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IRS Launches Website to Help “Gig Economy” Workers and Businesses

The IRS has announced that it has launched the Gig Economy Tax Center on IRS.gov. The new website provides guidance specifically for businesses and workers in the gig economy (i.e., those people who earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods).

The gig economy is also known as the sharing, on-demand or access economy. It usually includes businesses that operate through a digital platform, an app or website, to connect people and to provide services to customers. While there are many types of gig economy businesses, ride-sharing and home rentals are two of the most popular. Often, gig economy activity is through a digital platform like an app or website.

The IRS summarizes the unique tax aspects of the gig economy. Many gig economy workers do not receive form W-2s, 1099s or other information returns for their work in the gig economy. However, income from these sources is generally taxable, regardless of whether workers receive information returns. This is true even if the work is full-time, part-time or if the person is paid in cash. Workers may also be required to make quarterly estimated income tax payments, pay their share of Federal Insurance Contribution (FICA), Medicare and Additional Medicare taxes if they are employees, and pay self- employment taxes if they are not considered to be employees.

Resources on the new website. The new website covers many topics, including:

  • filing requirements
  • making quarterly estimated income tax payments;
  • paying self-employment taxes;
  • paying FICA, Medicare, and Additional Medicare;
  • deductible business expenses; and
  • special rules for reporting vacation home rentals.

The website contains separate sets of information for gig workers and for digital platforms and businesses.

For more information about this article, please contact our tax professionals at taxalerts@windes.com or toll free at 844.4WINDES (844.494.6337).

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