In an Uber the other day, the driver revealed that he had become a driver to pay for his second mortgage. He invested in property but with interest rates spiking, the only way he could hold onto the property was to earn additional income. His “day job” starts early and ends at 3pm at which time he heads off to start driving.
He is not alone. The latest stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the number of workers holding multiple jobs has increased by 2.1% since December 2022 – in total, Australia has 947,300 people holding multiple jobs or 6.6% of the working population.
The reason why people take on second jobs is varied. For some, it is to manage increasing costs, for others it is to start up a new venture but with the security of a regular income stream from their primary occupation.
Is it worth it?
From a tax perspective, Australia has a progressive income tax system – the more you earn the more tax you pay, and access to social benefits tapers off. It’s important when looking at a second job to understand your overall position – how much you are likely to earn, your costs of generating income, and what this income level will mean.
The trap for many picking up a ‘gig economy’ second job is that they are often independent contractors. That is, you are responsible for managing your tax affairs. All Uber drivers for example, are required to hold an ABN and be registered for GST. There is a compliance cost to this and from a cashflow perspective, 1/11th of the fee collected needs to be remitted to the Tax Office once a quarter. It’s important to quarantine both the GST owing and income tax to ensure you have the cashflow to pay the tax when it is due. The upside is you can claim the expenses related to your second job.
If you are taking on a second job, ensure that your tax-free threshold applies to your highest paying job from a PAYG withholding perspective.
If you need some help working this out in your position, the TSP team are always here to assist. Just call us on 49 264155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.