Tax Tips for “The Sharing Economy”

Industries, Self-Employed A laughing pretty chinese woman with a hat on driving somewhere with her friends in the backseat

How we perform our daily tasks and interact with one another is constantly changing. Many entrepreneurs and companies have been able to capitalize on these technology-driven opportunities, and have created a movement around sharing instead of owning. You may have heard people referring to this phenomenon as the gig economy, the on-demand economy, collaborative consumption or, of course, the sharing economy.

Whether you realize it or not, you probably already participate in the sharing economy. Ridesharing services like Lyft, errand services like TaskRabbit and crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter all fall under the sharing economy. And if you made income this way in 2016, you’re not alone. According to a study conducted by Intuit, about 3.2 million Americans are already working as part of the “sharing economy”, and the number is expected to grow to 7.6 million by 2020!

Being an entrepreneur within this economy means you may have one or more micro-enterprises or small businesses going on. With April 18th quickly approaching, here are some useful tax tips and tricks for all of the ride-sharers, home-renters, task-doers and more.

Report income from Forms 1099-Misc and 1099-K

By now you should have received a Form 1099-K, Form 1099-Misc, or both. If you earned income as a freelancer working in the sharing economy, your income will typically be claimed on Form 1099-Misc. Form 1099-K reports income processed through third-party networks, such as PayPal. A payment processor must report income to the IRS using Form 1099-K if your gross payments:

  • Exceed $20,000, and
  • Exceed 200 transactions within the tax year

Lyft and Uber drivers typically receive these forms. But there would be no Form 1099-K reporting requirement if you made $5,000 on the side selling your handmade items on Etsy. However, you are still responsible for reporting that amount to the IRS by including it as self-employed income.

Take tax deductions you didn’t know were possible

Working in the on-demand economy as a freelancer allows you to take tax deductions you would not be eligible for as a W-2 employee. To help make sure your side gig is profitable, take advantage of business expense deductions, like start-up costs, computers, vehicle expenses, and computers.

Self-employment tax obligations are not optional

You may not think of yourself as self-employed as you engage in your on-demand economy gig, but the IRS does.  If you still need to file your taxes don’t worry. Whether you are working as a contractor or you are enjoying making money in the fast growing gig economy, managing your taxes just got easier with TurboTax Self-Employed.

With TurboTax Self-Employed you don’t need to know about these tax laws or forms.  TurboTax Self-Employed will ask simple questions about you and your business and help you organize and separate your business expenses and give you the business deductions you deserve.

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