Tax for temporary workers: an easy guide

Importance of understanding tax obligations as a temporary worker   We get it – taxes can be intimidating, especially when you’re working...

Indeed Flex

7 August 2023

8 min read

Importance of understanding tax obligations as a temporary worker

We get it – taxes can be intimidating, especially when you’re working throughout different job sectors. But fear not, understanding your tax obligations is crucial for staying financially stable and on the right side of the law. We’re here to make it all easy-peasy with this comprehensive guide, filled with helpful tips and tools to manage your taxes like a professional. From figuring out your filing status to maximizing deductions and seeking expert assistance, we’ve got your back.

Tax obligations for temp workers

Determining your tax filing status

Let’s start by determining your tax filing status. Think of it as choosing your tax identity. You’ll choose from options like Single, Married Filing Jointly, Married Filing Separately, Head of Household, and Qualifying Widow(er) with Dependent Child. For many, the filing status will likely be Single, but if you’re married or meet certain conditions, other options might suit you better. Above all, it’s important to remember that picking the right status impacts your tax rates, deductions, and credits, so it’s essential to choose wisely.

Income tax and withholding

If you have a job in the U.S. or you’re a U.S. citizen working in another country, you have to pay federal income and employment taxes. Depending on the state you live and work in, you may also have to pay state income tax, and some counties, cities, and school districts may also have income taxes. Indeed Flex is responsible for collecting these taxes by withholding a portion of your paycheck and sending it directly to the relevant government entities for shifts you work through us. Federal income tax is the money you pay to the federal government on your income, and it is collected by the IRS. Forty-one states also collect state income tax, and depending on where you live, you may also owe income tax to your county, city, or school district. Social Security and Medicare taxes are a fixed percentage of your wages, which means that Indeed Flex will withhold 6.2% of your pay for Social Security tax and 1.45% for Medicare tax. These taxes go towards providing retirement and medical benefits to eligible individuals. If you’re an employee, your employer will usually withhold taxes from your paycheck based on the info you provided on your Form W-4. But if you’re a freelancer or independent contractor,the responsibility falls on you to calculate and pay estimated taxes every quarter. Don’t worry; if you’re working with Indeed Flex, taxes are withheld for you, based on your Form W-4. To be sure you’re paying the right amount, consider using a tax calculator which can be found on the IRS website and getting some professional advice. The last thing you want is a penalty for not paying enough in taxes!

Maximizing tax deductions 

Business Man With Idea Light Bulb Over Head

Ordinary and necessary business expenses

Getting the most out of deductions is a bit like finding hidden treasures. As a temporary worker, you might be able to deduct certain business expenses related to your work. Things like supplies, equipment, travel costs, and specific meals can lower your taxable income. Keep a record of your business expenses, making sure they’re directly related to your temporary work. There are handy apps and tools available online to help you keep everything organized too!

Home office deductions

If you’re working from a home office, you might qualify for a home office deduction. Just make sure that space is used solely for business purposes and regularly too. Calculating this deduction can be a bit tricky, so it’s best to review the IRS guidelines and  consult a tax professional to get it right.

Travel and transportation expenses

If you’re hitting the road for work as a temporary worker, you might be able to deduct travel and transportation costs. Think airfare, accommodation, meals, and local transportation during your temporary assignments. Keep those travel expense records detailed and separate from personal expenses. Knowing the difference will make life much easier when tax season rolls around.

Filing your taxes as a temporary worker

Green marker pen over marked checkboxes Choosing the right tax forms

Tax forms can be confusing, but don’t worry. If you’re an employee, you’ll likely get a Form W-2 from your employer, summarizing your earnings and withholdings. Freelancers and independent contractors get a Form 1099-NEC for reporting their self-employed income. As an Indeed Flex employee, you’ll get a Form W-2 for the work you do with us. Depending on your unique financial situation, you might need other forms and schedules. If you’re unsure which ones to use, the IRS or a tax professional specializing in temporary worker taxes can lend a hand.

Tax filing deadlines and extensions Understanding tax filing deadlines is crucial to avoid late filing penalties. For most temporary workers, the tax filing deadline is typically on or around April 15th. But if you need more time to prepare your return, you can request an extension until October 15th or the date set by the IRS. Remember, an extension buys you more time to file, not more time to pay. If you expect to owe taxes, estimate your liability and make payments by the original deadline to avoid penalties and interest. And, if you have questions, consult a tax professional to make sure you have your I’s dotted and T’s crossed.  

Tax tips for temporary workers

Organizing your financial records

Being organized is the secret sauce for smooth tax filing. Keep track of income, expenses, receipts, and other important documents throughout the year. Digital tools and apps are awesome for keeping everything neat and secure.

Seeking professional tax assistance

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a tax professional if you’re unsure about anything. They specialize in helping temporary workers and can maximize deductions, ensure compliance, and maybe even save you some money in the process. They’re always happy to help!

Estimated tax payments

If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor, remember to make quarterly estimated tax payments. Staying on track will help you avoid penalties and interest. Use IRS tax calculators or consult a tax professional to get your payments right.  


When it comes to taxes, don’t be discouraged. You’ve got this! Navigating taxes as a temporary worker might seem daunting, but armed with the right knowledge and tools, you can handle it like a professional. Remember to determine your filing status, keep financial records organized, explore deductions, and always seek expert advice when you have questions. By staying informed and proactive, you’ll breeze through tax season and keep your financial journey on the right track. Whether you’re new to temporary work or a seasoned professional, mastering your taxes will contribute to a successful and financially secure career. On that note, we’d like to leave you with a few more tips to make your tax journey even more enjoyable:  

  • Turn tax filing into a fun challenge: Think of tax preparation as a game where you aim to maximize deductions and minimize taxes. Challenge yourself to find every eligible deduction and credit to see how much you can save. Turning it into a game can make the process more enjoyable and rewarding!
  • Celebrate tax refunds: If you’re entitled to a tax refund, celebrate when it arrives! Treat yourself to something nice or put the money towards a savings goal. It’s a reward for your hard work, and you deserve it!
  • Use tax time to reflect: Tax season is also an excellent time to reflect on your financial goals. Take a moment to review your budget, savings, and investment plans. Use this time to set new financial goals and make adjustments as needed.
  • Celebrate compliance: Complying with tax laws is essential, and you should be proud of your responsibility as a temporary worker. Reward yourself for being a law-abiding taxpayer!

  Remember, you’re not alone in this tax adventure. If you ever find yourself lost in the maze of tax regulations, don’t hesitate to reach out to resources like the IRS website and tax professionals. They’re here to help you navigate the tax landscape successfully. Embrace the challenge of understanding taxes and see it as an opportunity to take control of your financial destiny. The more you learn and engage with the tax process, the better you’ll become at managing your finances as a temporary worker. So, as you embark on this tax journey, remember to keep a positive attitude, stay organized, and make use of all available resources. Before you know it, tax season will be a breeze, and you’ll be well on your way to financial success and a rewarding career.  

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