If you need extra money but don't want a staff job, freelance work may be the answer. These days, companies hire freelancers for everything from writing and design to delivery and sales.
Pros and cons: You usually don't get benefits, but can often set your own schedule and may even be able to work from home. The pay is self-employment income, and is viewed differently than normal wages by the IRS. You'll need to file specific tax forms with your annual return and, depending on what you earn, you might need to submit quarterly tax payments. On the plus side, you can deduct many of your expenses, and may qualify for the home office deduction.
Here are three companies hiring independent contractors right now.
What they do: Also known as 542542, they provide answers to questions submitted by customers via text on virtually every subject imaginable.
Freelance opportunities available: Special agents.
Requirements: U.S. applicants must be 18 years old with a Social Security number or other taxpayer I.D. Canadian applicants must be 19 years old with a Canadian Social Insurance number or other taxpayer I.D. Must have good online research skills and be a fast and accurate typist. Requires a computer with high-speed Internet access and Mozilla Firefox browser. Must provide bank account information, as you will be paid via direct deposit.
Hours/Pay: Agents choose their own hours. The service operates 24/7, so all shifts are available. The average agent works a few hours per week. Agents who are inactive for 30 days will be dropped. Agents are paid on a per-response basis: 10 cents for each full response, and 5 cents for each validation response. Currently, the majority of work involves full responses.
Other info: Agents with a good track record can then apply for openings for Quality Agents, who either answer questions or review the quality of other Agents' answers.
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