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Taking a Side Gig? Here’s How It May Affect Your Taxes

Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes. Taxpayers who work in the gig economy may benefit from a better understanding of how their work affects their taxes.

Here are some things taxpayers should know about the gig economy and taxes:

  • Money earned through this work may be taxable.
  • There are tax implications for the company providing the platform and the individual performing the services. 

This income may be taxable even if the taxpayer providing the service doesn’t receive a Form 1099-MISC, Form 1099-K, or Form W-2. This income may also be taxable if the activity is only part-time or side work or paid in cash. 

*This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific, individualized tax advice. Please discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov5

Footnotes and Sources

  1. IRS.gov, April 7, 2023.

Weekly Market Insights: Market Retreats on Inflation, Economic Reports

Stocks fell last week as investors reacted to disappointing inflation updates and other economic reports that fell short of estimates.

Stocks Snap Winning Streak

Markets were quiet Monday but opened lower Tuesday in response to the January inflation report that showed higher-than-expected consumer prices. But stocks regained some momentum on Wednesday and rallied Thursday despite disappointing reports on both retail sales and industrial production for January.1,2

News of higher-than-expected wholesale prices on Friday put investors back on edge and kept stocks from ending the week on a positive note. The weekly loss broke a five-week winning streak.3

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.
  2. CNBC, February 16, 2024.
  3. The Wall Street Journal, February 15, 2024.
  4. The Wall Street Journal, February 13, 2024.

Are You Prepared for a Natural Disaster?

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, or fires, can happen anytime, so preparing before disaster strikes is essential. Here are a few tips to help you prepare in case anything happens:

  • Update Your Family’s Emergency Plans: Your emergency plans can include knowing where to go, where you keep all necessary documents and possessions, and what you need to be prepared for. Check up on the emergency plans for your home or business frequently because things can change.
  • Create Digital Copies Of Important Documents: Most financial organizations, such as banks and insurance companies, provide digital copies of bank statements, tax returns, and insurance policies anyway, and keeping all these digital copies saved and organized is an excellent practice to get into. If you only have paper copies of important documents, scan them and save them securely to access them in an emergency.
  • Document Valuables: Documenting valuables makes it easier to claim insurance and tax benefits after a natural disaster. A disaster loss workbook will help you compile a list of belongings and photographs that can make this process even more accessible for both the IRS and your insurance provider.

These tips may help you have everything you need ready in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency.

*This tax tip is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for more specific information.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov6

Footnotes and Sources

  1. IRS.gov, March 8, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: S&P Hits Record High

S&P Tops 5,000

At the start of last week’s trading, stocks faced downward pressure due to comments by Fed Chair Powell over the weekend, signaling that the Federal Reserve had no immediate plans to initiate interest rate cuts. Consequently, the yield on the two-year U.S. Treasury note, highly influenced by monetary policy, increased to its highest level in two months.1

By the end of trading on Monday, stocks had regained a significant portion of their previous losses. Influencing this market rally were positive corporate earnings reports. This trend continued throughout the week, contributing to the overall market momentum. By Friday, 67% of the companies listed in the S&P 500 had released their Q4 results, and an impressive 77% of those companies exceeded earnings expectations.2

Investors expressed enthusiasm on Friday after a report indicating that December’s inflation was lower than initially anticipated. This positive news revitalized buying activity, resulting in the S&P 500 surpassing 5,000 for the first time.3

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal,February 4, 2024
  2. FactSet.com, February 9, 2024
  3. CNBC.com, February 9, 2024

Tax Tip: Vacation Home Rentals

If you receive money for the use of your primary residence, you may have to report this rental income on your tax return; this means that the “vacation home rental” classification can apply to your home, even if you don’t own multiple short-term rental properties. The rental expense deduction is limited in the case of a property used as a home; the rental expenses can’t be more than the rent received. The rental income may not require reporting if you rent the house to your tenant for fewer than 15 days during the year.

A vacation home is a house, apartment, condominium, or other dwelling that you use to generate income, but you can also use it as a residence during the year. For tax purposes, it’s critical to divide the expenses of a property into personal and business purposes.

To report rental income and rental expenses, use Schedule E. In addition, rental income may be subject to a net investment income tax.

*This tax tip is for informational purposes only and is not a replacement for real-life advice. Consult your tax, legal, and accounting professionals for more specific information.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov4

Footnotes and Sources

  1. IRS.gov, September 25, 2023 

Weekly Market Insights: Investors Move Past Mixed Fed Message

Stocks pushed higher last week as investors cheered mega-cap tech corporate reports and a better-than-expected employment report.

Stocks at New Highs

At the beginning of the week, stocks surged, anticipating fourth-quarter corporate updates from tech companies and the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting; this led to the S&P 500 Index reaching a new record high on Monday.

The market remained relatively stable for the rest of the week until Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve announced its decision to maintain interest rates within the 5.25-5.50 percent target range. The Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) news unsettled investors, who anticipated that rates would remain unchanged but expected more specific guidance on the Fed’s plan to lower interest rates.1

On Friday, the job report for January revealed the addition of 353,000 new jobs, surpassing the forecast of 185,000. This strong report did not negatively impact the markets. Instead, investors interpreted it as confirmation of a robust economy.2

Footnotes and Sources

  1. CNBC.com, January 29, 2024
  2. The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2024

Tax Tip: Couples Who Work Together, Tax Together

As more households decide to start a business, many couples learn about the tax responsibilities related to such businesses. Here are some things to consider when working together:

  • You should establish whether you have a partnership business (in which both spouses have an equal say in business affairs, services, and capital) or an employee/employer relationship (with one spouse substantially controlling management decisions). These relationships involve different tax situations.
  • If an employee/employer relationship exists, the second spouse (employee) may be subject to income, Social Security, and Medicare tax.
  • If there is a partnership relationship, you may need to report the business income on Form 1065, US Return of Partnership Income.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov7

Footnotes and Sources

  1. IRS.gov, July 27, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: Excitement Around Big Tech Continues

Stocks continued their upward climb last week as excitement around big tech continued; positive economic reports stoked investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve has pulled off a soft landing.

Stocks Power Ahead

Big tech was back last week, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 to new highs early in the week as markets resumed the late Q4 rally.

The so-called “Magnificent Seven” stocks—comprising 28% of the S&P 500 Index—resumed their pole position at the head of the pack as investors maintained their artificial intelligence (AI)-related bullishness and rewarded widespread cost-cutting at many tech giants. While the rally fizzled on Friday, the week’s gains were slow but steady.1,2,3

The big economic news last week was better-than-expected economic growth and inflation news. Real Gross Domestic Product grew at a 3.3% annualized clip in Q4 2023, ahead of Wall Street consensus expectations of 2%.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Index, one of the Fed’s most favored inflation gauges, showed core inflation (excluding food and energy) cooled in December, with an annualized rate of 2.9%, beating consensus expectations. Core inflation was 3.2% on an annualized basis—its lowest level since March 2021. While the inflation update didn’t move markets much, it helped validate investors’ optimism that Fed policy has maintained economic growth while bringing inflation down.4

Footnotes and Sources

  1. The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2024
  2. CNBC.com, January 22, 2024
  3. The Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2024
  4. CNBC.com, January 25, 2024
  5. Slickcharts.com, January 26, 2024
  6. CNBC.com, January 26, 2024

Tax Tip: Keep These Tips in Mind When Selling a Home

If you are selling your home, you may be able to exclude the sale’s capital gain from your tax return. The first thing to consider is the home’s ownership and use. To claim the exclusion, you must have owned the home and used it as your primary residence for at least two years.

If you are selling your main home, you may be able to exclude from your return the sale’s capital gain of up to $250,000 for single filers and up to $500,000 on joint returns. If you own more than one home, you can exclude only the gains on selling your main home. However, the loss may not be deductible if you experience a loss in selling your home. You can also choose not to claim exclusion, in which case you must report the gain on your tax return.

Some taxpayers must also report forgiven or canceled debt as income on their tax return, including foreclosure or other processes in which a lender forgives or cancels mortgage debt on the home.

*This information is not intended to substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax professional.

Tip adapted from IRS.gov8

Footnotes and Sources

  1. IRS.gov, March 8, 2023

Weekly Market Insights: Big Win For Big Tech

Stocks finished higher last week, with big tech again leading amid lingering uncertainty over how continued economic strength would influence the Fed’s rate decision.

Stocks Dip, Then Rally 

Stock prices dropped early in the week before rising to new highs as the week ended. The four-day trading week began with more Q4 bank earnings, which disappointed. The news pushed the financial sector and the broader S&P 500 Index lower on Tuesday. The yield on the 10-year Treasury climbed after a Fed Governor said the central bank may adjust rates as much as markets expect. That and a stronger-than-expected holiday retail sales report put pressure on stock prices.1,2,3

Tech stocks drove the Thursday rally, with the S&P and Nasdaq recouping their 2024 losses. Stocks continued their tech-led climb on Friday, with the S&P 500 rising to an all-time high—its first record close in over two years. The Nasdaq gained 1.70% on Friday, capping a solid week for the tech-heavy index.

Footnotes and Sources

  1. CNBC.com, January  16, 2024.
  2. CNBC.com, January 17, 2024.
  3. CNBC.com, January 17, 2024.
  4. CNBC.com, January 16, 2024.
  5. MarketWatch.com, January 17, 2024
  6. CNBC.com, January 18, 2024. 
  7. The Wall Street Journal, January 19, 2024.