While most people are aware they must include wages as income on their tax returns, many don't realize that they must also report cash earned from side jobs.
Generally, the IRS considers all income received in the form of money, property or services to be taxable income unless the law specifically provides an exemption.
It is a common misconception that if a taxpayer does not receive a Form 1099-MISC or if the income is under $600 per payer, the income is not taxable. There is no minimum amount that a taxpayer may exclude from gross income.
All income earned through the taxpayer's business, as an independent contractor or from informal side jobs is self-employment income, which is fully taxable and must be reported on Form 1040.
Use Form 1040, Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, to report income and expenses. Taxpayers will also need to prepare Form 1040 Schedule SE for self-employment taxes if the net profit exceeds $400 for a year. Do not report this income on Form 1040 Line 21 as Other Income.
Independent contractors must report all income as taxable, even if it is less than $600. Even if the client does not issue a Form 1099-MISC, the income, whatever the amount, is still reportable by the taxpayer.
Fees received for babysitting, housecleaning and lawn cutting are all examples of taxable income, even if less than $600.