ATN’s brand ambassadors are all W-2 employees. Today less than 1% of event staffing agencies offer W-2 staff. This provides many benefits (financial, legal, etc.) to our clients, but what about our brand ambassadors? What does working as a W-2 brand ambassador actually mean? How does it help you?
Why ATN Offers W-2 Brand Ambassadors
The W-2 is a Federal form on which ATN’s brand ambassadors specify how much income, Social Security, and Medicare tax to withhold from their earnings. When brand ambassadors fill out a W-2 form and onboarding paperwork with ATN’s payroll partner, they become regular employees. ATN made a decision to get ahead of the curve early due to upcoming regulatory changes. Most experts predict that all brand ambassadors will have to be W-2 employees before long. ATN wants to maintain impeccable service for our clients and extend maximum benefits and convenience to our brand ambassadors.
Payroll and Tax Implications of W-2
Once you fill out onboarding paperwork and your W-2 form, we can issue payment quickly via direct deposit or by paper check. On average, brand ambassadors receive payment 15-20 days after an event. If payroll issues arise, we collaborate diligently with you and our payroll partner to address delays. As W-2 employees, we consider you part of the ATN team and want to build an ongoing relationship. We have many brand ambassadors who work the equivalent of full-time hours and some who have risen up within the company ranks.
In terms of taxes, the bottom line is that you need to make more freelancing as an independent contractor. While income tax does not vary between what brand ambassadors earn as independent contractors or W-2 employees, FICA tax (Social Security and Medicare combined) is considerably higher for independent contractors. For Social Security, the IRS takes 12.4% up to $117,000. For Medicare, the IRS takes 2.9%.
Now here’s the key difference: as a W-2 employee with ATN, we pay half of your FICA tax (i.e., 7.65%). As an independent contractor with some other staffing agency, you have to pay FICA tax all by yourself (i.e., 15.3%). Working as a W-2 employee is convenient and profitable for you. In certain cases, our advertised hourly rates might be a bit lower than other agencies, but you should realize that is because ATN covers half of the FICA tax and administers the W-2 process for its staff.
Other W-2 Implications
When you work for ATN as a W-2 brand ambassador, your business expenses are our business expenses. By contrast, independent contractors often have to cover everything. ATN pays you for training time and our clients provide necessary brand attire/costumes and equip you with any required product technology or props. For incidental expenses (gas, parking, shipping, etc.), ATN’s account managers also negotiate reimbursement with brand ambassadors based on event logistics. As an independent contractor, these costs are your responsibility.
Finally, ATN offers its W-2 employees peace of mind in the form of workers compensation insurance. If anything should happen to you while working as a brand ambassador, rest assured that we have excellent coverage nationwide. ATN is genuinely concerned about both your financial and personal well being.