No Pay Stub, No Problem: How to Track Your Gig Income


If you’re participating in the gig economy, welcome to our club! You’ll enjoy the flexibility to work when you want, choose the jobs you want to take on, and be your own boss. What you won’t get is a regular paycheck or pay stub.

That may not be a problem in most cases. However, if you’re applying for a loan or filling out a rental application, it can be an issue as you can’t show a W-2 form or pay stub. It also means you’ll need to pay extra attention to file your taxes accurately.

If you’re not getting a pay stub,  here’s what you can do instead.

Record Your Pay Rate and Hours Worked

Software programs such as QuickBooks, FreshBooks, or Wave can help you record pay rates, hours workers, and help with your accounting. Depending on your income and the amount of work you’re doing, however, you may be able to just use a spreadsheet such as Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel. You can even write it out by hand if you really want to do so.

It’s not important how you do it. It’s important that you keep track of your income so you have accurate records.

Keep Accurate Dates and Contact Info per Job

In the freelance or gig economy, it’s essential that you keep accurate records of the services you’ve provided and what you’ve been paid.

If you made more than $600 from any one organization during a calendar year, they’re required to provide you with a 1099 form to report your income. You should see those by the end of January each year. Whether you receive one or not, though, you’re required to report the income. If you made less than $600 from any one organization, you need to report that, too.

Make sure you keep accurate dates, amounts, and contact info for each job. This can be important if you’re ever questioned about the numbers or need to get proof. Don’t forget to save receipts from any expenses you incur. You may be able to reduce the amount of taxes you owe by deducting expenses.

Use a Pay Stub Generator if Needed

You can also use a pay stub generator. There are plenty of free ones online that can create a pay stub for you, such as this pay stub generator from the folks at Shopify.

Use Tax Returns

You can also default to using your most recent tax return although be prepared to show several years’ worth to verify your income. Lending institutions may require a tax transcript, which is an IRS verification of your adjusted gross income (AGI). You can get a tax transcript online from the IRS here. You can also see your AGI if you file online using a software like Credit Karma.

Create an Accurate Record

Just because you’re not getting a pay stub doesn’t mean you can’t provide accurate records of your income. Whether you use your tax transcripts, create your own pay stubs, or use your records, you need an accurate accounting of your pay.

About the Author: Paul Dughi has an MBA in Business Administration and has held executive management positions in the media industry for the past 30 years.  He is an Emmy® Award winning Producer/Writer and has authored two books on Marketing, Management, and Sales. You can find him on WriterAccess.

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