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What Gig Workers Need To Know About A Key Tax Form



Americans have started to file their 2020 tax returns. After a tumultuous income year, it will not be an easy tax season. But for individuals who are independent contractors, often called gig workers, filing taxes can even be more challenging, even in normal times.

Unlike W-2 employees, gig workers typically report all of their income on Schedule C. Their income is reported and then offset with business expenses. But being a gig worker requires a great deal of organizational skills in tracking all of these moving parts.

And that is where there can be difficulty. Even when gig workers want to report their income, they often do not know what to do when they do not receive a 1099 from the individuals and companies they worked for. That can be a dangerous minefield which must be navigated correctly to avoid potential consequences from the IRS.

What Is a 1099?

When a gig worker accepts an engagement, they should be file a W-9 with the employer. This provides the employer with the relevant information from name and address to tax identification number that will allow them to report the gig worker’s wages at tax time.

At the end of the tax year, the employer issues a 1099-NEC to the gig worker by January 31. But there are parameters to it.

“A 1099-NEC is issued to gig workers for cash and check payments over $600 in a calendar year,” explains Nicole Davis, CPA at Butler-Davis Tax & Accounting in Conyers, Georgia.  “The payments are reported to the Internal Revenue Service as a way to ensure gig workers are claiming all of their earned income on their tax returns.”

What has added another layer of confusion in the process is that the form itself has changed. For years, gig workers received 1099-MISC. But in 2020, the IRS changed the form to 1099-NEC.  The NEC stands for non-employee compensation.

What If You Don’t Get A 1099?

“If a gig worker does not receive a 1099-NEC, then they can reach out to the customer that hired them for the work and request one,” says Davis.

But many are confused when the 1099 does not arrive.  They should think about the amount of income they earned from that engagement. If it was under $600, they will likely not receive a 1099-NEC however are still required to report the income. 

“Gig workers are ultimately responsible for keeping track of the income they earned especially if a 1099-NEC is not issued,” says Davis. “Compliance with issuing 1099s is still a big issue among businesses.”

Onus Is on The Gig Worker

Part of what gig workers love about being independent is that they can call the shots, but that benefit comes with responsibility. Properly reporting their income is key to creating a strong financial life. 

While it may be frustrating to have to report all income – including income for which you didn’t receive a 1099-NEC – it is necessary in order to create a record in the Social Security system that will determine your retirement benefits. Further, by reporting all of your income, you create opportunities to fund retirement plans that will help down the line.

As a result, you should report all income even when you don’t get a 1099-NEC. In 2021 and beyond, be proactive and make sure that when taking a new gig, you ask to complete a W-9 so that you can get a 1099-NEC in the future. In addition, be sure to track all of your income from your various engagements so that at the end of the tax year, you’ll have a clearer idea of whether or not to expect a 1099-NEC from each employer.

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Government has no plans to create new employment status for gig workers




The Government has “no plans” to introduce a new category of employment for workers in the gig economy, which would extend to them the same rights as those of staff in more secure forms of employment, Minister of State for Trade Promotion Robert Troy has said.

Mr Troy was speaking in the Seanad on Friday, days after a landmark ruling against Uber by the UK supreme court, which said the ride hailing app’s employees were workers rather than being self-employed.

Fianna Fáil senator Mary Fitzpatrick said Deliveroo riders and those working for similar delivery companies had provided a “vital and essential service” to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Because they are in this no-man’s-land, they have no employment rights, no insurance cover if they are robbed, mugged, or in any way injured during the time they are carrying out their work,” she said.

Fine Gael senator Mary Seery Kearney said the UK ruling would lead to a “hybrid” category of employment “that marries the gig economy type flexible model of self-employed with basic employment rights”, adding: “We don’t have that category here.”


In response, Mr Troy said the Department of Social Protection was “revising and updating” the code of practice for determining the employment and self-employment status of individuals to reflect new working models.

“Ireland has a robust suite of employment rights that protects all employees equally,” he said. “All employers carry the same obligation when it comes to the compliance with employment rights.

“Ireland has always resisted the creation of sub-categories of employment as this would inevitably lead to a race to the bottom where hard won employment rights are gradually eroded. Therefore, the Government has no plan to create a third category of employment.

“It’s not clear under what criteria a person would be deemed to fall into this third category of employment where they would be neither an employee or self-employed.

“We would essentially be creating a lesser category of employee who we acknowledge is not self-employed, but to whom we would not afford the full suite of employment rights to which they are currently entitled.”

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Employment Law Coffee Break | Neurodiversity; gig economy; roadmap out of lockdown 3 and our pensions spotlight for February




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Welcome to our Employment Law Coffee Break in which we highlight the latest developments and issues impacting UK employers

Neurodiversity: Creating inclusivity in your workplace

This week Danielle Kingdon, employment partner, speaks with Nancy Doyle, CEO of Genius Within to provide a practical introduction to neurodiversity and the considerations for employers seeking to attract, retain and support neurodiverse talent.  For many employers their understanding of neurodiversity is just developing and this podcast provides a timely and practical outline.

What did the Supreme Court say in the Uber case?

The Supreme Court has handed down its decision in the long running “Uber” case. The decision inevitably has attracted much media attention with there being wider ranging implications for businesses operating on a platform model.  The decision highlights the need for organisations to understand the employment status of those working for them, together with workplace tax implications. This April sees reforms to IR35 rules in the private sector; given that the test of whether IR35 applies is an employment status test, this decision that the drivers were workers for employment purposes could also have implications for any IR35 status and will be relevant to any determinations carried out in relation to this. We look here at the Supreme Court’s decision and set out here our six practical takeaways for businesses.

If you would like any further assistance in this area and the implications of the new IR35 rules on your contingent workforce, please do contact our specialist workforce solutions team. Kevin Barrow will be discussing the traps in the regime as part of our Eating Compliance for Breakfast series of webinars; please register here.

Roadmap out of lockdown 3: Considerations for employers

The Prime Minister set out on 22 February a four step roadmap to “cautiously” ease lockdown restrictions in England. However, as previously, nothing is set in stone with each step to be assessed against specifc tests – centred on the vaccination programme, pressure on the NHS and any new variants of concern – to keep infection rates under control before restrictions are eased.  Separate measures to ease lockdown are being introduced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We now wait for further guidance but please read here for the immediate considerations for employers. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has also confirmed that companies who are required to do so should report their gender pay gap by the 4 April 2021 but it will not bring enforcement proceedings until 4 October 2021.

We are hosting a webinar on 3 March which looks at vaccination considerations for employers. Please register here.

Pensions spotlight for February: Climate risk governance and reporting

The Department for Work and Pensions is consulting on draft regulations and statutory guidance which will introduce climate risk governance and reporting duties for the trustees of trust-based (occupational) pension schemes from October 2021. The duties will apply to larger schemes first, but all schemes are being urged to consider what action they can take.

Climate change risk is also key for contract-based (for example, group personal) pension schemes. A number of providers have recently announced ‘net zero’ targets and the Financial Conduct Authority has confirmed that it plans to consult on climate-related disclosure requirements in the first half of 2021, with a view to rules coming into force from 2022.

The main aim of these changes is to support good governance of, and appropriate action in response to, climate change risk.  The disclosure/reporting changes also mean that members (and anyone else who is interested, including action groups) will have access to more information about the way a pension scheme is considering and responding to climate change risk.

Employers might like to continue to talk to their personal pension scheme provider about the action it is taking. For the risk and other reasons we discuss at the end of this Insight, you might also like to discuss the new provisions for trust-based schemes with the trustees of any scheme that you sponsor.

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Latin music star Maluma’s Sept. 12 Pechanga Arena San Diego gig is dormant venue’s first new show of 2021




The announcement that reggaeton-music star Maluma will perform Sept. 12 at Pechanga Arena San Diego is newsworthy for more than just musical reasons or his past collaborations with Jennifer Lopez, Shakira and Madonna.

Maluma’s concert, part of the U.S. leg of the Colombian singer’s Papi Juancho 2021 World Tour, is the first new 2021 concert to be announced at Pechanga Arena. It also appears to be the first major new concert by any pop artist, at any indoor or outdoor San Diego County venue, to be announced this year — as opposed to a concert that was postponed from 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the exception of drive-in performances, no ticketed concerts or live events are currently allowed under San Diego County and California state health regulations. Even so, Maluma’s Pechanga Arena show will be a full-capacity performance. All 13,500 tickets will go on sale Friday, apart from those allotted to a Maluma fan club pre-sale, which began today.

“The show’s promoter and Pechanga Arena San Diego understand that if local health guidelines do not allow for a full house on the event date, the show will be rescheduled,” said Kristi Reedy, the venue’s marketing director, in response to questions from the Union-Tribune.

“Pechanga Arena San Diego continues to work with event organizers and promoter partners in anticipation of a return of live events. This includes the advance sale of tickets for future events that are being scheduled.”

The concert and live events industry came shuddering to a halt last March because of the pandemic. As a result, lost 2020 income in the U.S. alone was estimated to exceed $9 billion, with losses of about $16 billion in the rest of the world.

On Jan. 29, the 2021 editions of both the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals in Indio were canceled outright, after being postponed from last April to last October to this April. Also canceled were the 2020 editions of two San Diego festivals, KAABOO and Wonderfront.

In an October Union-Tribune article, the majority of concert and festival experts interviewed predicted that their industry would not be able to fully return to normal until 2022, although some held out hope a partial reopening of their industry could begin in late summer or early fall. It remains to be seen if the timing of Maluma’s 23-city U.S. arena tour, which is scheduled to open Sept. 2 in Sacramento and conclude Oct. 24 in Chicago, will be propitious or premature.

The tour is being produced by Cardenas Marketing Network, which in a statement said that it “will follow and comply with recommendations and guidelines imposed by governmental authorities and public health departments.”

As of this writing, the first scheduled concert this year at Pechanga Arena is a performance by James Taylor and Jackson Browne on May 29 — one year to the day from their postponed 2020 concert at the same venue. The original concert was part of Taylor’s joint tour with Browne, who was later diagnosed with COVID-19.

Regardless of the timing, Pechanga Arena — which for decades was known as the San Diego Sports Arena — is eager to resume operations with new health measures in place that could serve as a template for other concert and live events venues. The venue is operated by ASM Global, which is co-owned by AEG, the producer of the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals. ASM Global was selected last August by then-San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer to build a new arena and create an entertainment district on the 48-acre city site that houses Pechanga Arena.

“When Pechanga Arena receives approval from our local health officials to reopen, we will be deploying VenueShield, ASM Global’s comprehensive and industry-leading reopening program,” Reedy, the San Diego venue’s marketing director, said. “… Rest assured that all policies will be aligned with — and informed by — public health authorities, medical and industry experts.”

Tickets for Maluma are priced from $55.50 to $406.50 each. They go on sale to the general public Friday at 10 a.m. at

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