Nearly a year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor issued an opinion that most "gig economy" workers are properly classified as independent contractors.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently reported on self-employment tax compliance in light of the growth of the gig economy. The IRS last estimated that self-employment taxes accounted for $69 billion of the annual tax gap. TIGTA reviewed Forms 1099-K for tax years 2012 through 2015 issued by the top nine payer companies participating in the gig economy. Over 260,000 instances of potentially underreported payments were identified, and the number of discrepancies increased 237 percent from 2012 to 2015. Due to the large volume of discrepancies identified, the IRS' Automated Underreporter (AUR) program declined to work on 59 percent of total cases, including over 2,800 taxpayer cases in which there was potential underreporting for all four years of Forms 1099-K reviewed. The total potential payments related to those taxpayers was $2.7 billion.
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently audited the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS's) SS-8 Program, which addresses worker classification issues. The standard options have been either employee or independent contractor. However, in recent years, classification has become more complicated with the emergence of the "gig economy," defined by its reliance on short-term contracts and freelance work.
If you use the internet to provide customers with services, such as household chores and handyman services, or the use of assets, like a car or room for rent, you may be part of the newest workforce known as the "Sharing Economy" or "Gig Economy." The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is keeping with the times by acknowledging this quickly evolving category of businesses and assisting business owners with regard to their gig-source tax obligations by creating an Internet-based Sharing Economy Resource Center.