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Are you an employee or contractor delivering food or goods on apps such as Menulog, UberEats or Deliveroo?  Here we feature some regularly asked questions to help you understand your taxes.

In this article we use some shortened words:

  • GST – goods and services tax
  • ABN – Australian business number
  • BAS – business activity statement.

Do I need to apply for an ABN or register for GST?

Working out if you’re an employee or contractor will help you answer this question.  You can use our employee or contractor decision table to understand what applies to you.

  • If you’re an employee, you won’t have to apply for an ABN or register for GST as part of your employment.
  • If you’re a contractor and your GST turnover is less than $75,000, you’ll need to apply for an ABN
  • If you’re a contractor and your GST turnover is more than $75,000 (or you think you’ll earn above this amount) then you’ll need to apply for an ABN and register for GST

If you’re not currently registered for GST, check each month to see if you’ve reached the threshold or are likely to exceed it.  Once you exceed the $75,000 threshold, you have 21 days to register for GST. 

How do I report GST?

If you’re a contractor registered for GST, you include GST in the price you charge for goods and services.  You also report any GST you collect in your BAS.  Your BAS is completed monthly, quarterly or annually.  We’ll automatically send you a BAS to fill out when it’s time for you to lodge.

You’ll also be able to claim GST credits for business expenses via your BAS.

Remember to put aside amounts equal to the GST you’ve collected, so that you’re able to pay your BAS when payment is due.  If you think you might be unable to lodge or pay by the due date, contact us as soon as possible

How do I complete my tax return?

Where you report income on your tax return depends on whether you’re an employee or a contractor.

  • If you’re an employee, report your income as salary and wages.
  • If you’re a contractor, complete the business section in your tax return to report your net income or loss.   

What deductions can I claim?

You can claim tax deductions relating to income you earn as an employee or contractor if:

  • you’ve spent the money and not been reimbursed
  • the costs relate to doing your job or running your business and aren’t a private expense (such as travel from home to your job)
  • if the expense is for a mix of job or business and private use, you only claim the part that is used for your job or business
  • you keep appropriate records to prove your claim.

You can find more information on our website about deductions you can claim as an employee, and business tax deductions.

I don’t want a big tax bill.  What can I do?

There are ways to ensure you don’t get a large tax bill when you lodge your tax return.  You can:

  • make tax prepayments at any time and as often as you like
  • sign up for pay as you go income tax instalments, otherwise known as PAYGI.  We’ll then use your income estimate to issue you with regular PAYGI activity statements.  We may also enrol you in the program based on information you provide us in your tax return.

We can also help if you get a bill when you lodge your tax return.  You can create a payment plan online using our online services in myGov, or you can contact us for tailored advice and support.

I’m on a working holiday maker visa. Do I need to lodge a tax return?

If you work as an employee, your employers will withhold 15% of your wages as income tax.  The requirement to lodge a tax return depends on how much you earn.  You don’t need to lodge a tax return or a non-lodgement advice if all the following apply:

  • all your income as a working holiday maker was salary and wages
  • the total of your taxable income for the income year was less than
    • $37,001 in 2019-20 and earlier income years
    • $45,001 from 2020-21 and later income years.

If you have an ABN and work as a contractor, you must lodge a tax return regardless of how much you earn.

Can't find the answer to your question here?

Our guide to providing services in the sharing economy is full of handy information for delivery drivers.  If you still have questions, ask the Community.

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