What kind of resources are out there about taxes for couriers with gig companies like Grubhub, Postmates, Instacart, Doordash, Uber Eats and others?
There are way too many. There are not enough.
It’s kind of both, really. There are a million things, articles, videos and books about self employment taxes.
But what is out there specifically about taxes for those of us who deliver with Grubhub, Postmates, Uber Eats, Doordash, Instacart or other gig companies?
I find a lot of articles that touch on the basics. I see some videos that people have put out. A lot of those videos have bad or incomplete information.
There are a few things out written specifically for rideshare drivers. However, while there are some similarities to delivery, there are differences.
A tax guide for you.
I’ve put some articles up over time that are meant to help you get a general understanding of how taxes work. Those are general overviews, such as this video I put together.
I thought it would be helpful to provide more detail on some of these things.
Some of you will have more in depth questions about how miles and car expenses work. Others might want to know more about other deductions. Or how about what the Schedule C is all about are, or how much you should save?
So I decided to create this series of articles that goes into a bit more detail about all of these different parts of your taxes.
I’m not a tax pro and this is not tax advice.
Let me be clear: I’m not a tax professional.
This is not meant to be tax advice. All I’m doing here is providing information. I’m trying to give you a bigger picture view of how taxes work and how they apply to you in your delivery business as you contract with Doordash, Uber Eats, Instacart, Grubhub, Postmates or any other delivery gigs.
I really really suggest you find a tax professional who understands self employment and gig economy taxes. They can look at your specific situation and help you out.
If I’m not a tax pro, why would I put out a tax guide?
Because I’m in the field. I’m out there delivering like you are. And I’ve dealt with self employed and business taxes for a number of years.
I figured that I could find the information that answers your tax questions, and put it together in a way that applies to your delivery business. I’m not a tax expert but I relied a lot on tax experts to put this all together.
Get a tax pro.
And in my opinion, a tax preparer is not a tax pro. They’re trained to do the software. Don’t rely on the sign twirlers and big box store outposts.
Find someone who knows self employment tax inside and out. They’ll pay for themselves.
An overview of the tax guide
Here’s what I wanted to do.
I wanted to drill down into the different things you’re going to wonder about.
There are so many sub topics about delivery contractor taxes that you and others have questions about. You can’t cover them well enough with a single article or even with the video above.
You can scroll down to find a list of all the articles in the guide. If you want to see them in an outline view, check out the side bar (or if you’re on a mobile device, scroll down even further).
The first articles dive into an overview of taxes, and especially understanding what your taxes are based on.
Then we get into some articles about your income, your 1099’s and how that works.
After that, we talk about expenses. There are a few articles about car expenses, because for most of us, that’s the big one. We put a TON of miles on our car, and if you don’t get that one right you could cost yourself a bunch.
Then we’ll get into some information on how the taxes themselves are done and wrap up with information on saving for taxes through the year.
Some other tax resources
One of the best resources out there was just put up by the IRS themselves. The IRS Gig Economy Tax Center page has links to a number of resources and articles that can help you understand your taxes.
These are books that I referenced frequently while putting this guide together. Information I found in these books seems pretty legitimate. Links here are affiliate links to Amazon – you can read more about affiliate links here.
Income Tax Guide for Rideshare and Contract Delivery Drivers. John C. White, the author, worked several years as a tax analyst for the IRS. This book is geared primarily at rideshare drivers and doesn’t get much into the specifics of contract delivery work. However, the nature of rideshare is similar enough to what we do that most of this information is applicable to us.
J. K. Lasser’s Guide to Self Employment and J.K. Lasser’s Small Business Taxes 2020, both by Barbara Weltman. These provide a broader look at self employment and taxes for independent contractors. I found these books to provide a better overall picture of what taxes are like. There is a lot of information here, and that can make it difficult to narrow down what applies to our delivery businesses.
475 Tax Deductions for Businesses and Self Employed Individuals by Bernard Kamoroff. This is a good resource for identifying business expenses that you may not have been thinking about. It also is useful for figuring out where to categorize those expenses on your Schedule C. I do offer this caution though: You want to have a firm grasp on how expenses work and what really applies to your business. It can be easy to latch on to some expenses that are not really applicable.
Tax Guide: Understanding Your Income
The following three articles help you understand what your real income is as an independent contractor.
Tax Guide: Understanding Your Expenses
The following eight articles help you understand the expenses you can claim on your Schedule C. Most of these are about your car, your biggest expense.
Filling Out Your Tax Forms
Once you understand your income and expenses, what do you do with them? Where does all this information go when you start filling out your taxes?