August 2, 2022 - Douglas Myser

Gig work tax bill and status at the IRS. A bill was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives, that would amend the current labor law in the United States, to establish a new classification for gig workers, denying them the right to a minimum wage and other employment protections. Called the "Worker Flexibility and Choice Act", it would change the Fair Labor Standards Act so that "employee" does not include a person who has entered into a worker flexibility agreement, such as workers for gig companies like Uber and DoorDash, or Lyft and others. The bill would amend Internal Revenue Code to say that an individual who enters into any such agreement would not be treated as an employee, and the company for which that person performs a service would not be treated as an employer. Gig work tax bill and status at the IRS.

This bill is trying to change the standards set by the IRS, who determines the "Status" of a person when they file their tax return. Status is determined by such things as control of the worker, control of the hours worked, assigned tasks, etc. This seems to be an end around that common held definition and is being named "Worker Flexibility and Choice Act". It sounds good, but when you look at the amount most of these individuals make, after wear and tear on their car, gas, and other expenses, they are usually making less than minimum wage. To call a bill the choice act also implies that it is about freedom and choice. In reality, the large majority of Gig workers either have a second job, or are doing this type of work, because other high paying jobs are simply not available to them. If they a real choice it is doubtful they would work the long hours needed to make ends meat.

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