If you work as an independent contractor you must report all your earnings on your tax return just like any employee would do, but there are a few ways you can report your form 1099 MISC earnings.
If your independent work is regular, frequent, continuous and intended to make a profit, you'll be treated as self-employed by the IRS and you must report your income on line 1 of Schedule C form and attach it to your form 1040.
You're also responsible to pay any Social Security and Medicare taxes which you'll calculate and file on Schedule SE.
If you're considered self-employed, you have the advantage of claiming more deductions on your Schedule C form that are related to your profession.
If you have occasional income that is neither regular, frequent, continuous or intended to make a profit, then you're not considered to be self-employed. You will not be responsible to pay any Social Security and Medicare taxes on this income. This income should be reported on Schedule 1, line 8 of form 1040.