The gig economy, also called sharing or access economy, is defined by activities where taxpayers earn income providing on-demand work, services, or goods. This type of work is often carried out via digital platforms such as an app or website. There are many types of sharing economy businesses, including two of the most popular ones: ride-sharing, Uber and Lyft, for example, and home rentals such as Airbnb.

If taxpayers use one of the many online platforms to rent a spare bedroom, provide car rides, or other goods or services, they may be part of the sharing or gig worker economy. Understanding how gig work can affect taxes may sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s take a look at what taxpayers should keep in mind:

Income is Taxable

Whether it’s a full-time job or just a side hustle, taxpayers must report gig economy earnings on their tax returns. 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 a side job, if an individual is paid in cash, or if an information return like a Form 1099 or Form W2 is issued to the gig worker.


New for 2022: The reporting requirement PDF for issuance of Form 1099-K changed for payments received in 2022 to totals exceeding $600, regardless of the total number of transactions. This means some gig workers will now receive an information return. This is true even if the work is full-time, part-time or if an individual is paid in cash.