How to File Taxes if You’re Paid Under the Table: A Comprehensive Guide

Working under the table may seem like a convenient way to earn extra income, but it can lead to serious consequences if you’re not careful. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires all income to be reported, regardless of whether it’s paid in cash or under the table. Failing to report under-the-table income can result in significant penalties and fines.

This guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of how to file taxes if you’re paid under the table. We’ll cover everything from determining your filing requirements to reporting your income and expenses.

Understanding the Difference Between Being Paid in Cash and Being Paid Under the Table

It’s important to understand the difference between being paid in cash and being paid under the table. Being paid in cash is not illegal, but being paid under the table is.

  • Being paid in cash means that you receive payment in the form of physical currency. This is legal as long as your employer is following all applicable employment laws and reporting your income to the IRS.
  • Being paid under the table means that you receive payment in cash and your employer does not report your income to the IRS. This is illegal and can result in penalties for both you and your employer.

Is It Necessary to Report Income From Under the Table Jobs?

Yes, it is necessary to report income from under the table jobs. The IRS requires all income to be reported, regardless of its source. Failing to report under-the-table income can result in significant penalties and fines.

How to Report Income From Under the Table Jobs

If you’re paid under the table, you need to report your income on your tax return. You can do this by filing Form 1040 and Schedule C.

  • Form 1040 is the main tax return form. It’s used to report your income, deductions, and credits.
  • Schedule C is used to report income from self-employment. If you’re paid under the table, you’ll need to file Schedule C to report your income from that job.

When to File Your Taxes

The deadline for filing your taxes is April 15th. However, if you file an extension, you have until October 15th to file.

Penalties for Not Reporting Under-the-Table Income

The IRS can impose significant penalties on taxpayers who fail to report under-the-table income. These penalties can include:

  • Fines
  • Back taxes
  • Jail time

How to Avoid Getting Caught

There are a few things you can do to avoid getting caught by the IRS for not reporting under-the-table income:

  • Keep accurate records of your income and expenses.
  • File your taxes on time.
  • Pay your taxes in full.

Filing taxes if you’re paid under the table can be a daunting task, but it’s important to do it correctly to avoid penalties. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that you’re meeting your tax obligations and avoiding any potential problems with the IRS.

Additional Resources

3 Things to Know If You Get Paid Cash Under the Table


How do I file taxes if I only get paid cash?

If you earn all of your wages in cash and don’t receive a W-2 form from your employer, you’ll need to request a 1099-MISC form from your employer or contract provider at the end of the tax year. You’ll use this 1099-MISC to claim income that you received as an independent contractor or earned as interest or dividends.

How do I report under the table pay to the IRS?

To report instances of cash wages paid “under the table,” please call 1‑800‑528‑1783. You do not have to provide your name if you wish to remain anonymous. “Under the table” means paying wages to employees by cash, check, or other compensation with the intent to evade paying payroll taxes.

How does the IRS find out about under the table income?

Third-Party Reporting: This is perhaps the most common way the IRS discovers underreported income. Various third parties, such as employers, cash apps, and financial institutions, are required by law to report certain types of income to the IRS using forms like 1099s, W2s.

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