Filing taxes as a self-employed worker for the first time can seem overwhelming.
Luckily, the process for filing Wag! taxes is actually pretty simple. We’ll walk you through it in just 4 easy steps. Filing 1099 taxes doesn’t require a ton of time, experience, prior knowledge or expensive software.
Here’s what you need to know to file your 1099 taxes as a Wag! caregiver.
Remember, as our partners at Block Advisors note, you don't have to be full-time to be classified as self-employed. You can do gig work part-time and you still are responsible for self-employed taxes as long as you make more than $600 a year from your gig work.
Step 1: Understand the relevant tax forms
There are several forms you’ll need to file your taxes as a Wag! caregiver.
If you’re filing taxes through an online service like H&R Block, the system will generally provide you with the appropriate tax forms and instructions given your situation.
If you're filing taxes by hand, you can download the forms you need from the IRS website.
Filing forms needed as a dog walker
To file taxes as a Wag! caregiver (aka an independent contractor), you’ll need to fill out the following forms:
- Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return or Form 1040-SR, U.S. Tax Return for Seniors
- Schedule SE (Form 1040), Self-Employment Tax
- Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business (Sole Proprietorship)
- You may need the Schedule 1 form, Additional Income or Adjustments to Income, if you’re also filing W-2 taxes or have several different types of income.
This may all sound confusing, but it’s actually pretty simple.
The Form 1040 is the standard individual tax return. It’s the form that you’ll use to actually file your taxes.
You’ll use the Schedule C form to detail your income and expenses (and business expenses = tax write-offs!) to help determine the taxes you owe. The Schedule SE form is for calculating how much tax you owe based on your Schedule C income.
There may be additional state and local tax forms you’ll need as well—check with your tax service or professional.
Forms from Wag!
If you made more than $600 through Wag! this year, Wag! will send you a 1099 form detailing your income through them.
Typically, Wag! will mail this form to you to whatever address you have on file with them. These forms get sent out in January, so make sure you check (and update, if needed) your mailing address each December.
There’s also the option to receive your 1099 form digitally through Stripe. If you consented to this via the Wag! app, you can find your 1099 form in the app once available. To find it:
- From the home screen of the Wag! app, tap “Earnings” →
- Tap "Stripe" and sign in to Stripe →
- Tap “Tax Documents”
If you made less than $600, you will not receive a 1099 form. Don’t think that means you don’t need to report this income, though!
You need to report all income you make on your taxes, whether or not you received a 1099 for it. You can add any additional income you make that’s not counted in your regular wages in the top line of your schedule C form.
The current form is called a 1099-NEC form (short for non-employee compensation). As a Wag! caregiver, you’re not considered an employee of Wag!, but you are considered a self-employed worker, or an independent contractor. The current 1099-NEC form replaced the previous 1099-MISC form.
You can find out more about the 1099-NEC form on the IRS website.
Step 2: Gather and fill out the relevant forms with your other tax forms.
As an independent contractor, the actual filing process is very similar to how you file taxes as a W-2 employee.
If you’re a full-time employee of another company and Wag! is a side hustle for you, you can include your Wag! income in your regular taxes. In this case, you’ll also want a copy of the Schedule 1 form, where you can calculate any additional sources of income on top of your W-2 from your regular job.
If you’re not a W-2 employee elsewhere, then you can just focus on the forms we mentioned above.
Once you’ve gathered all the relevant documents needed, fill out the forms as instructed. Want a step-by-step guide? Check out our guide to filing 1099 taxes.
Step 3: Calculate your write-offs/tax deductions
As a self-employed worker, you’re eligible to write off expenses that are related to your business, aka to dog walking.
The idea with writing off expenses is that it allows you to deduct the cost of your business expenses from your gross income so that you pay less in income taxes. Put another way, it makes any money you make that is invested back into your business tax-free.
Think of it this way:
[total gross income] - [business expenses] = [adjusted gross income]
You only have to pay taxes on your adjusted gross income (or AGI), so it’s worth it to take all of the deductions you’re eligible for.
As a dog walker, you’re eligible for a number of tax write-offs, including for expenses like:
- Pet supplies
- Phone and phone bill
- Parking and tolls
- Other business expenses
- Health insurance
For a more detailed list of deductions, check out our list of best tax deductions for Wag! caregivers.
4. File and pay your taxes.
Once you’ve completed your forms, you need to actually file and pay your taxes owed.
You can mail in your completed forms to the IRS for filing. The address varies depending on:
- Which state you live in, and
- Whether or not you’re including a payment with your submission
Either way, double-check the correct filing address for 1040 forms before you ship it off. Keep in mind that these addresses are subject to change from year to year, so always check before sending!
Once you’ve filed, then you have to actually pay whatever you owe, which you can do by either:
- Mailing a paper check in along with your tax documents, or
- Paying online on the IRS website.
If you’re filing your taxes online, you can submit them and pay completely electronically.
And that’s it! You’re all set for another year.
To make sure you’re ready when next year’s tax season rolls around, make sure to keep your 1099s, W-2s, 1040s and any other tax documents and forms from this year somewhere safe and secure.
Plus, don’t forget to track your business mileage and expenses with Everlance throughout the year to make taxes even easier and keep more of your hard-earned money. Did you know that the average Everlance user saves over $6,200 on taxes each year?
Download the Everlance app now and get 3 months of Premium free as a Wag! caregiver →
FAQs about Wag! taxes
Do I owe quarterly taxes?
As an independent contractor, you might be responsible for estimated quarterly taxes—especially if Wag! is your sole source of income. Anyone who’s estimated to owe at least $1,000 in taxes from self-employed is required by the IRS to make quarterly tax payments.
If you do owe quarterly taxes, make sure to pay them on time. Here are the due dates for 2022:
Payment period: January 1 – March 31
Tax payment is due April 15, 2022
Payment period: April 1 – May 31
Tax payment is due June 15, 2022
Payment period: June 1 – August 31
Tax payment is due September 15, 2022
Payment period: September 1 – December 31
Tax payment is due January 15, 2023
For more information, visit our Quarterly Taxes Guide.
Do I owe taxes on tips?
Yes, tips from dog-walking are part of your gross earnings and are taxable income. Talk to your tax professional or service for more specific answers regarding your specific tax situation.
Does Wag! take out taxes?
No, as a dog walker with Wag! you are considered a self-employed contractor. As such, Wag! does not take out taxes on your earnings, and you will owe taxes on Wag! income (so long as you make more than $600 annually).
Need more tax help?
We recommend that you seek guidance from a qualified tax professional or service like Block Advisors or contact an independent tax professional for information about your specific tax situation. You can also check the IRS website for up-to-date information about the 1099-K, 1099-NEC, and 1099-MISC.
Want to make taxes even easier this year (and boost that tax refund)? Download the Everlance app today to start tracking all of your work mileage and business expenses so you can maximize your tax deductions and save the most on taxes.