IRS - Their Gig Economy Tax Center


The Service has opened what it calls their "Gig Economy Tax Center." The page is, as yet, a bit too cryptic and a bit too primitive. What it covers, it covers fairly well. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover very much.

The page includes a laughably naive "definition" of the gig economy. The definition doesn't begin to encompass the complexity and variability of the gig economy. It probably gives insight into the Service's priorities, but it fails miserably as a working definition. Unless you are there for the grins and giggles, I'd ignore their definition and apply your own, presumably broader, definition.

The pages are "conveniently" divided to reflect four obligations of "Gig Workers" and four more for "Digital Platforms and Businesses." (The Service seems to equate "Gig Economy" with part or short time work booked through "digital platforms." Like we said - this probably reflects Service priorities, rather than their world view.) [*1] Why they need an extra click-page to present those short lists and links escapes me - maybe they have grand designs to expand their offering (we can hope)? Anyway - WYSIWYG.

Or, is it: To my mind, the best part of any page on the Service's website is the left hand navigation panel. In this case - click on the links and sub-links to "Small Business and Self Employed" topics. The information on those pages is much more thoroughly developed and encompasses most of the tax knowledge you'll require to run a small business (unless that business is a tax consulting firm - the IRS pages are a bit short on code, regulation, and case cites).

[*1] The Service definition reflects NACO's and Molly Turner's observation: “The gig economy is not new – people have always worked gigs… but today when most people refer to the “gig economy,” they’re specifically talking about new technology-enabled kinds of work.” –Ms. Molly Turner, Lecturer, Haas School of Business, University of California and the former Director of Public Policy for Airbnb.

Picture: Harvard Business Review

#GigEconomy #TaxReturns #SmallBusinessTaxation

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