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There is one other circumstance that a contract Technical Writer can
encounter in the U. S. and that is the situation in which you are not any
kind of an employee.
The first contract job I did, I was a subcontractor to a firm that itself
had a contract with a major telecommunications company. I submitted
invoices based on my hours worked every two weeks, and I was paid the amount
When the time came for W-2s and 1099s to be delivered, I didn't get
anything. When I inquired, I learned that I would get nothing. Somehow I
assumed that since I wasn't a W-2 employee, I would get a 1099. That wasn't
Now I did take care of my tax liability as the year went along, so I didn't
suddenly have this monster liability (plus penalties for not having paid the
appropriate taxes quarterly), but it was a good object lesson for me. To
wit, find out what you can expect in the way of documentation for your