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The website in question is a peer-to-peer platform. Users can contact each other and agree a fixed cost for a particular service. I take a percentage of the cost and the rest goes to the user who carries out a service.

If it matters, users get paid as soon as they have completed the agreed task and the customer is happy with the results (i.e.: the customer releases the funds from an escrow account)

  • The platform is intended to be available in multiple countries across the world
  • The business is registered in the UK.

As the website/business owner, do I need to issue tax forms to those users who earn money on my website? For instance, I believe US users would need a 1099 form?

Am I legally required to issue such forms? For each country?

closed as off-topic by ChrisInEdmonton, Chris W. Rea, Dheer, MD-Tech, Ganesh Sittampalam Jul 31 at 18:43

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions about accounting are off-topic unless they relate directly to personal finance or investing from an individual's perspective." – ChrisInEdmonton, Chris W. Rea, Dheer, MD-Tech, Ganesh Sittampalam
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    I would strongly encourage you to talk to a lawyer/ accountant with some expertise in international taxation rather than some random folks on the internet. Issuing tax forms is going to be by far the safest approach. Determining that you don't need to issue tax forms in particular countries is going to require a pretty detailed discussion of how exactly your business operates – Justin Cave Jul 30 at 13:59
  • The way you're describing the answer is likely no. Especially paying people in the US from a UK based business (usually the recipient is responsible for their tax issues). There's no company that knows all the tax forms of 200 different countries. – xyious Aug 1 at 16:15
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That would depend on if you are contracting the person providing the service, or merely acting as a safe method of ensuring quality and payment.

If it's a service contract between customer and service provider then you have no hand in it other than what you owe in taxes off of your cut.

If it's either an independent contractor working for you, or an employee working for you, and you manage the jobs/contracts, then you need to issue the relevant tax form to the service provider.

Good examples of what I mean are services like Uber, where the drivers are independent contractors. As Justin Cave points out, these companies would be required to issue a tax document to their drivers. On the other hand, services such as Craigs List or Venmo do not need to issue work related tax documents, even if the contract comes about as a result of introducing the 2 parties, or even if the money moves directly through the intermediary company. The difference is in how the service provider is contracted.

  • That's a pretty fine line to tread. Are Uber, TaskRabbit, or Fiverr contracting with the person providing the service? Or is it an agreement between customer and service provider that you have no hand in? I'd expect all three to issue 1099 forms in the US. This business might have significantly less involvement in the transaction than these three but not issuing tax forms would be a pretty aggressive interpretation. I wouldn't suggest doing without having a nice long talk with a lawyer. – Justin Cave Jul 30 at 14:06
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    Uber and similar companies hire the service providers as independent contractors. The key there is the drivers for Uber have been hired by Uber. By contrast, Craigs List doesn't issue 1099 to a plumber if I hire him to come work on my toilet. – GOATNine Jul 30 at 14:10
  • @JustinCave I edited to help clarify what I was trying to say. I agree that as written my answer was a little too ambiguous – GOATNine Jul 30 at 14:16
  • To clarify, I believe my platform would fall under "merely acting as a safe method of ensuring quality and payment". All details regarding the work that needs to be undertaken, including the cost, are negotiated by the two parties. I simply provide a platform on which they can message each other and manage the jobs they have undertaken/paid for. Of course I am also the intermediary which ensures fair and secure payment. – turnip Jul 30 at 14:19
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    @turnip - What you're describing seems far closer to TaskRabbit/ Fiverr/ Guru than Craigslist. It may be possible to structure your site in a way that lets you avoid sending out tax forms but different countries are going to have different rules so you'd need someone familiar with each country's tax code – Justin Cave Jul 30 at 14:28

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