FAQs

About Amazon Mechanical Turk

Working on HITs

Getting Paid

Tax Information for US Residents

Tax Information for Non-US Residents

MTurk Master Worker

Premium Qualifications

Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk

About Amazon Mechanical Turk

What is Amazon Mechanical Turk?

Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a marketplace for work that requires human intelligence. The Mechanical Turk service gives businesses access to a diverse, on-demand, scalable workforce and gives Workers a selection of thousands of tasks to complete whenever it's convenient.

Amazon Mechanical Turk is based on the idea that there are still many things that human beings can do much more effectively than computers, such as identifying objects in a photo or video, performing data de-duplication, transcribing audio recordings, or researching data details. Traditionally, tasks like this have been accomplished by hiring a large temporary workforce (which is time consuming, expensive, and difficult to scale) or have gone undone.

Where does the name Mechanical Turk come from?

In 1769, Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen astonished Europe by building a mechanical chess-playing automaton that defeated nearly every opponent it faced. A life-sized wooden mannequin, adorned with a fur-trimmed robe and a turban, Kempelen’s “Turk” was seated behind a cabinet and toured Europe confounding such brilliant challengers as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. To persuade skeptical audiences, Kempelen would slide open the cabinet’s doors to reveal the intricate set of gears, cogs and springs that powered his invention. He convinced them that he had built a machine that made decisions using artificial intelligence. What they did not know was the secret behind the Mechanical Turk: a chess master cleverly concealed inside.

What is a HIT?

A Human Intelligence Task, or HIT, is a question that needs an answer. A HIT represents a single, self-contained task that a Worker can work on, submit an answer, and collect a reward for completing.

How do I create a Worker account on MTurk?

Click the "Get Started with Amazon Mechanical Turk" link in the upper right corner of the Worker website. You will be asked to provide your name, email address, and password. In addition, you will be asked to agree to the Amazon Mechanical Turk Participation Agreement and provide your country of residence. We will send you an email when your registration request is accepted.

Where can I view and edit my name, email address, and password?

You can view and edit your account information by accessing your Account Settings page. Your MTurk Worker account is associated with your Amazon.com account so you will be redirected to Amazon.com to change your name, email address, and password.

My country of residence is the United States. Where can I view and edit my contact address and bank account information?

You can view and edit your contact address and bank account information via Amazon Payments.

My country of residence is outside the United States. Where can I view and edit my contact address and bank account information?

You can view and edit your contact address on Amazon.com. If you have the option to transfer your earnings to your local bank account, you can change your bank account information here.

Working on HITs

How do I complete a HIT?

To work on a HIT, sign in to the Worker website and visit the HITs page. There you will see a list of HITs you are qualified to work on. Click on the "Accept & Work" button for the HIT you want to work on. Complete the HIT according to the Requester instructions, and click the "Submit HIT" button. After you submit your results for the HIT, another similar HIT will be presented for you to accept.

Who creates HITs and how are they created?

Requesters have a great deal of control over the content and design of their HITs. In some cases, HITs created by Requesters may be hosted externally on their own servers instead of systems managed by Amazon Mechanical Turk. Because MTurk isn't directly involved in the creation of HITs posted by Requesters, you should always take steps to protect yourself from scams and phishing attempts. For example, do not respond to HITs that ask you to provide your email address, password, or other personally identifiable information. When MTurk asks you for your Amazon sign-in information the URL in your browser will end with amazon.com. If a Requester's HIT appears suspicious or violates our Acceptable Use Policy, please use the "Report this HIT" link on the HIT preview page or the HIT page itself and select "Policy Violation" to report it.

How do HITs get approved?

Requesters determine whether to approve your work and pay you within 30 days after you submit your Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). Amazon Mechanical Turk does not determine whether or when to approve or reject HITs and does not estimate when your HITs will be approved. Completing HITs accurately will help ensure that Requesters will want you to continue to work for them. Read instructions thoroughly, answer HITs accurately, and return HITs you are unable to complete correctly, to build a positive reputation as a Worker. Keep in mind that returned HITs will not affect your rating.

In the event you have questions about the content of a HIT or the approval status, you can contact the Requester directly.

How much time do I have to work on a HIT?

Requesters can specify a HIT's "Allotted Time" or how long a Worker can hold on to a HIT. Once the Worker accepts the HIT, a timer begins counting up to the HIT's allotted time. This timer is visible to the Worker on the Worker web site. When the timer reaches the HIT's allotted time, the HIT is made available for other Workers to accept and work on. This ensures that work is completed in a reasonable time period.

Why is the number of HITs I can do each day limited?

Amazon Mechanical Turk limits the number of HITs Workers can do on a daily basis as a means of combating conduct that would violate the Participation Agreement, including, for example, use of robots, scripts or other automated methods to complete HITs.

My work was rejected, what can I do?

A Requester may reject your work if they believe the answer is wrong, the HIT was not completed correctly, or that the instructions were not followed. If you believe that your work was rejected in error, you may decide to contact the Requester directly.

You can reach out to a Requester by following these steps:
  1. Go to the HITs page on the Worker website and search for HITs containing the Requester's name.
  2. Click on the title of the HIT in question.
  3. On the lower right-hand side of the box, click Contact the Requester of this HIT.
  4. Enter your question about the HIT and submit.

Your name and e-mail address will be made available to the Requester when you submit the "Contact the Requester of this HIT" form. After you have sent your message, you may need to wait a few days for a reply. Some Requesters do not monitor their messages every day.

Can I re-use the HIT answers that I submit to Requesters for other purposes?

No. All work product that you submit to answer a HIT on MTurk is the property of the Requester.

How can I use the HIT content that Requesters publish?

You may only use the HIT content that Requesters publish to perform the HIT. Do not share the HIT content (or your answer) with anyone except the Requester, or with MTurk to report abuse.

How do I report a HIT that violates the Amazon Mechanical Turk policies?

If you see a HIT that violates the Amazon Mechanical Turk Participation Agreement including the Acceptable Use Policy, please report the HIT by clicking on the "Report this HIT" link so that we can investigate.

Should I keep my computer secure while using Amazon Mechanical Turk?

When you complete HITs on Amazon Mechanical Turk, you are accessing the Internet to perform work for Requesters that may not be Amazon. We recommend that you secure your computer with the latest operating system security updates and virus protection software, update your browser and plug-ins with the latest versions, and use caution when directed to other websites or asked to download software.

Getting Paid

How do I get paid?

Once a Requester approves a submitted HIT, Amazon Mechanical Turk will automatically transfer your earnings to your balance displayed on both the Dashboard and Earnings page under the Your Account tab.

If you are a new Worker, there is an initial holding period before your money is transferred to your earnings balance. This holding period is an important security requirement and you will not be able to disburse funds during this time. Your money is held until you have been active on Amazon Mechanical Turk for at least 10 days, starting from the day you submit your first HIT.

You can disburse your earnings by visiting the Earnings page. You are limited to one transfer per calendar day.

U.S. Workers: You can transfer your earnings to your Amazon Payments account or to an Amazon.com gift card. You can disburse to your bank account as soon as your earnings are transferred to your Amazon Payments account.

Indian Workers: You can transfer your earnings to an Amazon.com gift card. You may also receive the option to disburse earnings to a bank account.

Other International Workers: You can only transfer your earnings into an Amazon.com gift card.

How do I transfer my earnings to my bank account?

Go to the Earnings page. You will see your amount available for transfer. Enter the amount you wish to transfer and click the Continue button. You will need to enter your password when prompted for your Amazon Payments account. Once logged in, follow the steps to transfer the funds to your bank account.

If this is the first time you have transferred money to a bank account, you will need to enter your bank account information. Follow the instructions to enter your bank routing and account numbers in the form provided.

What is a bonus payment?

A bonus is an additional grant of money from a Requester. A Requester can choose to pay a bonus in addition to the stated reward for completing a HIT. Bonuses are granted at the Requester's discretion and are usually paid to Workers who do particularly good work.

How do I receive payment in Indian Rupees?

If you are a Worker in India, you may get an option to transfer your earnings to your local bank account. You will need to provide your birth date and a scanned copy of your Permanent Account Number (PAN) card to be eligible to transfer to your bank account. Once submitted, it may take up to 7 days to verify your card information. After we've verified your PAN card information, you'll be able to provide your bank account information for verification. This will enable you to transfer your earnings to your bank account. You will receive instructions on the Earnings page when this transfer option is available to you.

What if I don't want to transfer my earnings to my bank account?

If you do not want to transfer your earnings to your bank account, you have the option of transferring your earnings to an Amazon.com gift card.

Tax Information for US Residents

Why am I asked to register with Amazon Payments?

An Amazon Payments account allows you to transfer Amazon Mechanical Turk earnings to your bank account. We also require U.S. Workers to provide valid taxpayer identification information when registering with Amazon Payments. You must create an Amazon Payments account to work on HITs and your earnings may be subject to tax reporting with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). To learn more, click here.

Do I have to pay taxes on earnings from Amazon Mechanical Turk?

The earnings you receive may constitute taxable income to you. Please refer to the IRS website or consult your tax advisor to help determine if you should pay taxes on your earnings or report them on an income tax return.

Tax Information for Non-US Residents

Why am I asked to provide my tax information?

We require Workers to provide valid taxpayer identification information in order to comply with U.S. tax reporting regulations governed by the U.S. tax authority (Internal Revenue Service or "IRS"). The tax information interview collects the information needed to complete an IRS tax form (e.g. IRS Form W-8) which will be used to certify your non-U.S. status, determine if your earnings are subject to IRS reporting, and the rate of U.S. tax withholding (if any) applicable to your earnings.

Can I work on HITs if I don't provide my tax information?

No. We are required to collect this information before you work on HITs in the Mechanical Turk marketplace.

I'm a U.S. citizen living outside the U.S. and I am getting the message "Tax Status Not Supported".

Unfortunately, Mechanical Turk currently does not support U.S. persons residing outside the United States.

If you selected "Yes" to the U.S. person question in the interview in error, please update your tax information. If you selected "Yes" correctly, you may retake the tax interview if your circumstances change.

What information will I need to provide in the tax information interview?

U.S. tax status (U.S. person or non-U.S. person), the name of the individual that will report the income on an income tax return, and permanent residence address.

What does electronic signature mean?

As part of the registration process, you are required to complete a tax information interview form. Consenting to an electronic signature allows you to sign and submit the form to us electronically by checking the boxes, typing your name, and typing the email address you use to access your account. No special hardware or software is required to provide your electronic signature.

No, an electronic signature is not required. However, if you consent to an electronic signature, you will be able to certify, sign, and submit your form electronically by checking the boxes, typing your name, and typing the email address you use to access your account.

If you do not provide consent, you will be required to print a hard copy of your IRS tax form, sign with blue or black ink, and mail to the address below:

Amazon
Attn: FinOps Tax
PO Box 80683
Seattle, WA 98108-0683
USA

Please note that consenting to electronic signature allows Amazon Mechanical Turk to validate your information online, which generally enables you to have your tax information and account processed immediately. If you do not consent to electronic signature, it can take 7 to 10 business days for your form to be processed after being received.

Can you help me complete the tax information interview?

Help content is available within the interview by clicking on the "Tax Information Interview Guide" in the top right hand corner of the interview. We are unable to provide tax advice. For more information on the various tax forms, instructions, and descriptions of which form(s) may be appropriate for you, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service website (www.irs.gov) or consult an independent U.S. tax advisor.

Will I be subject to U.S. tax reporting by the U.S. tax authority (Internal Revenue Service, "IRS")?

If you are a non-U.S. Worker, you will not be subject to U.S. tax reporting as part of your participation in the Mechanical Turk marketplace.

Do I have to pay taxes on my Mechanical Turk earnings?

The earnings you receive may constitute taxable income to you. Please consult a tax advisor in your country of residence. Your tax advisor can help you determine if you should pay taxes on your earnings or report them on an income tax return.

MTurk Master Worker

What is a Mechanical Turk Master Worker?

A Master Worker is a top Worker of the MTurk marketplace that has been granted the Mechanical Turk Masters Qualification. These Workers have consistently demonstrated a high degree of success in performing a wide range of HITs across a large number of Requesters. We leverage statistical models that analyze all Workers based on several Requester-provided and marketplace data points to make that determination. Some of the key categories of data that are considered to be granted and maintain the Masters Qualification include the Worker's ability to consistently submit high-quality results (as indicated by Requester approval rates and other related factors), marketplace tenure, and variety of work performed. Master Workers have access to work that requires a Masters Qualification.

How do I receive the Masters Qualification?

Mechanical Turk automatically grants the Masters Qualification based on statistical models that analyze Worker performance based on several Requester-provided and marketplace data points. Those who score the highest across these key data points are granted the Masters Qualification. Workers cannot apply for this status. To receive the Masters Qualification, try tasks across a variety of Requesters and consistently submit a lot of high quality work.

Can the Masters Qualification be revoked?

Yes, the Masters Qualification can be revoked if the Worker's performance declines and he or she no longer scores highest across Requester-provided and marketplace data points, or the Worker otherwise violates our Participation Agreement. If Workers have the Masters Qualification revoked, they will have an opportunity to improve and will be eligible to regain the Masters Qualification in the future.

Premium Qualifications

How can I participate in the Premium Qualifications feature?

Requesters use Premium Qualifications to access the contributions of those Workers that are best-suited to their workloads. To become eligible to complete HITs that use Premium Qualifications, Workers can complete Profile Information HITs available here. Please note that some Premium Qualifications are only available for Workers in certain locations.

Do I have to complete the Profile Information HITs?

No. Providing information via Profile Information HITs is optional. You can complete as many or as few Profile Information HITs as you choose. Certain HITs are only available to Workers who have completed certain Profile Information HITs.

Where can I view the Profile information HITs I have submitted?

Once your Profile Information HITs have been processed, which may take up to 30 days, you can view your related Premium Qualifications on the Qualifications Assigned to You tab.

How can I change or have my Premium Qualifications removed?

Amazon Mechanical Turk will re-publish the Profile Information HITs on a periodic basis. Workers can be granted new Premium Qualifications by changing their responses when re-taking Profile Information HITs. If you want to want to remove any of your Premium Qualifications at any time, please contact us and we will remove you from that Premium Qualification.

How does Amazon Mechanical Turk use my Profile Information HITs?

We use your Profile Information HIT responses to associate Premium Qualifications with your Worker ID, so that Requester HITs requiring those Premium Qualifications can be made available to you. We will not otherwise use this information for any purpose (including marketing purposes) without your consent. You can contact us at any time to opt-out of Premium Qualifications and revoke your consent for us to use the profile information you provided. To learn more about our information practices, please read our Privacy Notice.