Why would Intuit, which advertises itself as friend to small business, demand that small business me submit a pile of documentation, including my federal tax return, to certify that I was indeed an independent contractor?
Especially before we had agreed to work together, before we had discussed fee for service, before we had detailed what I might be writing for Intuit, and before there was any assessment of the time commitment I would be making with Intuit. Currently, my clients range from Fortune 500 to Mom and Pop operations. None of those ask for anything aside from the 1099 federal income tax form for independent contractors. In fact, I just signed up with a new client three months ago. My, my, what strange procedures you have Intuit, along with your seeming pit bull ICon Professional Services [650-378-4150.]
All this started routinely. Intuit had an ad for a freelance writer for blogging about small business. Before I was hired as a contract writer, before fee for service was discussed, before what the time commitment would be, Jay Badenhope informed me to now fill out the necessary forms with ICon Professional Services. I assumed that I would be filling out the usual 1099 form. Oh no. ICon specified seven pieces of documentation were okay to comply with its dictates. Of the seven I would have to submit four, including my federal tax return. Red flag?
I notified Badenhope no way Jose. Yet ICon called me on the phone three times. The first two times it left messages. I ignored them, as well I should.
The third time I accidentally picked up the phone. Guess who was on the line to speak with a nobody freelancer? The Assistant Corporate Counsel Jessica Kleinschmidt. She insisted that I was to send the information. I informed her that that I have been an independent contractor since 1987 and never before did any potential client, never mind actual client, need any sort of documentation of that extent.
The Assistant Corporate Counsel that informed me that there was pending legislation pertaining to this kind of documentation. Pending? That isn't the law. Pending is pending.
Something smells rotten in the state of Denmark. I ask the federal and state powers that be to investigate Intuit and ICon Professional Services. This whole experience seems to potentially present a serious breach of privacy to us small businesses. Ironically Intuit positions itself as indeed the friend of small business. Please start with Jay Badenhope and Jessica Kleinschmidt.
Reflection: Perhaps I can encourage law firm Motley Rice to file a lawsuit against Intuit and ICon for contributing or actually causing a public nuisance. Had there been many more like me in the loop, this could be a massive class action suit.