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A question to my Canadian colleagues: client is asking for my SIN number to get paid!
Thread poster: Ahmed Ismail

Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
Jan 30, 2007

Dear Canadian fellows,


I have done a translation job for a company that develops games software in Montreal and submitted my invoice afterwards. They emailed me after sometime asking for my SIN number to get paid!

I was surprised by this request as I was never asked to provide my SIN before for any Canadian client (private companies). I replied back saying that "I donot have to provide my SIN as you are neither my employer nor I am on your payroll. I am only a contractor who have done a small job for you and that it."

They emailed back saying:
"I’ve confirmed with the accounting department and the definitely need you SIN to pay you. So I’m afraid you’ll have to give it to me in order to get paid."

Could you please advise if it is imperative to give them my SIN?
Is there a rule that give them this right?

Have you ever faced a similar experience?

[Edited at 2007-01-30 14:38]


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Mayturgeon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:01
Member
English to French
+ ...
SIN? Really? Jan 30, 2007

I have never been asked to provide my SIN and I would certainly not give it away so easily.
I have never heard of fellow translators facing a similar situation.

I would try to contact people in accounting department directly to sort things out.

That is very uncommon...

I found this link about SIN, hope it will be usefull http://www.privcom.gc.ca/fs-fi/02_05_d_02_e.asp


[Edited at 2007-01-30 03:25]


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Tina Vonhof  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 05:01
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
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Never asked for my SIN Jan 30, 2007

I have never been asked for my SIN by any client or agency, not even government agencies. As you said, your SIN would be needed only if you were a regular employee and they would need to deduct income tax, CPP etc. from your pay. In this case you are just like any other business supplying products or services and your SIN is completely irrelevant.

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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:01
English to French
+ ...
Do you ask Bell Canada to divulge their SIN before paying your phone bill? Jan 30, 2007

You are, according to fiscal law, an enterprise. As such, whatever is "bought" from you needs to be paid WITHOUT a SIN. Also, as an enterprise, you don't have a SIN - only physical persons (individuals) can have one.

You are perfectly right when you say that a) you are not employed by the client and b) you are not on their payroll.

For these reasons, they have no business forcing you to give it to them. The government actually has very clear guidelines on this - do NOT give out your SIN unless it is for employment related needs or for Hydro Quebec (I live in Quebec but this last point may not apply to your case if you don't live in Quebec). By giving out your SIN outside of the scope of the two above mentioned points, you are exposing yourself to fraud. I am not saying this is what is happening with this client of yours, but nonetheless, it is inappropriate in this case to even ask for it.

In other words, a SIN is used strictly in employment matters, which is clearly not your case.

[Edited at 2007-01-30 07:16]


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xxxPRen  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
French to English
+ ...
Don't give it to them Jan 30, 2007

... and send them the link Maylanie provided. I've never been asked for my SIN, except by the government and my bank.

Paula


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Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
What a relief! Jan 30, 2007

Dear Maylanie, Tina, Viktoria and PaulaRen.

Thank you very much for your replies and special thanks to Maylanie for providing such useful link. At least I know now to whom I should complain in case they insist to have my SIN and refuse to pay me.

I emailed their project manager and asked him to put me through with their accountant. I am ready for the next round and will keep you updated about the outcome.




[Edited at 2007-01-30 15:17]


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Mayturgeon  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:01
Member
English to French
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:) Jan 30, 2007

You are very welcome

Keep us posted, please


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Erika Pavelka  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
French to English
Happened to me once Jan 30, 2007

A client asked me for my SIN a few years ago for payment purposes. I don't recall the circumstances, but I did end up giving it.

Do you have a business number? If not, I can understand why they might want your SIN. If so, then that should be sufficient for the accounting department.

Good luck,

Erika


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Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Their reply Jan 31, 2007

Their accountant emailed me today saying:

"All contractors who work for us, we have to declare their revenues paid by us to the government including subcontractors. So, we need your SIN to identify you to the government.

With your SIN, we could declare your revenues (income reporting)."


I consider it as uncommon practice by some Canadian companies!

What are your thoughts?


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:01
English to French
+ ...
I don't understand Jan 31, 2007

Why would they declare your revenues for you? You already complete your income declaration each year, so I don't see why they would declare part of your revenues. In any case, I don't think they can force you to do this. If it really is possible for them to declare your revenues for you, then it is most probably entirely up to you whether you prefer this or the conventional revenue declaration. I think it is most probably entirely up to you and they can't make that choice in your stead. Also, let's say this was an accepted practice, but then how do you keep track of these occurrences so that you can exclude these amounts from your income declaration? I mean, if they declare this for you, then you shouldn't have to declare it yourself at the end of the fiscal year...

I would send them the link posted by Maylanie and ask them to read it. I would also ask them to send you the link to the regulations allowing them to declare your revenues in your stead and/or the regulations which allow them to refuse paying you if you don't provide your SIN.

I have never, ever, come across anything like this. I sincerely doubt that a client can declare your revenues for you, I don't believe this. Don't give them your SIN, at least not until you have proof that their accountant is right. If anybody knows about such procedure, by all means, post here. I am very curious to know all about it.

All the best!


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Laurent Boudias  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
English to French
+ ...
business or not? Jan 31, 2007

I believe the question is whether you have a business or not.

If you have a business, then they don't have to report your income. If you don't have one, then it's normal.

Reporting incomes is not about replacing your declaration, it's just that any company reports what they give to the people they employ, permanently or temporary.


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 07:01
English to French
+ ...
I disagree Feb 2, 2007

The only reason I see for their demanding a SIN is that the video game company got government funding in exhange for creating jobs, and they are trying to justify their fundings (probably in order to increase them) by declaring revenues as if they had created jobs, whereas here it is clearly not the case.

In any case, they are not required legally to report other people's revenues, whether they are dealing with people or businesses. And you are not required to give them your SIN if you are not employed by them.

Do send the accountant the link on the government site. It clearly states that you can make complaints if you feel there is a reason for it. You'll see how they will react to that...


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Laurent Boudias  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:01
English to French
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Once again. Feb 5, 2007

Did the person asking the question stated whether he had created a business or not?

If not, he must give his SIN.

If he has a business, he must not.


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Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I think it is a different thing in US Feb 5, 2007

Laurent Boudias wrote:

Did the person asking the question stated whether he had created a business or not?

If not, he must give his SIN.

If he has a business, he must not.




Hi Laurent

Yes, I work under my name and report taxes every year. I was never asked to provide my SIN before because everyone is responsible for his own taxes. As long as I have submitted my invoice to the company, I donot think there is any liabilty on their side. The Candaian privacy Act indicates so. I think it is a different thing in US.


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Ahmed Ismail  Identity Verified
Egypt
Local time: 13:01
English to Arabic
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Feb 5, 2007

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:

In any case, they are not required legally to report other people's revenues, whether they are dealing with people or businesses. And you are not required to give them your SIN if you are not employed by them.



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