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Earning extra from the gig economy

Millions of Australians have been introduced to the sharing economy by ride-sharing service Uber and accommodation giant Airbnb – extraordinarily successful start-ups that became household names around the globe in less than a decade.

As a nation, we’ve embraced the sharing concept with gusto. According to recent research, more than two thirds of usview disclaimer1 earn or spend money through online platforms connecting owners of underused assets with individuals willing to rent them.

The sharing model offers lots of potential for older Australians to establish a sideline business and earn an income in a flexible way.

It’s important to note that payments received via the sharing economy are assessable income and must be declared in your tax returnview disclaimer2. You are, however, also able to claim deductions for related expenses. And if you’re planning to offer your driving services via Uber or another ride-sourcing platform, you’ll need to have an ABN and register for GST, regardless of your turnover.

Getting behind the wheel and renting out the spare bedroom are just two ways to make money in the gig economy. Here are some others.

disclaimer1 2 in 3 Aussies use shared economy , opens in new window

disclaimer2 The Sharing economy and tax , opens in new window

Mind pets for profit

Australians own a collective 4.8 million dogs and 3.9 million catsview disclaimer3 and finding holiday care is a perennial problem for pet owners reluctant to entrust their furry friends to kennels and catteries. Pet Cloud , opens in new window and Mad Paws , opens in new window offer a more personal alternative by linking owners with local pet-sitters. The latter typically charge about $25 a night for house- and pet-sitting and up to $50 a night to host pets in their own homes. If you’re an animal lover who’d enjoy being a part-time pet 'owner', or you’re happy to welcome another set of paws into your menagerie, it can be a very relaxing and enjoyable way to earn extra money.

disclaimer3 How many pets are there in Australia , opens in new window

Cash in on your camper

If you’re a recreational vehicle enthusiast, you’re likely to have spent significant dollars on your machine. There’s also a fair chance it sits on your driveway unused for several months of the year, while still costing you plenty in registration, insurance and maintenance. Camplify , opens in new window can allow you to recoup some of these costs by renting out your caravan, campervan, motorhome or camper trailer to others looking to hit the road, rather than it gathering dust between trips. The site organises insurance and hirers pay a $1,000 security bond. Listed RVs command between $280 and $2,100 a week, depending on specification, season and condition. Listings are free and you’ll be charged a five per cent commission on bookings.

Baby you can drive my car

If you’re in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Newcastle and have an underused car you’re not overly anxious about entrusting to others, you may be able to offset the costs of ownership by renting it out by the hour or day on Car Next Door , opens in new window. The site connects car owners with pre-vetted members in need of temporary wheels. Vehicles must be less than 12 years old, in reasonable condition and have less than 200,000 kilometres on the clock. You’re able to set your own hourly and daily rates and will receive mileage of 25 cents per kilometre. Owners are charged a monthly membership fee of $60, which includes comprehensive insurance and roadside assistance, and the site takes a percentage of time-based income. The average car makes $250 to $350 a month while utes and vans earn between $350 and $750. If you’re out of town or off the road often, it’s an option to consider.

Space to spare

Children moved out and you’re yet to downsize? It’s likely you have space to spare and the sharing economy may be able to help you turn that to good use. Spacer , opens in new window enables you to rent storage space in your shed, garage, spare room or driveway to individuals looking for somewhere to store their excess goods (or park their car), either short or long term. You choose whether to accept bookings and decide on what you’ll allow to be stored and how you’ll interact with renters. Rent is paid monthly and Spacer provides insurance cover of $10,000. It’s free to list and renters pay a fee per transaction. It’s important to note that using part of your home to produce income can have Capital Gains Taxview disclaimer4 implications, so you may wish to talk the proposition through with your accountant or a licensed financial adviser before proceeding.

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Take time to reflect

Learning to live without a parent – someone you’ve known and loved your whole life – can be very difficult, and the sense of loss their death brings may take a long time to subside. It’s important you allow yourself time to grieve and connect with family and friends to share memories as you settle their affairs and plan for the future.

Odd jobs online

Fancy standing in line to buy the latest iPhone on behalf of a gadget tragic or organising a Game of Thrones-themed date night? They’re just two of the assignments that have been up for grabs on Airtasker , opens in new window, the homegrown odd jobs platform that allows individuals to bid for gigs in their area. With more than $3.5 million worth of work listed each month, there are plenty of opportunities for industrious older Australians to earn a dollar in more pedestrian ways, doing everything from cleaning, gardening and handyman tasks to assembling flat-pack furniture. Becoming a ‘tasker’ is free but the site takes 15 percent from each completed task.

Take time to reflect

Learning to live without a parent – someone you’ve known and loved your whole life – can be very difficult, and the sense of loss their death brings may take a long time to subside. It’s important you allow yourself time to grieve and connect with family and friends to share memories as you settle their affairs and plan for the future.

General advice and information only

Any advice and information on this website is general only, and has been prepared without taking into account your particular circumstances and needs. Before acting on any advice on this website you should assess or seek advice on whether it is appropriate for your needs, financial situation and investment objectives.

Tax disclaimer

Any general tax information on this website is intended as a guide only and is based on our general understanding of taxation laws. It is not intended to be a substitute for specialised taxation advice or an assessment of your liabilities, obligations or claim entitlements that arise, or could arise, under taxation law, and we recommend you consult with a registered tax agent.