Is Instacart Considered Self-employment? (it Depends)

Is Instacart Considered Self-employment?

Is Instacart Considered Self-employment?

For many people, the idea of self-employment is a dream come true. It’s an opportunity to be your boss and live life on your terms.

But what if you’re earning money by working for someone else? That may look like a contradiction, but it’s not always so simple.

In today’s workforce, more than ever before, people are looking to make their living outside of traditional employment options.

Such as salaried jobs with benefits or contract work with set hours and rates.

More often now, workers are cobbling together multiple gigs, doing whatever they can find through Apps like Instacart.

Is Instacart considered self-employment?

Whether Instacart gets considered self-employment has been a hotly debated one.

The company pays its shopper/driver-partners, but the drivers get dispatched through an App and don’t choose their hours.

Recently, two shoppers filed lawsuits against the company.

They claimed misclassification as independent contractors instead of employees, which would entitle them to benefits like overtime pay.

In response, Instacart released a statement saying that it “believes those claims are without merit.”

Instacart is still in business and continues to grow. So, this debate about classification will go on for quite some time.

The California Labor Commission recently ruled that a driver was an employee, not an independent contractor.

What kind of income is Instacart?

Instacart boasts wages or commission as a kind of income.

I am a part-time shopper at Instacart and currently making $14 per hour.

Sometimes I get an hourly raise when the company feels my standard of living is on the rise (usually tied to my rent going up, which is not uncommon here in Boston).

Recently, though, there was talk among our managers about moving to a commission-only pay model.

When I got wind of this, I asked one of our assistant managers what percentage of people quit after news they would get paid on commission only.

She said it’s about half. Assuming that statistic is valid for all stores, Instacart stands to lose around 500 shoppers.

This is because they’re given the option to choose between wages or commission.

Despite starting at $10 per hour for part-time workers, I have no qualms with the company raising it to $14 per hour and keeping it in there.

It seems like a hefty amount of money for a part-time job. But when one considers how many people will pay above retail price to avoid grocery shopping.

I understand why they’re able to be as competitive as they are. Good luck finding someone else willing to go through the cost & effort so that you don’t have to leave your house!

However, I would gladly work over 20 hours a week if only Instacart offered me full-time work, i.e., 40 hours.

I asked my manager what the company’s policies are for hiring full-time employees. She said there is no official policy.

It just doesn’t happen. Instacart seems to be a part-time job only, meant for people who want or need supplemental income (e.g., students).

How many taxes do you pay with Instacart?

The cost of using the service ranges depending upon what you order. When you pick up your groceries at Instacart.

You will automatically 8% charge for taxes on top of the final price. If it’s $5, then that means ~$0.40 in taxes.

This is regardless of which grocery store you use, as they all charge different prices.

The only exception is Whole Foods, where their online store charges tax differently than their physical locations.

Also, I’m pretty sure Instacart rolls this into your total, but they don’t.

When you order online and have your groceries delivered, however, Instacart charges the 8% tax separately to get it to you.

Here’s what I know so far about how they handle taxes:

-There is no separate section on my receipt for taxes. Just an 8% tax line item at the end of my total.

-This means that when Instacart calculates my total with the 8%, they do not include the tax in their tax estimation.

This would explain why some people see different amounts than others when purchasing online.

-Also, this means there is no separate ‘tax’ payment like there was for picking up groceries.

-To end, it appears as if you pay 8% tax on your groceries besides whatever delivery fee exists. Everyone pays 8%, not those who order online.

Is food delivery considered self-employed?

Yes and No. The work of a food delivery driver cannot typically get classified as an independent contractor.

While the drivers are self-employed, they must comply with various requirements that would classify them as employees.

The nature of these requirements creates an unfair advantage for larger companies in the industry.

There should be more regulation on this type of work because it protects both parties involved and ensures fair competition between businesses.

Yes .They often consider drivers for food delivery services to be self-employed. This means that it’s often your responsibility to pay your tax.

You might also need to pay a company fee to keep working with them or get hired by other companies.

Your customers will tell you where they want to get picked up from and dropped off.

This means that your job is pretty flexible, but it can also mean that you get a lot of responsibility and have to pay for the costs yourself.

You’re considered self-employed when you work for a food delivery service. This means that it’s your responsibility to pay your tax.

It also means you have to pay for things like company registration fees or insurance. This might allow some drivers to make savings on costs.

But this depends on how you run your business and what the law says in the country you live in.

An independent contractor driver who works for food delivery services often has some freedoms concerning running their business.

It also means that you’re responsible for paying your tax and might have to pay fees like company registrations or insurance.

This saves costs but depends on how you run your business and which laws are in the place where you live.

Can I make $100 a day with Instacart?

Yes . It depends on how many hours you work each week (20-30 hours seem average).

But the fact is that you can easily earn $10+/hour, which averages out to $25+/delivery, some days being more profitable than others.

The Instacart minimum is $10/hour.

On a busy day where over 100 deliveries will get made, you can make over $100 (and more). On a slower day, you might only make half that.

But it’s still amazing given the simplicity of the job and how easy it is to earn extra money as a student or stay-at-home mom, for example.

I’ll show you exactly how in this post. Instacart shoppers can also get tips.

I make $15+ in tips on one order, mostly from splitting my payment with another shopper, who picked up an order before me and already went inside to deliver it.

Plus, there are other bonuses like adding items to the order yourself for free (before you provide it) and being able to skip the line when checking out.

Does Instacart pay for gas?

The short answer is that Instacart does not pay for fuel costs incurred by customers.

Instacart deliveries get made in the customer’s car, and therefore, any costs associated with a shopping trip (such as stopping at a gas station) would fall to them.

It’s important to note that there aren’t any fees associated with using Instacart. Whatever price the shopper sees is what the customer will pay.

If you incur extra charges when making your order, like tolls or parking meters, then you’ll have to cover those yourself.

So why doesn’t Instacart reimburse customers for gas? Believe it or not, instacart shoppers are good at saving money.

Many shoppers save a ton on their groceries (especially since they only have to go to one store!).

And some even save up the credit they earn for Instacart orders and use it towards gas.

Can someone ride with you while doing Instacart?

Yes. Instacart recently unveiled a new feature called “Can Someone Ride with You?”

Where users can share their location with other shoppers who live nearby, and they will ride along while doing their shopping.

Here’s how it works:

– Open the ‘Orders’ tab on your dashboard. You will come across a new option next to each order–“Can someone ride with you?”

If this setting becomes enabled, shoppers who live nearby will see if you are currently shopping and request a ride.

Is Instacart Considered Self-employment?

– If you choose not to enable this setting, shoppers won’t be able to tell when you add items to your cart – they’ll see an extended delivery window.

Also, keep in mind that if no shopper requests a ride while you’re shopping, they may assign them to shop for another customer instead.

– You can toggle this setting on and off in any Instacart market.

– The requested shopper must have an Instacart account and get signed in to accept a ride request from you.

They will also need to live within 10 miles of their current location or shop for another customer immediately after completing your order, whichever comes first.

You may not share rides with shoppers who are currently shopping for someone else since we want to keep the delivery windows accurate for those customers.

Can you have 2 Instacart accounts?

Yes, some people get around the one account per household rule. It’s not for everyone, and it requires a bit of work on your end.

Instacart has instituted some rules to ensure people don’t game the system by having one person buy groceries with two different accounts.

They’ve also made it to limit what each account holder can purchase during their shopping trip.

However, if you’re willing to put in a little extra effort into making sure your purchases become limited enough and following other guidelines, then yes, you can have 2 Instacart accounts.

Steps to getting around the one account per household limitation:

1) Have different people shop separately. This means getting different email addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards associated with each account.

Verify this with the people shopping that they are not purchasing any items for anyone else but themselves.

2) Have a backup account ready if your first account gets shut down to abuse the one household/account rule.

3) Don’t buy the same items on both accounts. Some people get around this by buying different flavors of cereal.

This will not work for some things, though, as Instacart limits what you can purchase with each order.

For example, Instacart defines a customer as buying two small yogurts and one large yogurt per order.

If you purchase four small yogurts and one large yogurt on one account, then there is no way that your partner will get around this.

4) Don’t order the same items every time you shop. Instacart knows when people make duplicate purchases repeatedly for an extended period.

It is an abuse of their system and will lead to your account shut down.

5) Don’t order the exact products you are already purchasing for anyone else in your household-even if they aren’t paying for them.

Is Instacart Considered Self-employment?

This will get both accounts shut down permanently.


You may wonder if Instacart can get considered self-employed.

That question mainly depends on how the company classifies you and what kind of income you earn from your work for them.

If they classify you as an independent contractor, then yes.

In most cases, your earnings will count as self-employment income.

Which means it will be subject to both FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare) and Federal Income Tax payouts at a rate of 15%.

This classification also opens up other deductions, like travel expenses incurred while working for them.

or reimbursed business expenses related to their job duties if they classify you differently, though, such as an employee who can’t receive tips or gratuities.


Hi! I' am Tom. I was a manager in one of the biggest stores for over 10 Years, am also an SEO by night. I don't like to call myself a blogger; they are very analytical, do email marketing, and know all SEO stuff. I faced many questions from customers about different products, and there was hardly any help on the internet. After learning all the things about these products as a manager the hard way, I decided to start a blog and help other people.

Recent Posts