I'm being screened by a third party company to verify my self-employment for a job and they asked for my W2's.

How exactly does this verify I'm self-employed?

My business has made no profit to date, there is no pay stub and I fully fund the business using my savings until such time as it does turn a profit or I give up on it. Looking through my W2's I see nothing in there that would indicate to anyone that I'm self-employed.

  • It does not verify self employment, it does show employer id
    – jmoreno
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 21:03
  • If you are referring to Employer Identification Number (EIN) I do have one from the IRS but it is not listed on any of my W2's. If that is what they are after it would seem odd to request the W2's and not just a single number. Seems like there is an ulterior motive behind it all.
    – noodles
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 21:14
  • 1
    If you are self-employed, you don't GET a W-2. Now you might have set up a company with yourself as owner and W-2 employee, but in that case you aren't self-employed, you're employed by a company which you just happen to own. (So wearing your CEO hat you make out a W-2 and hand it to yourself wearing your employee hat :-))
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 23:09
  • What is a W2? (I'm assuming its a US thing?) Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 3:26
  • 2
    @Joe Strazzere: No, it's not. For instance, I am self-employed. My clients make checks out to me (actually do direct deposit), I get a 1099 form listing the income, and file a 1040-SSE with the IRS to pay SS & FICA taxes, instead of getting a W-2. If I had a company, they would pay the company, and I could either get paid wages as an employee, or take profits as an owner.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 6:32

1 Answer 1


What they need isn't a W2 but your previous years tax returns. Those will show your business expenses on a Schedule C as well as any business income/revenue.

They are just trying to verify if you were actually working on something or just unemployed.

Call them back and ask what they really want since self employed people don't have W2s.

-- Note this is a US specific question/answer

  • makes sense, however with a business that has made no profit and I've reported no expenses to the IRS it's a dead end for them and probably leads to an improper assumption that I did not start a business. good thing I sent my state filing to them too without being asked to.
    – noodles
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:08
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    You should consult a CPA about the business expenses. As long as it doesn't fall into a 'hobby' category, you can deduct all those expenses even if you don't have any revenue. Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 21:12

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