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Taxing and Mturk earnings?

Asked by: samserio 1419 views YA Discussion

What exactly is our current tax-code and how does it effect workers on Mturk such as myself? I know it used to be you made 600 dollars from ONE requester and you’d get a tax form from that requester to file to the IRS, but how does it work now? Is it 400 dollars per requester now? Is it just 400 dollars in life-time earnings in general before you file? Is 10k to 20k the thresholds before filing? I’ve heard all these different theories with different figures, can anyone set me straight? When do we file our income to the IRS from Mturk? (And yes, I know technically every penny we obtain should be reported but who really does that?)

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5 Answers



  1. Quick Answers on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    The old rules are the same and clearly you didn’t understand them.

    The $ 600 rule applied to the payer. If they paid non-employee compensation of $ 600 or more to a contractor, they were required to issue a 1099-Misc. Some payers issue them for all amounts.

    The rule for the recipient is if they make $ 400 or more from self-employment (it could be $ 40 from 10 payers or $ 400 from 1, doesn’t matter), they have to file the income and pay SE tax. If they also have wages, they must report every dollar.

    During audits, the IRS is always suspicious when someone’s income matches the reported income exactly. They know people will “forget” the items they didn’t get forms for. Me, I report every penny.

    The $ 20K one is new. Due to reports of people selling on eBay, craiglist, etal and NOT paying income tax when owed, Congress passed a law that the money handlers (Visa, Mastercard and particularly Paypal) must issue a form showing gross transfers if the amount is more than $ 20K. The new form is 1099-K. And yes, you can bet if someone gets a form 1099-K in 2012 and wasn’t showing any income at all from selling in 2011, they are a prime target for audits.

    As for filing, each year stands on it’s own.

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  2. ninasgramma on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    Q1: What exactly is our current tax-code and how does it effect workers on Mturk such as myself?

    A1: Payment you receive from Mturk is self-employment income and is taxable.

    If you are paid $ 400 or more by Mturk and similar activity (other similar sites), you are required to file a tax return and pay income tax and self-employment tax.

    If you were paid less than $ 400 by Mturk and similar activity, and your total income is less than your filing requirement, then you do not have to file a tax return and will owe no tax on your Mturk and similar activity income.

    If you were paid less than $ 400 by Mturk and similar activity, and you are required to file a tax return, then all of your Mturk income is reported, but you will not owe self-employment tax on your Mturk and similar activity income.

    Q2: I know it used to be you made 600 dollars from ONE requester and you’d get a tax form from that requester to file to the IRS, but how does it work now?

    A2: It still is the case that a payer who paid you $ 600 or more is required to file Form 1099MISC and send you a copy.

    Q3: Is it 400 dollars per requester now? Is it just 400 dollars in life-time earnings in general before you file? Is 10k to 20k the thresholds before filing?

    A3: No, no, no.

    Q4: When do we file our income to the IRS from Mturk?

    A4: With your individual federal income tax return, due April 15, 2013.

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  3. Judy on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

    The $ 600 is the limit where the payer must sent paperwork to you and to the IRS. But if you made a total of $ 400 for self employment total from ALL payers, you must report it on a tax return.

    This is not a change.

    Who really does that? Well, lots of people follow the law. Some don’t. Some who don’t, get caught, often because the payer gets audited.

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  4. waleed on Jan 07, 2013 Reply

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  5. rani. k on Apr 04, 2013 Reply

    2013 please tips in registration full details

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