Unrealistic advice from IRS to gig workers

IRS says:

“The gig economy, also called sharing or access economy, is activity where taxpayers earn income providing on-demand work, services or goods. Often, it’s through a digital platform like an app or website. While there are many types of sharing economy businesses, ride-sharing and home rentals are two of the most popular.

Here are some things taxpayers should remember:

Income from these sources is taxable, regardless of whether an individual receives information returns. This is true even if the work is full-time, part-time or if an individual is paid in cash.
Taxpayers may also be required to make quarterly estimated income tax payments and pay their share of Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid taxes.”

This comes from Tax Tip 2020-75 “Gig economy tips taxpayers should remember” that was published today. The timing of this advice is insensitive at best.

Meanwhile, my gig worker clients, including one who just got off the phone, says in a stressed voice:

“I haven’t been able to cover my groceries and mortgage for the last three months; still waiting for unemployment to start; things are really scary”.

I spent time, without charge, trying to help alleviate his fears but there is really little I can do.

Are gig workers really concerned about the advice that IRS published today? The disconnect between government and reality on the streets of America is a growing concern. I’m concerned about a lot of things right now, but outright rebellion against unrealistic actions of taxing authorities is rising on the list.


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