Can you drive an Uber and claim the Work Bonus?

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Joe is wondering how the Work Bonus applies to driving an Uber.

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Q. Joe
I hope you can help me with the following question, which I think may also be of interest to your members. I am an age pensioner who is allowed to earn an extra $150 per week from working without it affecting my pension. My question is, am I allowed to earn this by working for Uber? If so, am I allowed to deduct expenses, like petrol, etc, on top of the $150?

A. Uber is a popular way to top up income for those on the Age Pension and, with some careful calculations, you can see a benefit to your bank account.

Income from Uber is now eligible to have the Work Bonus applied after the 1 July changes. 

Further good news is that your net income – i.e. profit earned as a sole trader – is the amount that is assessed by Centrelink. Therefore, you should be able to deduct all of your work-related outgoings from your earnings before your Age Pension is affected.

The initial outgoings before becoming an Uber driver can quickly mount up: you need to register with Uber, make sure your car is fully roadworthy and, of course, ensure you have the correct insurance, which may mean you see a jump in your premium.

You will also have to declare your income to the ATO, although there are several deductions you can claim to offset this income. 

You may wish to consult a tax accountant before making any decisions, and it would be prudent to confirm your individual circumstances with Centrelink.

Do you drive an Uber to supplement your retirement income? Would you recommend it to others?

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Disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.

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Written by Ben

14 Comments

Total Comments: 14
  1. 0
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    You are allowed to earn the $150 but of course you only lose half of any earnings beyond that. So if you earn $300, you keep $225. If your sole income is the pension, that $75 + $150 can make a huge difference to your financial comfort. You would not need to worry about income tax because there are offsets that would apply to you (with these, on the pension + $225 you would be well below the no-tax threshhold). The initial costs would not be that great and I’d certainly say go for it!

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      A bloke around here does the lawn and cuts the shrubs, we pay him in cash. $35 a block and he does about 6 a week (not the same ones of course). He does a good job and is worth cutting the grass every 3 weeks or so. He has no trouble with C/Link – if you can drive Uber so you cut grass. No paperwork.

  2. 0
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    Another way is to buy a shelf company (Maybe around 800/100 dollars) and set up as Uber service then you can be employ by the company and you are employ and able to get the work Bonus but need to make calculations on tax and deductions at the end of each year ,,,,,just an Idea ,,,, needs more work and research ,,,,,but maybe works and is all legal ….maybe need to use your wife or someone else as director so you do not show as director in your CL file …..again just a legal idea

  3. 0
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    This is incorrect as Sole Traders and others are eligible for the Work Bonus from 01/07/19, previously it was only PAYG employees.

    • 0
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      Hi McDaddy ….thanks a lot for the clarification and if you please send us the CL site so we can read and be sure we are doing the correct thing …. Thanks mate

    • 0
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      Thanks McDaddy ….. I found the info thanks a lot …. second paragraph ..
      found here … https://www.dss.gov.au/seniors/programmes-services/work-bonus

      Income that is eligible for the Work Bonus is:

      Employment income from paid work undertaken by the person as an employee in an employer/employee relationship. This includes but is not limited to salary, wages, leave payments, commissions, employment-related fringe benefits, bonus payments, supported wages and casual loadings.

      From 1 July 2019, gainful work income earned through self employment is eligible for the Work Bonus so long as the work involves personal exertion on the part of the person concerned. Examples include operating a business as a plumber, farmer, wedding celebrant or artist.

      Work managing or administering financial investments or investment properties owned by the person or their family and work involving domestic, household, gardening or similar tasks at the person’s place of residence is not eligible for the Work Bonus

      Thanks again mate

  4. 0
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    Maybe “BEN” needs to do a bit more research befor publishing incorrect stuff …. Sorry Ben remember Reasearch Research Research ……he he he

  5. 0
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    I just get infuriated that people who willingly want to work are still being penalised. The taxation and government haven’t worked out (with their short term thinking policy) that extra income to a pensioner means more actual money into the economy. Be it spent on extra groceries, gifts, fuel, holidays, personal enrichment, health or even a simple taxi down to the coffee shop.

    • 0
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      We always have seat wormers as politicians…. but we still vote for them and believe the lies they told us….. Silly for us to keep voting for them

    • 0
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      And ex politicians, who created all the ways they can fleece aged pensioners, can earn any amount of money without their pensions being penalised. Corrupt? I reckon so.

    • 0
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      Agree with Triss, We have the parasites AKA politicians with their perks, entitlements, pensions etc etc and all not means tested !!

  6. 0
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    Yes, but you have to register the car as a business vehicle.

  7. 0
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    There are two parts to this:

    1. You are allowed to earn a certain amount of income per fortnight. The limit is $172 for a single person & $304 for a couple combined, in order keep receiving a full pension. See https://www.superguide.com.au/retirement-planning/age-pension-income-test-thresholds#Income_limits_for_a_full_Age_Pension

    2. Because of the Work Bonus, which is now $300 per fortnight or $7800 per year, see https://www.superguide.com.au/retirement-planning/age-pension-eligible-work-bonus, this amount is added to what a pensioner can earn.

    Work Bonus used to be able to be applied only to employment income, but from 1st July this year it is now also applied to self-employment income.

    The Work Bonus is also cumulative, so you do not get penalised if you use up more than $300 of it in a fortnight, as long as you do not go over $7800 per year.

  8. 0
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    Unless you want to do it full time, it is not worth it. I only wanted to do it about 15 hours a week, and my accountant told me to forget about it. Worked out around $7.20 an hour. Costs such as insurance, etc are not pro-rata. One of the girls in my group does doggie day care and walking, and can easily get $400 a week – all declared. All for not leaving the house. She keeps a strict record, offsetting costs. I think I’ll have to get a fence put up!


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