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How to report Uber earnings while collecting unemployment?

Discussion in 'Pay' started by renbutler, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. SCdave

    SCdave Well-Known Member

    Location:
    LA / OC
    Driving:
    UberX
    This is an interesting question. The starting point is that if you are filing for Unemployment, you are saying you were an employee and the last employer was Uber. Therefore you are not considering yourself a business.

    So the question is how to state your salary or wages earned by working as an employee driver for Uber?
     
  2. David Pickett

    David Pickett Active Member

    Location:
    Vineland, NJ
    Driving:
    UberX
    The NJ UI System seems to accommodate people who work in alternative, temporary or part time jobs while not fully employed in their normal occupation. The funds they reduce the UI payment for earnings over a threshold are available as longer UI availability.
     
  3. ginseng41

    ginseng41 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Blacksburg, VA
    When I applied for unemployment they told me I had to use gross income. I used the after uber fees part but I went through hell with this. It may vary state by state, but in Virginia, that's what I was told
     
    thomas1234 likes this.
  4. cferrel

    cferrel Member

    Location:
    republic of texas
    put it under a C corp or LLC so taxes are paid via them.
     
  5. David Pickett

    David Pickett Active Member

    Location:
    Vineland, NJ
    Driving:
    UberX
    Since my Uber and Lyft trips are a federal tax shelter = loss, I would not need to report them unless the state used different rules, like a different mileage rate. Apparently NJ does not, since it is easiest to use the Federal numbers they can verify.
     

  6. thomas1234

    thomas1234 Active Member

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Are you implying that collecting UI not the right thing? Are you also implying that working for uber is being employed as in the definition of an employee?

    If this is the case, I don't think you fully understand how UI insurance works. It appears that you are attempting to shame a man for collecting money that he might be entitled to. I say entitled, because that's what UI is; entitlement that is earned by working for a company that pays into UI and then being terminated against your will. If you disagree with the way the system works, than vote, but don't shame people for taking what is owed to them.
     
    Docfate likes this.
  7. thomas1234

    thomas1234 Active Member

    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Did you ever get an any experience on how the system works in your state? I am currently going through the same thing. I really don't want to fail to report earnings, and I certainly don't want to report too much earnings.
     
  8. Uber SUCKS for drivers!

    Uber SUCKS for drivers! Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Detroit/Ann Arbor
    Geeeez ... Why all the worry??? Just ignore the whole Uber issue, dont report any earnings (its a loss anyway) everything will be fine.
     
  9. renbutler

    renbutler Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Indy North Suburbs
    Driving:
    UberXL
    Uh, look at the date on the post you quoted. I've been employed full time for eight months now.
     
  10. dcb

    dcb New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I can see why you might make such a claim (about eating your car in tiny pieces), but my analysis based on my personal experience shows different. I supposed that if the following 4 things are all true, then this person may not make much profit relative to his actual expenses. But I doubt anyone is running at a TRUE loss. Paper loss when using IRS standard mileage, sure... Depends on many factors though.

    1) Someone grossly over-paid for a vehicle with low bang for the buck (check out sticker for loaded Impala SS - yet can only do Uber/X)
    or a quasi SUV without 3rd row seating, yet sticker is over $40,000 after all is included. A used mini-van or mid-level luxury car would
    earn better than a loaded 2-row Equinox and cost less per month to own. Look at the vehicle charts before choosing a good used vehicle...
    2) That vehicle can only perform basic service. Not eligible for Select, or XL / Plus.
    3) Tax deductions are not properly utilized.
    4) Never takes advantage of ANY hourly guarantees or Surge / Prime pricing or bonus programs (10% to 20% giveback with Lyft after x number of weekly rides). Also when taking advantage of hourly guarantees your hourly pay during certain hours can easily be comprised of 30% to 50% "free" money. The amount they make up to get you to $30, $33, $35 / hour depending on the hourly guarantee structure. While putting zero additional miles on your car to earn that extra cake.

    I do this part time with a used Chrysler 300. A $400 per month car payment for 5 years. Seemed to be the most bang for the buck as far as Select level service with a used vehicle ($21,000 is what I paid with 30K miles on it). Black on black, loaded... I did put about $7,000 down, there were taxes of course, I paid extra for a warranty to take it to 90,000 miles, and all that... but that I paid that entire $7,000 back to myself with my after tax earnings from month #1 and month #2 (Nov/Dec 2015). I had some nice $900 weeks in there during the holidays, mostly $500 to $700 per week average on the others. Like I said I'm part time. My full time career is as a software engineer.

    Each week I shoot for $500 minimum net from Lyft and Uber combined. My MONTHLY car payment is $400. My monthly net is $2166 assuming I only make my minimum of $500. Some weeks I make as much as $600 or $700 ($2600, or $3033 per month net, respectively). The annual income for these per week nets are...
    $500 / wk = $2166 /mo = $26,000 / yr
    $600 / wk = $2600 / mo = $31,200 / yr
    $700 / wk = $3033 / mo = $36,400 / yr

    As I only owe $19,000 on my car right now after about 8 months of car payments (60 month loan), its evident from the above numbers that I make enough net income from Uber/Lyft to pay my remaining car loan off EVERY YEAR. Or if I do $600/wk average which I may be tracking toward actually, I'll have $11,200 leftover after paying off the car in one year... Moral of story... The car can easily pay for itself in the first year, and every year following that is gravy... Friction due to taxes is quite minor, at around 9.5%. My first year taxes were about 4.5% of my net, but this year the higher percentage due to my healthcare premiums comprising a smaller percent to total for the year, I'll give back 9.5%. My healthcare premiums are $330 per month, I also deduct a reasonable portion of cell phone usage, supplies, IRS standard mileage deduction (will be 54 cents / mile for 2016). I didn't bother with tolls that weren't on rides, nor car washes, nor parking. But I think next year I'll ask my tax guy if parking in metered parking to have dinner (while working) and car washes are deductible as well. Those aren't huge but why not take them if they are valid deductions.. Maybe someone here can tell me that... I see it (worst case for my payment / cost structure as selling a $2 - $3 chunk of my car for $10 each time I accept a ride). Yes per year I'll put a lot more miles on my car. Car will live a shorter life in years than if I didn't use it for this. But I could buy a new car every 5 years and still have quite a high percentage of profit.
     
  11. Oscar Levant

    Oscar Levant Well-Known Member

    Driving:
    UberX
    Net. Keep it simple gross less Uber commission less IRS deduction of 57.5 cents per mile, less 80% of road expenses such as food drinks Etc . Right ?
     
  12. Rat

    Rat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    What you are describing is gross, not net.
     
  13. Rat

    Rat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    Food and drink are not deductible. You can only deduct half a meal cost if you are entertaining a client. The current IRS deduction for mileage is 54c
     
  14. Rat

    Rat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Tallahassee, FL
    Perhaps you are unaware of Uber's complete denial of any employee status?
     
  15. I_Like_Spam

    I_Like_Spam Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Pittsburgh

    This is a state by state decision on how to deal with self employment income for unemployment claimants.

    When I was working for the unemployment office here in Pennsylvania 35 years ago, the examiner would look at your tax returns and decide what to apply each week against your checks for the "sideline business". But the key was that it had to be a "sideline". If it was a mill worker who did some self employed barbering on the side, that was one thing.

    But if someone took a self employed gig after they were already on benefits, they'd be through as unavailable for a regular job.
     
  16. UberPissed

    UberPissed Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Driving:
    UberX
    I am a tax guy but not sure on the number to report, but shooting from the hip (bad pun given current state of affairs) I would say you report your net income that you would report on the tax return. Just do a weekly P&L statement.
     
  17. shiftydrake

    shiftydrake Well-Known Member

    Location:
    st liuis
    actually here in Mo they want the gross amount.....they deduct out $for any commission that you show and prove........they will not take into effect ANY expenses since that is a tax deduction only............sorry I have been self employed for 20 yrs and have experienced this.......it's not fun hope you get what you try for
     
  18. dcb

    dcb New Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL

    ----------------------------------------
    I am not a CPA, I am no expert. But I am a driver, and finally I did find a concrete example relating to UI certification and which number to report. I think this is in terms of being SELF-EMPLOYED (as in Uber/Lyft). We are NOT employees. There is no employee id, no way to tell Unemployment that we are employed part time by this company even, as we are sole proprietors using their app and paying a commission to utilize it. AS self employed people, I believe its necessary for us (to NOT commit some kind of falsehood) to report the SAME thing we report to the Internal Revenue Service. Reporting anything BUT that seems to be an intrinsic falsehood if they are inconsistent. Taxable income is what we report to the IRS... After deductions/expenses. So for UI cert, two weeks at a time. So to do that we need a Profit Loss worksheet (advise you keep it handy if they call you for an interview), and keep track of total payments (after commission). That is, the net payments made to your bank account from Uber plus Lyft for those two weeks. And then the ACTUAL earnings would be that number, minus expenses. Expenses being IRS Standard mileage deduction (.54 cents per mile), healthcare premiums (if you are paying your own), supplies, a percentage of cell phone use for the business (car washes?, parking?).

    "Another factor that may be important: When you report how much you make, you want to talk about profits,
    not revenues."
    "You report your income, not your sales," says Lancaster.

    This link was at bankrate com. I guess I'm not qualified to post links, so F it... Find it somehow...
    side business can hurt unemployment benefits 2 aspx
     
  19. Rasheed

    Rasheed New Member

    Location:
    Sacramento, Ca
    I am located in CA, and I have been doing some reading on my own because I will have to make a decision soon about whether to report my UBER earnings to UI or not. Some info: I am currently receiving Unemployment Insurance, and having a hard time getting a job, and so I applied for UBER and expecting to be driving soon. How to handle the UI claim is the concern here.
    I read here "edd.ca.gov/uibdg/Total_and_Partial_Unemployment_TPU_5.htm" that if you are NOT making wages, you are considered Unemployed, even if you are an Independent Contractor or Self-employed. The cases that the EDD site discusses were all about Disability, but please press ctrl+F and serach for part or all of "While these three Supreme Court cases did not deal with the payment of unemployment insurance benefits", you'll see that the appeal board has extended the outcome of the cases to UI. Needless to say, it is actually allowed to report no income from any and all Self-employment or Independent contractor work in California with no penalty... or so I think. Please correct me if I am wrong! I don't wanna end up screwing my family and self up over a technical interpretation of the law.
     
  20. Tucky

    Tucky New Member

    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    You will need to report wages made driving for Uber.

    According on the California EDD website:

    ----------
    A. Self-Employment
    The Superior Court of Los Angeles County considered the case of a self-employed individual in People v Nest. The claimant was self-employed in a clothing business and claiming unemployment insurance benefits as a unemployed individual. The court ruled that the claimant was unemployed, and stated:

    "The word ‘service’ not being defined in the act, must be given its common meaning . . .’ the occupation, condition, or status of a servant. - Performance of labor for the benefit of another, or at another’s command; - hired helper; -duty done or required.’ Certainly these definitions do not embrace the activities of the defendant in . . . the running of his own clothing establishment . . . He was not under ‘any contract of hire’ express or implied."

    Section 1279 goes on to say:

    "For the purposes of this section only ‘wages’ includes any and all compensation for personal services whether performed as an employee or as an independent contractor . . ."

    Therefore, a self-employed individual, or independent contractor, is eligible under Section1279 in any week in which the wages payable to him or her are not XE.

    This concept was considered by the Board in Benefit Decision 5903. The claimant was a licensed insurance broker. The claimant stated that he/she was self-employed as a broker, and that he received earnings from his/her insurance business. The Board ruled on the employment status of the claimant, and in holding that he/she was unemployed, stated:

    "An individual who is self-employed may nevertheless be unemployed . . . However, if such an individual is in receipt of income for services performed in an independent business, such income constitutes ‘wages’ . . ."

    The Board went on to reason that unless the wages are not XE, then the individual cannot be considered as unemployed within the definition of Section1279. Further, in the case under consideration, the wages payable to the claimant with respect to each of the weeks involved were not XE, and therefore the claimant was considered to have been unemployed.

    An independent contractor is a person who is engaged in an independent employment or occupation, responsible to his/her principal only for the result and not for the manner or means by which it is accomplished.

    ----------

    XE is excessive wages. California EDD will reduce your weekly benefit according to how much you made from Uber that week. For instance let's say your weekly benefit amount is $450 and you made $200 driving for Uber, your EDD money allowance for the week will be $250. This will also extend your EDD benefit out longer as the money remains in your EDD claim balance. If you make XE driving for Uber then no EDD wages will be paid for that week. The money you made driving for Uber that week does not spill over into other weeks.


    Hope this helps.

    -t
     

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