IRS Reaches Out to 'Gig Economy' Taxpayers

Modern taxpayers who are driving for Uber or renting out their spare room with Airbnb have a new resource just a click away.

The Internal Revenue Service on Monday announced the launch of a new online Sharing Economy Resource Center to centralize tax resources relevant to the 21st-century’s independent operators.

“This rapidly evolving area often presents new challenges for people engaged in these economic activities, whether they are renting a room or providing a ride,” said IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. “The IRS is working to help people in this area by providing them the information and resources they need to file accurate tax returns.”

Working with the National Taxpayer Advocate, the tax agency defined the often Internet-based “on-demand, gig or access economy” as that in which individuals and groups use “technology advancements to arrange transactions to generate revenue from assets they possess — such as cars and homes — or services they provide — such as household chores or technology services.”

This summer, the IRS has been holding forums for tax professionals dealing increasingly with gig economy clients, which are also being catered to by tax software vendors.

It is educating taxpayers on deductibility issues, employer withholding and use of proper forms for the rising number of people who, for example, may be producing income part-time or in cash.

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