Earning Through the Shared Economy?

Written by Priti Ambani

Sep 6, 2013

You monetize the sharing economy. You rent out your car, spare room, tools and freelance as a writer, designer or coder. You are making a sweet income, tapping into the the collaborative offerings and all is well. Then April 15 comes around and brings along tax confusion and uncertainty. Your tax consultant asks, “You are sharing what?”

The Collaborative Fund has just introduced 1099.is, a crowd-sourced repository of tax and accounting information for self-employed workers and folks getting side income. Collaborative Fund, established in 2010 is a leading source of capital and strategic support for creative entrepreneurs who want to change the world through collaborative consumption.

Their mission for 1099.is simple. Support the sharing economy and help recognize the liability that freelancers face.

“In the process of meeting with dozens of participants in the Sharing Economy – from crowdfunding platforms, car & ride-sharing startups, freelance writers, designers, and coders – we heard the same complaint: taxes are a constant source of uncertainty and pain for all parties involved. Working for yourself has different tax implications than the standard, employer-facilitated W-2 filing. The self-employed are at greater risk of an IRS audit, making accurate filing critical. Expenses, deductions and self-employment tax – all factor into determining how much is owed on every April 15th.”

Alberto Escarlate, venture capitalist at Collaborative Fund and contributor to 1099.is says,

“The objective of 1099.is is to become an open resource for the community to share their own experiences.”

The tax code is complicated, confusing and time-consuming. There is a need to simply it for an emerging income generating options that are non-traditional and diverse. 1099.is wants to be a crowdsourced space that provides advice from experts and people who have been through this before in transparent, clear, simple language. The site sure works in a collaborative way, requesting freelancers to submit questions they have on their 1099. Moreover, this information is needed widely, every collaborative consumption or sharing economy platform user has questions and wants to learn more. So why reinvent the wheel again and again. Wouldn’t you rather focus on freelancing another gig or renting out your shop vac?

Obviously with any tax advice comes the disclaimer. None of us are tax experts so it’s never too much to say that it is critical to consult with a tax professional before making any final decisions.

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About Author

About Author

Priti Ambani

Priti Ambani is the Global Media Director at Crowdsourcing Week, a thought leader and prominent writer on social and environmental enterprises, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses. As the Director and Managing Editor of Ecopreneurist, Priti has been instrumental in growing the site into a notable social business resource. Specializing in her ability to work with impact organizations from the ground up, Priti has developed successful business and communications strategies for fledgling start-ups, social and environmental enterprises. She also serves as a sustainability consultant at GreenDen consultancy and advises on CSR and the triple bottom line. Priti is a Professional Engineer and holds a Master’s degree in Biological Resources Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

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