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Tax tips for an Airtasker

by Samuel Williamson

3 min read

Build a profile, bid for jobs, then get hired and paid; that’s Airtasker in a nutshell. Whether you’re helping people move furniture, redesign their website, or walk their dog, your skills are in demand, so why not use them to make a bit of extra cash?

Like other platforms in the sharing economy – Uber, Airbnb, Parkhound, and Upwork – a supplemented income isn’t the only advantage of Airtasker. It’s flexible too; you can schedule jobs around other work or family commitments, and you can choose the tasks and terms you want.

Because Airtasker is often a side gig to your full-time or part-time employment, the issue of whether you need to pay tax on the money you earn can be a little grey. So, what’s the deal?

Do you have to declare your earnings?

If you’re doing more than a couple of odd jobs via the sharing economy, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) may view this as running a small business. If this is the case, you’ll need to get an ABN and declare your Airtasker income on your tax return alongside your other earnings, like your salary, and any pensions or investments.

Be sure to keep track of your income and expenses throughout the year, so you don’t run into trouble come tax time. User-friendly accounting apps, like QuickBooks Self-Employed, let you create and send invoices and track expenses on the go from your phone.

Are you required to pay tax?

Unless your combined total income – including your salary, any Airtasker income you make, and any other earnings – is under $18,200, you are required to pay tax.

You need to record the gross amount – that is, the total task price – rather than the net amount you get after the Airtasker commission.

How do you pay your tax?

You can pay your tax in 2 ways:

1. Pay-as-you-go: This system lets you make regular payments towards your expected tax liability. This is calculated as an instalment amount, based on your most recent income tax return or an instalment rate based on your actual income multiplied by a rate provided by the ATO.
2. Annually: Calculated on your actual income.

The ATO will typically dictate whether you are required to pay instalments, depending on the income reported in your latest tax return.

The end of financial year in Australia is June 30, and tax returns must be submitted between July 1 and October 31. If you have a MyGov account you can lodge your return online using MyTax when you’ve prepared accordingly.

Do you need to pay GST?

If your total business income is more than $75,000, you’re over the Goods and Services Tax (GST) threshold. That means you’ll need to register for GST with the ATO, include 10% tax on your invoices, and put it aside for when it’s due at the end of the financial year.

Can you claim expenses?

Any expenses you incur performing your Airtasker work are deductible. So that new laptop you bought to schedule Airtasks, or the petrol you paid on your travels to and from Airtasker jobs – that’s all deductible. You can even claim Airtasker’s commission in your return.

What can’t you claim for? Fines given for speeding or parking, and clothing that’s not technically used as safety clothing on the job. Food and drink isn’t deductible either – even if you purchased it while on an Airtasker job.

If you’re registered for GST, you can offset your expenses by claiming GST credits on work-related purchases. This means that if you spend $110 on tools required to complete your Airtasker work, you can claim $10 back as an input tax credit.

The ATO has been keeping a watchful eye on people earning an income from sharing platforms like Airtasker, so if you’re still unsure about your responsibilities, speak to a professional. They will be able to walk you through what you do, and don’t, need to disclose.

Read more about self-employment tax issues here.

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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