The rules are hard to understand and the forms are written in doublespeak.
In April 2014, one invited speaker wrote:
It has taken me some time to get around to filling out your Independent Contractor Form. It is prehistoric! I do not even see where I am supposed to sign it.
I have filled out Part 1 as best I can, and have signed it at the top just to be safe. Part II seems to be nothing. Parts III and IV are not for me to fill in. Please clarify if there is something I am missing here, before I put it in the mail to you.
Please keep in mind that X extended the invitation to visit and give the XXX Distinguished Lecture, and explicitly stated the terms: $ 2,500 honorarium and all expenses. There is no place to acknowledge that --- and as I said, no place to sign. I will simply sign it at the top.
If I am missing something, please let me know. Otherwise, I will simply mail it back to you as I have filled it out. Please don't take it personally, because I know it has nothing to do with you, but the university really knows how to insult its invited guests, if you don't mind my saying so. It is hard to believe that they put invited speaks through such idiocy. The form could have been made so much easier to fill out. What is more, aside from asking me whether I am a citizen of the United States, you already have all the information that is asked for on this form. And as I said, I don't see any place to officially sign off on my information. Please inform me of how to proceed.
Thanks to Shawn Clodfelter, Accountant with the FSO Tax Compliance team, for providing the following response:
The Independent Contractor Form was revised in February 2012 based on guidance provided by the IRS. This 2 page document has a section for the prospective independent contractor as well as University of Arizona staff to fill out. If you have any questions while filling it out, or have suggestions on ways that the form can be made easier to use, please contact FSO Tax Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.