Do you work in the gig economy? Here’s what you need to know

March 23, 2022

Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Revenue Agency

What is the gig economy?

The gig economy is based on temporary and freelance work, or short-term contracts. As a gig worker, your contract services may range from a small task to a highly specialized service. If you are connecting with clients through online platforms or applications (apps) such as Clickworker, Crowdsource, or Fiverr to provide them with your services, you are typically considered to be self-employed instead of an employee. Your work may be carried out anywhere, as online platforms can connect businesses and independent contractors from all over the world.

Income tax obligations

As a resident of Canada, you must report your income from all sources on your income tax return. This includes any income you earn inside and outside of Canada, whether it is income from temporary, freelance work, short-term contracts or from other revenue sources.

If you paid foreign income tax, you could be eligible for a tax credit.

You can also claim eligible business expenses relating to income you earned through the gig economy. To claim expenses, you must maintain proper books and records, including:

Keeping records of all your purchases will ensure you can substantiate the expenses you claim on your tax return. To learn what qualifies as an eligible business expense, go to Business expenses.

GST/HST implications

If there is a reasonable expectation of profit from your online activities, and your total taxable supplies are more than $30,000 over four calendar quarters, you will need to register for, collect and pay to the Canada Revenue Agency the goods and services tax / harmonized sales tax (GST/HST) on all taxable sales. You can get more details on GST/HST registration requirements at Find out if you must register for a GST/HST account.

How to correct your tax affairs

If you did not report your income from the gig economy, you may have to pay penalties and interest in addition to the tax on the unreported income. By correcting your tax affairs voluntarily, you may avoid or reduce penalties and interest.

To correct your tax affairs (including corrections to GST/HST returns) and report income that you did not report in previous years, you may:

More information

You can find more information on this topic at Compliance in the platform economy.

New rules regarding e-commerce services provided by non-residents in Canada came into effect on July 1, 2021. More information is available at GST/HST for digital economy businesses.


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Canada Revenue Agency

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