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Self-employed driver for Amazon Flex – This is what you should know

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Amazon is offering a private delivery service in Germany called Amazon Flex. As a delivery driver you can earn some extra money on the side. However, as a delivery person you are not acting as a private person. You are a self-employed professional and acting commercially. This involves certain costs and risks, which are defined by law. In this article you will learn what you should know if you want to work for Amazon Flex.

Do you need self-employed status to work at Amazon Flex?

As a delivery driver you legally are a Gewerbetreibender (trade person). And as a Gewerbetreibender you are self-employed. So you must register your self-employment in advance. Besides registering with your Finanzamt (tax office) you also need to contact the responsible Gewerbeamt for a Gewerbeschein (trade license). This is because there is no employment relationship with Amazon. They are very clear on that. 

In general as a delivery driver you can decide for yourself when, how often and how long you want to work. You can also decide on the routes and shifts to take. On the other hand, Amazon points out that it’s a part-time job, the order volume can vary from week to week, so you won’t work full-time. 

What’s to consider when starting a self-employed side job like Amazon Flex?

Apart from taxes you also have to pay for gasoline, maintenance and insurance costs for your car.

In addition, you have to pay contributions for health insurance, pension and other types of insurance if you don’t have a main job with another employer. As an Amazon Flex employee you are also required to have an insurance for your car that covers additional benefits. Thats a lot of costs that you need to deduct from your hourly wage in order to calculate your actual net pay. 

💡 Tip from Accountable: We also recommend  to get a professional Haftpflichtversicherung (liability insurance). You should have this as a delivery driver so that you don’t have to pay with your private money for possible damages (e.g. on damaged goods).

How much can you earn with Amazon Flex?

Currently you earn 25€ per hour. In the App you see time blocks of 2 or 3 hours that you can book. So, for a 3 hour block you get 75€. But if you need longer to deliver your packages your earnings per hour will be less accordingly. Then you also need to deduct the additional costs mentioned above. You might have to pay taxes as well.

An example: 

When you deduct the mentioned costs and you manage to complete your tour in 3 hours, you have 10€ left per hour. But if you take longer, your hourly wage might be even less. 

Are you required to register a Kleingewerbe (small business) as Amazon Flex deliverer?

Yes. Within 90 days after starting, you are required to register a Gewerbe with your local Gewerbeamt (trade office). Keep in mind that the small business rule (Kleinunternehmerregelung) only applies, if you don’t earn more than 22.000€ in the first year. In the second year, your income mustn’t be higher than 50.000€ if you want to profit from this Kleinunternehmerregelung (small business regulation). 

What type of Gewerbe should I register for Amazon Flex?

When registering a business you have to specify your Gewerbe (type of trade). But some Gewerbeämter don’t accept a registration as a package delivery person, because the so not view it as an independent self-employed profession. Here, a more general description for your self-employment in the area of delivery/courier services might help. Keep in mind that the information in Gewerbeanmeldung should be identical with the tax registration at the Finanzamt (tax office).

Is the Amazon Flex Job tax-free?

If your total income is not higher than the annual limit of 9,744€ (as of 2021), no taxes are due for the Amazon Flex job. But this only applies if you have no other income. 

As soon as you are above this limit, you will have to pay regular income tax on the income from your job. You must submit your income tax returns to the tax office no later than five months after the end of the year. 

The good news is that since 2018 you have time to submit your tax return until July 31 in the following year. So the tax return for 2020 is not due until July 31, 2021.

💡 Tip from Accountable: With our App you always have our whole tax expertise for freelancers at your side. In this article we explain how to manage your Amazon Flex income and taxes with Accountable.

  

Conclusion

As an Amazon Flex deliverer you are a self-employed Gewerbetreibender and must therefore register your activity with the local Gewerbeamt. If you work part-time for Amazon and your income in the first year is no higher than 22,000€, you can make use of the Kleinunternehmerregelung and don’t need to submit a VAT.

It’s important to note that there are additional costs for gasoline, maintenance and insurance, which reduce your actual hourly wage. So consider wether you can really make a profit with this activity before you start with Amazon Flex.

Sophia Merzbach, creative writer and content producer
Sophia Merzbach, creative writer and content producer

Sophia loves literature and writing. She's happy to have joined the Accountable team and is becoming a pro on all things tax related.
In her free time you will find her in a boulder gym, studying Italian or discovering the streets of her new hometown Berlin.

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