Getting paid under the table is typically a side gig or job you do that pays you in cash. It can be pretty beneficial for a number of personal reasons, and it’s much more common than you think. In fact, according to an NPR article I found, the amount of money being made under the table has a valuation in the trillions.
They even have a name for “Working Under The Table”; economists refer to it as the “The Shadow Economy.”
What’s your reason for wanting to work under the table?
With hundreds of reasons to choose from, there’s usually one that is common for almost everyone: “You don’t want to report the income you are making because of legal or other financial issues which are happening to you.”
In other words, it’s beneficial for you to be a bit under the radar with reporting how much money you make. Keep in mind however that this practice is not recommended. And in most cases, it’s against the law if you are working in countries like Canada or the United States.
But, for whatever reason, you’ve decided it’s a risk you’re willing to take. And, with that said, let’s look at some ideas for making cash money under the table.
Best Cash Paying Jobs Near You For Working Under The Table
There are many services industry jobs near you that pay extra money with cash tips. Try doing a simple Google search for the type of job you are seeking. A better option could also be a job board website popular in your local city like: Indeed.com, Glassdoor, Craigslist, and Monster.com.
Think about all the jobs that you can do where it’s common to make tip cash money, such as:
- Food Service Jobs That Pay You Tips: They include food service jobs like Pizza Delivery, Waiter/Waitress, Bar Tending, Coffee Barista, Host/Hostess, and the like.
- Hospitality Service Jobs That Pay Tips: They include Car Valets, Concierge, House Person, Front Desk, and any other position that directly services hotel guests.
- Beauty Jobs That Pay Tips: They include Hairstylist, Colorist, Nail Professional, Esthetician, Massage Therapist, Barber, and Makeup Artists.
- Country Club and Golf Course Jobs That Pay Tips: They include Bar Tender, Golf Caddy, Food Service Worker, and any position that directly assists the needs of a paying guest.
With any of these jobs, you want to make sure that your tips are all paid out in cash and not by electronic means to be truly under the table. You should have a cash payout on the spot at the end of each shift.
If you can’t get this because of a policy at the business you are working for, skip on that opportunity.
Highest Paid Freelancing Gigs That Directly Pay You Cash On The Spot
Doing small freelancing projects where you can directly be paid in cash is also a good option for being paid under the table.
To do it successfully, you have to stick to doing small jobs of under 600 dollars per client; per year.
Ideally, if you build up a clientele where each one calls you for service at least once per year, you can make a substantial income under the table. And you’ll reduce the chance of a 1099 filing against you because each client is not paying you more than 600 dollars in a year.
If a client pays you more than 600 dollars in a year, they’ll be obligated to file a 1099 with your tax information on it. They could decide to not to do this and expense it out another way of course, but they’d be taking a chance of being audited. Then, it would most likely come back to you and you’ll have to pay taxes on it. So be careful accepting big jobs over $600 dollar per year.
Some freelancing ideas include:
- Computer Repair and Consulting – Average pay is $50 to $100 per hour.
- Graphics Design – Average pay is $30 to $100 per hour.
- Bookkeeping – Average pay is $40 to $100 per hour.
- Online Marketing for Small Businesses – Average pay is $60 per hour.
- Working on and Fixing Up Cars – Average pay is $40 to $90 per hour.
- Being someone’s driver – Average pay is $15 to $30 per hour.
- Hosting an Estate Sale – Average pay out is 30% from the gross sales.
- Reselling Goods at a street fair or flea market – The pay depends on the value of items you are selling.
- Making your hobby a side business – The pay depends on the value of items you are selling.
Construction, Tradesman and General Labor Cash Opportunities
Are you good at working with construction or people’s homes?
If so, there are many handy and odd jobs you can help out people with who will have no issue paying you cash if you are good at what you do.
And… Traditionally, these types of side jobs are easier to get paid in cash for than doing professional freelance work!
Please note: Just like I described in the previous section for professional gigs, you still have to be careful that the person or business you are working for is not going to file a 1099 if you are paid out more than $600 dollars per year!
The pay with Construction, Tradesman, and General Labor jobs varies greatly depending on where you live. But can start at $15 dollar per hour for yard work and go all the way up to $150 per hour if you are a tradesman like a plumber, electrician, etc.
These side jobs include:
- Construction, Plumbing, Electrical, HVAC, Painting, Carpentry, and Handyman work.
- Junk Removal, Day Laborer, and any other job that requires the skills of working on a home.
- Basic landscaping projects like installing decks, fences, lawns, sprinklers, etc.
- Yard Maintenance for a homeowner’s yard by mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, etc.
As you an see, there are many options to make quite a bit of cash money.
How To Find New Cash Job Opportunities
To Find New Freelancing Clients and Labor Gig Opportunities, make sure you pass out business cards locally in your city and local neighborhood. You’ll want to build-up a referral network with colleagues, friends, and family regarding the service your providing.
WARNING! Stay Away From Help Wanted Ads For Gigs Like Uber, DoorDash, etc. That Pay You Electronically
The whole idea of working a cash job under the table is that it’s not tracked through an accounting system or payment system like PayPal, Venmo, or Cash App.
What about freelancing on Fiverr, UpWork, Door Dash, Uber, Lyft?
Suppose you do any work on a third-party platform like Fiverr, UpWork, Door Dash, Uber, Lyft, ThumbTack, etc. It will be reported as a 1099 to the IRS, this is not working under the table.
Unfortunately, You will need to skip these types of opportunities all together!
The Downsides Of Being Paid Cash Under The Table
There are many downsides to working for cash “under the table”. The biggest one is that you are breaking the law by not reporting the income.
That’s a moral decision that each one of us will make on our own.
In addition, you’ll have these problems to look forward to:
- Fraud charges and other financial problems with the IRS.
- Not paying into your Social Security Fund.
- Problems with your local state and city business laws.
- No consistent, steady work for years to come unless you’re really in demand.
- You won’t qualify for getting a loan to buy a home because your income is not being reported.
So be careful and be sure to carefully weigh out the pros and cons for not reporting any money you make working under the table.
Getting a cash job that pays you on the spot is most popular for anyone who is looking for a side hustle, is disabled, is in college, or just wants to supplement their income to provide more for their family.
It’s a slippery slope between working to provide for yourself and others you care about vs. not ending up being prosecuted for tax evasion and any other penalties that go along with not paying taxes to the government.
So, if you decide to work under the table for cash, be careful out there!