USA Sharing accounts online but not in "real life

Feb 14, 2015
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United States
We are a group of about 5 people. We complete work as Employees in an online Marketplace. We consider ourselves independent contractors (IC). In "real" life we consider ourselves a Partnership and we commonly work outside the Marketplace, representing ourselves as a Partnership. The Marketplace issues 1099-Ks to each of us. Employers are supposed to issue a 1099-MISC to each individual who earns more than $600 per year, and optionally issue one below $600. ("Supposed to issue" because, in over 6 years, although we pay taxes on all earnings, and commonly work for more than $600 per year, per Employer, we have yet to see a 1099-MISC from an Employer. Anyway...)

The Marketplace requires a SSN for each IC. The Marketplace connects Employees and Employers. Recently the Marketplace began requiring SSNs or EINs for each Employer. Employers deposit money to Marketplace. The Marketplace then dispenses to from Employers to Employees when Employee complete work.

Due to certain limitations, restrictions, and poor Marketplace "upkeep" by the Marketplace... 2 out of 5 of us ("low-stake") share their Marketplace accounts and: a) withdraw funds to their individual banks from the Marketplace; b) receive a small percent of profit made from the "Partnership"; c) file annual 1065-K from the Partnership (share of Partnership profit); d) may receive 1099-MISC from a Marketplace Employer, and/or 1099-K from the Marketplace. 3 of 5 of us ("high-stake") use all 5 accounts to complete tasks. The 2 "low-stake" users use their own accounts to complete work for at most roughly 10% of the account's income. The 3 "high-stake" users each use their own account 100%, and share the remaining 2 "low-stake" accounts (sharing the 90% income made through the account).

We consider the certain "limitations" to be flaws in the Marketplace. We hope to see these flaws "worked out" in future releases of the Marketplace. At which time we are hopeful that it will be unnecessary to share accounts.

Are we misrepresenting ourselves under Federal, State, and/or local laws? We pay taxes on all of the money earned from Marketplace. We do not mind "bending" the rules of the Marketplace. However, are we misleading the Employers or any government entities?

Each Employee only pays tax on their share of the "Partnership's" profit. The low-stakes Employees only have so far only claimed 10%, while the high-stakes Employees have so far claimed the excess from the accounts (90%). Is it better accounting to have the low-stakes Employees claim 100% and then, on a Schedule C, or similar, specify that 90% of the income was a business expense (i.e. the low-stakes Employee spent 90% of the income in order to generate the 10%)? And vice versa, for the high-stakes Employees to claim the income from the Employers, e.g. with the 1099-MISC, and in addition the income from the low-stakes Employees (in this case being "Employers" of the high-stakes users)?

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