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Discussion Starter #1
I wrote a movie 20 years ago that was in reruns on cable for a decade. Residual checks rolled in for years, some of them five figures. After the network stopped showing it the checks continued to come whenever there was an audit or something turned up. Last month I received a residual check from Universal, and today I got the W-2.

Gross pay: $1.30
Federal income tax withheld: $0.29
State income tax withheld: $0.09
Social Security tax withheld: $0.08
Medicare tax withheld: $0.02

The state income tax withheld is for California, although I haven't lived there for more than 15 years and the company issuing the payroll check is a New York LLC. The state of California insists the money is "California-sourced income" and they will collect income tax on it forever. For several years I've been well below the income threshold to actually owe California income tax, but Universal continues to withhold it and send it to the state of California. Several years ago I stopped even filing for a California refund because the extra charge on TurboTax for a state income tax form was more than the refund.

In order to get the 82 cents to me, this is what happened:

1. Universal Studios LLC printed the check and mailed it to Writers Guild of America, although along with many others, so it didn't cost them a whole stamp.
2. WGA printed a cover sheet, stapled it to the check, and mailed it to me.
3. Universal Studios LLC printed a W-2 and mailed it to me.

What's the smallest W-2 you received this year?
 

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The rule is $600, but almost all businesses go lower. I do earn $40-$60 a year from Lulu, which sells a PDF that I put together. Lulu has never sent me a 1099-MISC. I don't think I've ever had a 1099-MISC for less than $100. Google Play is pretty low, but I haven't received one from them this year yet.

For banks, the rule is $10, and I've never gotten a 1099-INT for less. (And they would be for less, now that interest is measured out in tenths of one percent.)

However, it all adds up.
 

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Just checked my 1099 from D2D I made $39.08 and Amazon did not bother to check. Maybe 10 dollars and google maybe 5 dollars. My combined total Is enough to buy a carton of cigarettes. I have not published anything in around 7 years. Surprised to have any sales at all.
 

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The silliness of issuing a W2 isn't surprising. This is what computers do. The fact that residuals are paid as employee income is though! I'd never have guessed that.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Speaker-To-Animals said:
The silliness of issuing a W2 isn't surprising. This is what computers do. The fact that residuals are paid as employee income is though! I'd never have guessed that.
That always baffled me too. I never knew if it was union rules or something else. Unfortunately, even though it's W2 income, no pension and health contributions are paid by the employer and it doesn't count towards remaining a current member of WGA and receiving free health insurance.

I also get a check every year for foreign copyright royalties, but there's no W2. The WGA collects and distributes the money and sends a 1099. Last year it was about $20.
 

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I once wrote a check for 70 cents, for a single guitar string. That was back in the 1980s.

I don't recall the smallest W2 I ever got. Probably not too small. I'm semi-retired as a software engineer and teach part-time at a local university, so I get a W2 now for about 30k each year (give or take).
 
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