TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Thomas Presents Taxing The Gig Economy At Minnesota

Thomas (2017)Kathleen DeLaney Thomas (North Carolina) presented Taxing the Gig Economy, 166 U. Pa. L. Rev. ___ (2017), at Minnesota as part of its Perspectives on Taxation Lecture Series hosted by Kristin Hickman:

Millions of Americans now earn income through “gig” work, which allows them to set their own hours and choose which jobs to take. To the surprise of many gig workers, the tax law considers them to be “business owners” and subjects them to onerous recordkeeping and filing requirements along with the obligation to pay quarterly estimated taxes. Professor Thomas will discuss two possible reforms aimed at reducing the tax compliance burdens of gig workers while enhancing the government’s ability to collect tax revenue from them: a “non-employee withholding” regime that would allow online platform companies to withhold taxes for their workers without being classifed as employers; and a “standard business deduction” for gig workers that would eliminate the need for those workers to track and report business expenses.

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A few years ago I stayed at a B&B in France. Since the French have a certain reputation for bureaucracy, I asked the owner how complicated his taxes were - in particular what it took to track his expenses. He laughed and said that the B&B qualified as a "microenterprise" and therefore his taxes were calculated just as a percentage of his gross.

Posted by: Whitey | Dec 16, 2017 12:22:48 PM