Assessable income and the sharing economy

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Assessable income and the sharing economy

More and more people are using and providing services through the sharing economy.

The ATO describes the sharing economy as economic activity through a digital platform (such as a website or an app) where people share assets or services for a fee.

Receipts from services or assets provided through the sharing economy may need to be included in an individual’s assessable income.

Common sharing economy activities include:

  • ride-sourcing for a fee through platforms such as Uber or GoCatch;
  • renting out a room, house or unit on a short-term basis, through platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway;
  • sharing assets such as cars, car parking spaces or storage space through platforms such as Car Next Door; and
  • providing personal services such as creating websites or performing odd jobs through platforms such as AirTasker.

The ATO’s position in relation to such receipts is that:

  • income earned from ride-sourcing, including fares, tips and bonuses from any ride-sourcing platform (such as the Uber ‘driver appreciation reward’ payments), is assessable income;
  • income earned from renting or sharing assets through a digital platform is assessable; and
  • income earned from providing your time, labour or skills (services through a digital program for a fee) is assessable income.

Tip! If you are active in the sharing economy, you will need to consider what amounts need to be included in your assessable income. Your tax adviser can explain these issues to you and help you determine what is assessable.

Ref: TaxWise Individual News September 2019

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