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How To Report Dog Walking Income: Rover Taxes 101

How To Report Dog Walking Income: Rover Taxes 101
Ines Zemelman, EA
04 July 2022

Rover offers a rewarding experience, not to mention a reliable source of income, when it comes to pet care. You might feel a bit irritated when you have to deal with Rover taxes, on the other hand - especially if you don't know where to begin.

With this guide, you can easily fill out your Rover tax forms and take a deduction for associated expenses! In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about calculating your Rover taxes as a pet sitter, handling your Rover 1099, and more. So, how to report dog walking income?

What’s A Rover

Rover is a platform for pet sitting and dog walking businesses where participants can set their own hourly rates for walking pets. When it comes to the IRS, Rover gig workers are considered self-employed. If you earn money through Rover, you will have to pay self-employed dog walker tax at a rate of 15.3%. While you are earning money, you should also pay federal and state income taxes.

It's important to note that if you are holding both a full-time job and a Rover side hustle as part-time, you will owe income tax based on the combined income from both, and the rate will depend on your tax bracket. It is important to note, though, that the self-employment tax of 15.3% only applies to Rover earnings and not other earnings.

How To Do Taxes With Rover

How to report rover income on taxes? If you withdraw more than $600 in Rover payments during a calendar year, you will receive a 1099-NEC tax form (before 2021, you would receive a 1099-MISC). The 1099-NEC tax form will be mailed to the address shown on your W-9 by January 31. A copy of your 1099 tax form will also be emailed to you. Please contact Rover via email if you would like a printed copy of your tax information.

In the case of payments made through PayPal or other third-party processors, Rover will not issue you 1099 for pet sitting. The platforms will instead provide a 1099-K along with other tax documentation, such as PayPal 1099. Rover taxes will be paid based on these platforms' reporting guidelines instead of Rovers.

If you have made more than $20k to your PayPal account over the past year and have had more than 200 transactions, a 1099-K will also be issued.

Rover may not issue 1099 to you if you make less than $600 on this platform. You still need to pay taxes on the income you earn even if you do not receive a 1099 form from your company. Also, by January 31, the IRS receives a copy of your earnings. Keep track of when your 1099s are due.

So how to report dog walking income? It is not necessary to file a 1099 tax if you have earned less than $400, however, you are still responsible for paying federal income tax. 

Your tax documentation and earnings information can easily be accessed on Rover.com through your account.

Ensure that the information is accurate. All the transactions you made through Rover in the last calendar year should be included in Box 1 of the 1099-NEC. "Non-employee compensation" is included here. An extension of 1099 can be requested if you need more time.

Consult a tax advisor or professional if you need help with rover filing taxes.

In the event that you didn't receive a form 1099 from Rover but earned more than $600, contact customer service. To avoid the 1099 late filing penalty, submit these forms by April 15th.

Estimated Quarterly Taxes

Independent contractors in the United States have to pay their taxes four times a year as opposed to paying them all at the end of the year. Depending on the number of taxes you owe, you will need to pay an estimated tax payment. You can figure out how much you will have to pay by adding up all of your tax liability for the previous year, taking into account self-employment tax, income tax, and any additional taxes, and dividing that number by four.

The IRS has specific dates by which you must send your payments.

Taxes for Rover are due by the following dates:

  • April 15
  • June 15
  • September 15
  • January 15

For example, if you miss an estimated payment, underpay your duty, or fail to file timely, there will be penalties. Upon estimating the amount that should have been paid each quarter, the IRS determines how much you ought to have paid and then determines a quarterly tax penalty based on that estimate.

Dog Walking Tax Write-Offs             

So far, we have understood how to report dog walking income. However, the advantage of being a 1099 contractor is that you are viewed as a small business and can benefit from tax write-offs relating to marketing, advertising, supporting, and running your Rover babysitter service. To file your self-employment income tax return, you are required to complete a Schedule C. A Schedule C or Form 1040 is one that includes both your self-employment income and losses (profits and losses). Keep all receipts for business expenses so that you can deduct them properly from your taxes.

Below are some common tax deductions for self-employed individuals that may reduce your taxable income:

  • Sweets or treats
  • Harnesses, vests, or leashes
  • Plush toys, frisbees, tennis balls
  • Products like wipes and dog waste bags
  • The cost of cell phones is partially deductible
  • The expenses associated with driving for Rover during the working day (fuel, insurance, repairs, etc) 
  • Tracking miles for tax purposes or transportation expenses

If you are a dog walker you may struggle with processing the tax information for your Rover 1099 or Wag tax returns. Our expert team at TFX has your back. By following some simple tips and tricks, you can protect yourself from penalties if you don't file a 1099 or pay your taxes on time. Besides saving you money in the long run, you'll also be able to avoid penalties.

Ines Zemelman, EA
Founder of TFX