Are you looking to get started in the gig economy? You’ve come to the right place.
Are you ready to be your own boss on Airtasker but don’t feel comfortable jumping right in? Are you unsure about whether you’ll need to have an ABN, pay tax, or take out insurance, and want to know more?
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about Airtasker including taking you through a step-by-step how-to guide: how to become an Airtasker Worker, how much is costs, how much you can earn, how Airtasker works with tax, GST and insurance plus some things you should watch out for.
What is Airtasker?
Airtasker is an online and mobile peer-to-peer marketplace where people can outsource everyday tasks and find skilled people to complete them. It’s well-known for people posting odd jobs like delivering packages or assembling IKEA furniture, but is also being used by businesses to find contractors.
How does Airtasker work?
You can either use Airtasker to post jobs you need completed (the Job Poster), or to complete jobs for some extra cash (Airtasker Worker).
Job Posters post a task they need completed to the jobs board, including a description of the task, the skills and equipment needed, how long it will take, how many people are needed (up to 30), and the task budget (the total amount or an hourly rate). There are no limits on the types of tasks which can be posted; from simple to complicated, home cleaning, graphic design, gardening and putting together furniture.
On a separate page, Airtasker Workers can see all tasks posted and bid to complete the task. Multiple bids can be made for each task, either higher, lower or the same as the asking price, so it is up to the Job Poster to decide which Airtasker Worker they want to hire, based on their bid, profile, reviews, and skills. Job Posters will then be able to communicate with the Airtasker Worker via private messaging to work out the finer details.
How do you become an Airtasker Worker?
Signing up to be an Airtasker Worker is as easy as signing up for an email address or eBay account. The whole process is done entirely online via the Airtasker platform.
You can sign up either with Facebook or by manually entering in a few personal details. You’ll also be asked what kind of tasks you’re looking for, to write a short description about yourself, enter your bank account details and decide whether you want to complete tasks online or in person. That’s it! You’re now free to browse tasks and make offers.
How much does Airtasker cost and how much can I earn?
While it’s free to sign up to the platform, Airtasker will take a 15% service fee for each task completed. For instance, if a Job Poster offers $100 to complete a task and accepts your $100 bid, before the money is paid into your bank account Airtasker will take a $15 fee.
Airtasker recommends that Job Posters pay an hourly rate of $25 for basic tasks, and up to $100 for professional and specialist services, but does not set a minimum rate. The price guide varies widely between professions so be sure to check the recommended bands for each task.
How do I get paid?
Once you have been selected to complete a task, and a “task contract” is created, the Job Poster will pay the amount agreed upon online to the Airtasker Trust Account. Broadly speaking, a trust is a type of account where the trustee (Airtasker) is put in charge of the funds for the benefit of another party (you). Airtasker must hold these funds exclusively and securely for you until the task is completed.
Once the task is complete, you make a request for payment from the Job Poster, and they will tell Airtasker to release the funds to your nominated bank account or PayPal account. Airtasker says you should allow 1-3 business days for the funds to reach your account. Every transfer of funds between the Job Poster and you must be done through this system only.
What are badges all about?
When a Job Poster puts up a task, it’s common for multiple Airtasker workers to bid against each other (and you), so it can all get a bit competitive. One way that Airtasker allows you to differentiate yourself is by displaying Badges on your profile. Badges give Job Posters more information when deciding who to work with and build trust.
There are three different types of Badges on Airtasker:
- ID Badges allow you to show that you’ve verified your identify in some way (e.g a Police Check Badge or a LinkedIn Badge).
- Licence/ Qualification Badges are used by certified service providers and professionals to show that they have the skills, training and legal approval to complete a task (e.g Electrician Badge).
- Partner Badges allow you to show your alignment with a particular company (e.g IKEA Badge).
How does tax, GST and insurance work with Airtasker?
Am I required to pay tax?
The simple answer is yes.
By law, income received through Airtasker is considered to be taxable income and must be declared with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) alongside all other types of income. Income tax is tax paid on total income from all sources (eg part-time employment, investment income, and rental income) less any deductions. You can read about what you can and can’t claim as a tax deduction here.
Note: if your total combined income, including all types of income, is under $18,200 (the tax-free threshold as at 2017), then you are not required to pay tax.
If your income is above $18,200, across all income sources, then you’ll be required to pay tax for whichever tax bracket you fall into. For example, if you earned $50,000 from your full-time job, and $20,000 from your Airtasker tasks, then your total income for the year would be $70,000, placing you in the third tax bracket. You will therefore need to pay $3,572 plus $0.325 for each $1 over $37,000 in tax.
How do I pay my tax?
You can pay tax on your Airtasker income in two ways:
- Pay-as-you-go (PAYG), a system which allows you, if you’re earning more than $4000 a year, to spread your tax payments across the year rather than getting hit with one large tax bill at the end of the financial year.
- Annually, calculated on your total taxable income.
On your tax return, you’ll need to record the task price (gross amount) that Job Posters pay you, not the final fee (net amount) you receive after the Airtasker Service Fee is removed.
Do you need an ABN to use Airtasker?
While Airtasker doesn’t require you to provide an Australian Business Number (ABN) when signing up, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need one to manage your finances.
If you only want to use Airtasker to complete a few odd tasks that don’t require any related expenses, for example walking a neighbour’s dog or minding a baby, it is unlikely you will need to sign up for an ABN.
However, if you do expect to be incurring expenses, like a new piece of computer software or building tools, then you’ll need to apply for an ABN to claim those items as deductions on your next income tax return.
Can I claim expenses?
Like every other registered Australian business, with an ABN you are entitled to claim business expenses relating to your Airtasker tasks as tax deductions to reduce your taxable income. Common deductions include motor vehicle expenses, travel expenses, home office expenses and the use of machinery, tools or computers. You can also claim the Service Fee charged by Airtasker.
Deductions cannot be claimed for fines, clothing other than safety clothing, and meals purchased whilst on the job. In order to be eligible to claim deductions, you must be able to prove that purchases made related to your business, so remember to hold onto invoices, receipts, and bank statements.
Do I need to pay GST?
If the total income only from your ABN is more than $75,000, then you’ll need to register for Goods and Services Tax (GST) with the ATO, and include a 10% tax on your invoices to be put aside for payment at the end of the year.
If you are earning less than $75,000 through your ABN, you will not need to pay GST.
Am I insured if anything goes wrong?
Airtasker Insurance is only intended to cover injury or damage to property by you to the Job Poster. If you are injured while performing a task, you will not be covered for workers compensation, salary protection or other types of insurance. The policy also does not cover any injury or damage to your property.
Airtasker Insurance also only applies to certain activities and excludes, among other things, landscape gardening where machinery is used, child minding, pest control, and couriers acting in a professional capacity (only). The full list can be viewed here.
All claims made under Airtasker Insurance are subject to an excess that is payable by you. If you’re concerned you may want to think about taking out insurance separately.
What happens to my superannuation?
As you are commissioned by the Job Poster through the Airtasker platform, this does not count as employment for the purposes of superannuation.
However,if you’d like to put money into your superannuation fund via personal contributions, you may be able to claim a tax deduction.
Key points to remember:
- It is your responsibility to withhold tax and send it onto the ATO
- It is highly likely that you will need to register for an ABN
- If you have an ABN, you will be able to claim deductions for Airtasker-based expenses
- Remember to keep a record of all income earned on Airtasker, and receipts of expenses
- It is unlikely that you need to pay GST, unless you earn a lot of money through Airtasker
- Cover is available, but it does not protect you if you are injured or your property is damaged
What should I be cautious of?
Certificates and Licences
While Airtasker does provide “Badges” (discussed above), it does not require you to hold these in order to bid for tasks. However, legislation may require certification in specific areas and you could be liable if you complete certain tasks without them, for example electrical wiring works, or construction of a dwelling. Make sure you have the correct licence to complete tasks.