FAQs about taxes
There are often questions from officials about income tax and officiating income. This FAQ is intended to give you basic information, but it is not written by a tax professional and is for informational purposes only. Please consult a tax professional to clarify any tax issues before filing your taxes.
Do I have to pay taxes on officiating income?
You do have to pay taxes on officiating income. You may be able to make deductions against that income. Hopefully you have tracked your expenses. You can discuss these issues with a tax professional.
How do I know how much money I earned?
You are responsible for tracking your earnings. Much of the information is available in ArbiterSports.com until the games are deleted each fall. Most officials keep a spreadsheet to track games works and payments received, and most keep their games on their personal calendar. If you don’t do either of those, be sure to download your schedule from ArbiterSports.com when you get the email in the fall announcing when games will be deleted.
Note that if you use the ArbiterSports.com calendar sync feature to put your games on your calendar, those games will disappear from your calendar when the games are deleted from the ArbiterSports.com system.
Are officials employees or independent contractors?
This depends on a number of factors, and the answer can vary depending on who is asking and for what purpose, but generally officials in Minnesota are treated as independent contractors for tax purposes. That means you are not issued W-2 forms for tax purposes, but may receive 1099 forms in some circumstances.
What are 1099 forms?
Any organization that pays you $600 or more is required to send you a 1099 form and to report that income to the IRS. If you don't get a 1099 for any reason—such as the amount being less than $600 or the organization just forgetting to send you the form—that does not mean you don't have to pay taxes on it.
Note that in the UMLOA, assigners do not pay you for officiating, so you should never expect to receive a 1099 from an assigner.
More information about 1099 forms is posted at https://arbitersports.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/205150687-1099-FAQs
How do I get my 1099 forms for officiating?
Any games you do for YLM or Homegrown/GNLL are normally covered via a single 1099 emailed to you directly from ArbiterPay, usually in late January. This can be a little confusing, because the payments from these groups are lumped together into one 1099, along with any other groups that elect to have ArbiterPay process 1099 forms.
If you didn’t get your ArbiterPay 1099 or you can’t find it, follow the instructions posted on the ArbiterPay 1099 FAQ Page.
Other groups may send you a 1099 form directly. If you know you made more than $600 from a single source (e.g., a single school district or youth association) and didn’t receive a 1099 from them, you can contact them directly.
Where can I find more tax information?
These links to the National Association of Sports Officials may give you some useful information: