it's a scam...
and this is how it works.
they send you a cheque, (say for £3000) and that's the complete amount money for the artwork and your wages.
so you cash the cheque,
as soon as it's cashed and the money is in your account, (that's 3 days time). you;re asked to keep your £300 and send £2700 to the 'seller' or whoever it is that you're meant to pay.
so you send a cheque, they cash it, wait 3 days, cancel their cheque, (because it actually takes 7 days for a cheque to clear),
you don't realise until a few days later when you get a letter from the bank that you have no money,
they take their £3000 back,
their accomplice takes £2700 from your bank.
and there is very little that can actually be done about it, because it's practically impossible to prove this kind of thing.
this is a well known scam, it's often done with people who you;re buying a service off.
for instance people will say to a wedding dress maker that they want to pass the fee on to them to pay the 'photographer'.
or people will give you a cheque and say that they don't get paid till the end of the week and you can cash it then.
it's almost certainly a scam, (now I'll go read the second mail that concerned you more).
yes, there is no reason why they'd need that sort of information since they won't be making tax contributions on your behalf, though you have to understand, whenever you work 'for' someone, you'll be required to give some information...
google the company a bit...
firstly, look at the letter headers.
firstly, I'd have thought that anyone with their offices at 29 Stockwell St would be able to spell Stockwell Street, (not stock well street), it's one word, not two.
Second, if you go to the website it clearly says that it's based at 28 stockwell street.
if you google 29 stockwell street, glasgow you;ll find that there are two business based there.
first a warehouse.
(21-29 Stockwell St).
Whilst i see that an art supplier might be in a warehouse, if your business had five concecutive units in a warehouse, you wouldn't only list one.
the other business based there is http://www.tipped.co.uk/listings/903...ell%20Newsmart
a news agent.
Secondly, (i don't know how american systems) work so I'll explain this.
houses are *usually* numbered with odd numbers down one side of the street, even numbers down the other side.
postcodes identify specific blocks of houses.
the postcode on that address is for 28 stockwell street G1 4rt (likely lifted from the website), the postcode for 29 stockwell street is G1 4RZ
Also the telephone number is a mobile number, one that you can get for a few quid, is practically untraceable and disposable.
so... my advice, start running away from this 'business' and don't stop running any time soon.