Pattie Lovett-Reid: When it comes to hobbies and side hustles, the CRA is watching

DM

You may think it is just a hobby, but CRA may disagree. If you are earning money through a little side hustle, business activity or other extra gig, CRA wants its fair share. The agency believes a lot of tax dollars in the past may have gone uncollected, and they aren’t happy about it. How and where you make money is shifting, and CRA has been paying close attention to what are referred to as “platform economies”. A platform economy is simply a platform that brings buyers and sellers together through the internet or mobile apps. These sources are gaining traction and popularity, and could be significant contributors to household income that has gone unreported. Let’s break down the platform economies. This one isn’t new, and many will tell you that in order to make ends meet, the gig economy is where it is at. You provide service on a short-term basis, pick up a contract for a period of time, or go the freelance route. In a gig economy, companies tend to hire independent contractors or freelancers, often through online platforms or apps. These workers are typically considered to be self-employed instead of employees. The money they make is considered to be income.

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