like they didn’t get their fair share of the company’s eventual billion dollar-sized payday. That’s not cool.

If you sign up to work with Adia, you’re immediately put on a W-2, and once your profile is activated, you’ll be verified and vetted, and that’s it. You’re in. You can work a much or as little as you’d like and you get paid every Friday. Sound good? Let’s go.

Sign up here and let’s get you working.

If you liked this article, check out the rest of the Adia blog. We don’t have the answers to mankind’s deepest secrets, but we’re sure trying to help make your workday better.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Let's stay in touch!

Keep me in the loop on the latest gig economy happenings.