Perspectives: Field Notes

Career Advice: Avoid Financial Blunders

An independent contractor must think carefully about money-related issues

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor
Oct 9, 2015

The recruiter offered me an hourly rate that, he said, included a bit extra to cover expenses while on location. That’s a bad idea. Demand a split-off per diem. It will reduce your tax liability. Say you’re hired at $60/h. If you work a typical year, i.e., 49 weeks, that’s $117,600. But, if your per diem is $20/h, your taxable income drops to $78,400 — a big difference.

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