Canadian citizen offered commission sales job in US. Taxes?


Okay i'm getting married soon to an American citizen in a few months, so I have to wait for my work permit.

However I was just offered a commission sales job, however I'm a canadian citizen. The person that interviewed me said all i need is a TIN # or he could just take a copy of my passport or Canadian social insurance number and pay that way as I'm hired as my own company and not an employee. He also said that they don't do taxes and just give me the commission cheques and I do the taxes myself. I don't understand how this works as I thought I needed a TN or H1B visa? How will this work. Won't it cause any problems while I'm here or with Canada Revenue Agency (IRS Canada)

Will I be able to cash my cheques without any difficulties? (I do have a US bank account though I'm not sure if there'll be issues with the IRS if I install these cheque payments).

Thank you.

1 Answer

  • bw022
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Just to be clear... until you have your green card you may not work in the United States. It doesn't matter if you are an employee, self-employed, start your own company, baby sit for someone, etc. it is still illegal. If you work for a Canadian company there are a few exceptions under the US-Canada Free Trade Agreement, but they don't apply to you.

    To also be clear... if you are caught, they will deport you, ban you from re-entering the country again, and you are bared from making any visa or citizenship application for five years. Jail time is possible, but unlikely as it is easier to just deport you.

    In the United State, like Canada, there are two (general) categories of workers -- employes and self-employed people. An employee works for a company and has their income taxes (and other fees) deducted automatically from their pay checks. At tax time, they submit income tax forms and they might get some of that money back. A self-employed person operates likes a business. They invoice the company, charge state sales taxes (possibly), and are paid for work done. At the end of the tax year, they calculate how much they earned that year (less any costs of running the business), and send in their tax forms along with a big check for what you know to the IRS (or CRA). Doctors with a private practice, freelance journalists, home daycare workers, etc. would all be examples of self-employed people.

    So... they can't hire you as an employee, since you don't have a social security or green card number to enter into their payroll system and hence an IRS account to pay your taxes into. So... what they are saying is that they'll hire you as a contractor (self-employed person). Hiring contractors benefits them ... they don't have to provide you with health insurance, they can terminate their contract with you for any reason, they are immune to many labor laws, etc. You would be responsible for declaring your own self-employment income to the IRS at the end of the tax year. Of course... you know you can't do that because in any documentation of your income, it would show you worked prior to receiving your green card.

    Now... they are probably assuming that you won't file income taxes and the IRS will never know. I couldn't guess your chances of getting away with it. Millions of illegals within the US do this every day, but if you are caught... you had better plan on having your husband move to Canada because you won't be entering the United States for a long time, if every.

    None of this will be a problem with Canada Revenue Agency as you are not taxed on income you earn outside of Canada. You don't even need to fill Canadian income tax forms if you aren't earning an income in Canada.

    You will need to open a US bank account if you expect to live in the United States. Most banks will allow foreigners to open bank accounts using their passport.

    If you want to talk to an immigration lawyer to see if there is some way around this fine. However, if you don't have a green card, you are likely taking a life altering risk on this one.

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