If I worked for an American company at home from Canada (I'm a Canadian citizen), do I need to report income / pay taxes to the US, because the company is from the US? I'm specifically asking about an oDesk job, working at home for a US company. Does the answer differ depending on whether it is an hourly job or a fixed-rate job?


No, if you are not present in the US - you do not need to report anything. It may be though that your payer will have to withhold amounts for the IRS on your behalf, and you'll have to submit a non-resident tax return to claim refunds.

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  • Okay, I would not be working in the US. However, I would be storing my work on US servers (i.e. mail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Cloud9). Am I still exempt from tax reporting? – Hope4You Nov 30 '13 at 16:33
  • How on earth do you know where the services are? Why would you care? I cannot understand what's the connection – littleadv Dec 1 '13 at 7:44
  • I just wanted to confirm :). My thought was that because my work is technically in the US and I didn't want any issues. – Hope4You Dec 2 '13 at 17:23

I think the answer is "it depends".

If taxes were withheld, you may need to file a return.

This might help: http://taxes.about.com/od/taxplanning/qt/form_W8BEN.htm

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  • The question was whether he needs to report income or pay taxes, not whether he needs to file a return. If taxes were withheld he doesn't need to file a return. He should, but doesn't have to. – littleadv Nov 24 '13 at 0:58

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