Many individuals in the United States opt for off-the-books, cash-paying jobs, which often come with attractive compensation. There are various motivations behind pursuing these under-the-table opportunities.
Some individuals do it to evade taxes, while others seek supplementary income on an as-needed basis. Additionally, some of these jobs may originate from less conventional sources.
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Understanding Under-the-Table Jobs
There are two main categories of under-the-table jobs. The first category involves illegal activities, which can lead to severe legal consequences and are beyond the scope of this article.
The second category comprises legitimate jobs where employers choose to pay in cash instead of through conventional banking channels or digital payment systems like PayPal. In some cases, these employers may not have declared this cash income to avoid taxation and instead kept it off the books.
Employees in these positions can choose to report this income to the IRS or keep it undisclosed, though evading income tax is unlawful and can result in legal consequences, including charges for tax evasion and money laundering under various laws, including the USA Patriot Act.
Despite the risks, the underground economy in the United States offers individuals opportunities to find legitimate jobs while keeping their income hidden from the IRS.
What’s Underground Economy?
The term “underground economy” refers to both legal and illegal activities that generate income. This informal economy often serves as a lifeline for undocumented migrants seeking employment in various countries.
In most cases within the underground economy, formal work records and wages are not maintained. Instead, compensation and employment terms are agreed upon verbally between the employer and employee.
Always Declare Your True Income
It’s essential to emphasize that while tax avoidance is a legitimate practice permitted by the IRS, tax evasion is illegal. Therefore, even if you engage in under-the-table work, it is advisable to report your income to the IRS to stay on the right side of the law.
67 Best Under The Table Jobs That Pay Cash
Here’s a list of 67 under-the-table jobs that can provide cash income:
Many people in your neighborhood may require assistance with their gardens and are willing to pay in cash.
2. Pet Walking
While apps like Rover and Woof generally use digital payments, you can find local pet walking opportunities that pay cash.
Although babysitting carries some risks, some families seek caregivers in the unorganized labor market, making it an option for extra income, particularly during summers.
Year-round catering jobs can offer under-the-table pay. Such roles often involve serving guests at events.
Some seniors may require occasional transportation assistance, offering cash payments without official work records.
6. Paid Online Surveys
Participating in online surveys can yield cash or shopping vouchers that are generally tax-exempt.
Freelance plumbers can find under-the-table opportunities by setting their own rates.
8. Running Errands
Offering errand-running services in your community can provide daily cash income.
9. Personal Yoga Trainer
If you’re skilled in yoga, working as a personal trainer can be a lucrative under-the-table job.
10. Personal Cook
Individuals with culinary expertise can work as personal cooks, commanding high rates in the underground economy.
11. Offline Tutor
Tutoring students in specific subjects without formal records can generate significant under-the-table income.
12. Tax Preparer
Seasonal tax preparation work offers cash payments during tax season.
Stores and restaurants often hire mascots for promotional purposes, paying hourly cash rates.
14. Car Detailing
Car detailing, including thorough cleaning and restoration, can be a high-paying cash job.
15. Joint Roller
In states where recreational cannabis use is legal, working as a joint roller at cannabis-serving cafes is an option.
16. Sales Assistant
Retail stores often hire seasonal sales assistants, providing cash compensation without official records.
Living in rural areas with farms and orchards can lead to under-the-table farm work opportunities.
18. Mobile Repairs
Repairing mobile phones can be a profitable under-the-table job, as quick fixes are in demand.
19. Sugar Baby
While debated, some individuals choose to be sugar babies, earning substantial cash to cover college expenses.
20. Paid Friend
Loneliness prompts some individuals to pay for companionship, both online and offline.
21. Bakery Assistant
Assisting at local bakeries, arranging displays and possibly learning cake decoration can yield cash income.
22. PSO (Phone Sex Operator)
Working as a PSO can provide substantial hourly earnings with anonymity for operators.
23. News Delivery
Delivering newspapers to homes and offices can generate cash income for younger individuals.
24. Lawn Mowing
Many individuals with gardens require lawn care services, offering cash payments.
25. Mystery Shopper
Mystery shoppers receive free goods and cash from reviews, with income under the table.
26. Assistant Florist
Creative individuals can earn cash by assisting florists with floral arrangements.
27. Professional Mourner
Attending funerals as a professional mourner can yield significant cash for those comfortable with this role.
28. Grave Digger
Digging graves for cemeteries that lack heavy equipment can provide cash income, sometimes up to $50 per hour.
29. Deputy Mortician
Assisting morticians in preparing bodies for funerals can offer both part-time and full-time under-the-table work.
Cultivating, extracting, and selling honey products can be a lucrative under-the-table business.
31. Funeral Service Worker
Working under a funeral director to prepare for last rites can provide under-the-table cash income.
32. Mortuary Makeup Artist
Applying makeup to deceased individuals is a unique under-the-table job.
33. Delivery Agent
Offering independent delivery services can lead to cash payments.
34. Appliance Repairs
Providing appliance repair services at customers’ homes can help them save on repair costs.
Informally caring for sick individuals or seniors can result in under-the-table cash earnings.
Part-time entertainment gigs at events and venues can offer extra cash without formal work records.
Small businesses often seek telecallers, paying on a per-call basis with cash.
38. Kitchen Helper
Assisting with kitchen tasks like food preparation and dishwashing can yield daily cash income.
39. Graphic Designer
Freelance graphic designers can create and sell designs for cash, requiring no formal degree.
Janitors can work informally or as freelancers, earning cash for their services.
41. Manicure & Pedicure
Providing manicure and pedicure services, even for men, can result in cash income.
42. Car Wash
Offering car washing services can help individuals save on automated car wash costs.
Serving as a sports referee for local games can provide cash payments, especially during the sports season.
Freelance photographers can earn money from events and by selling photos online.
45. Laundry Assistant
Laundries often hire workers for manual tasks, offering cash payments.
46. Micro Tasker
Completing small tasks like proofreading and content editing can result in under-the-table cash payments.
47. Tank Cleaner
Cleaning residential water tanks for homeowners can provide cash income.
48. Lab Sample Collector
Collecting non-phlebotomist-required samples for patients offers opportunities for under-the-table income.
49. Remote Computer Repairs
Independent computer repair services can provide cash payments, but caution is essential to avoid scams.
Packing goods for shipping or transport can result in cash income, often with flexible hours.
51. Pet Sitters
Spending time with indoor pets can offer cash income opportunities for animal lovers.
52. Waiter/ Waitress
Restaurants often require extra waitstaff during peak seasons, offering cash income plus tips.
53. Crafts Tutor
Offering craft lessons from home can yield decent cash income, with origami being a sought-after skill.
54. Masseur/ Masseuse
Providing massages as a trained masseur or masseuse can result in cash payments.
55. Video Editor
Basic video editing skills can lead to freelance work with cash compensation.
56. Assistant Storekeeper
Assisting with inventory management can provide cash income, particularly for those comfortable with numbers.
Ghostwriters write content on behalf of others, receiving cash payments for anonymity.
58. Furniture Repair
Repairing furniture for clients in their homes can yield cash income opportunities.
59. Photo Restoration
Restoring old photos can be a profitable under-the-table job, thanks to modern software tools.
60. Junk Seller
Buying and selling junk can result in cash income, with many transactions being cash-based.
Trained beauticians can offer doorstep services for cash income without formal records.
62. Product Promoter
Working as a product promoter on a freelance basis can provide cash payments at the end of each day.
Selling edible fish caught in local bodies of water can be a cash-based source of income.
Offering assistance with painting homes can lead to cash payments from homeowners.
Embroiderers can earn cash by creating intricate designs on clothing items from home.
66. Remote Surveillance
Monitoring surveillance cameras for property owners can result in cash payments, keeping property under watchful eyes.
67. Hobby Trainers
Teaching hobbies can lead to under-the-table cash income, with additional earnings from selling hobby-related materials.
While these 67 under-the-table job options may be enticing, it’s crucial to remember that tax evasion is illegal and can have serious consequences. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers legitimate means of reducing tax liabilities, and individuals are encouraged to report all sources of income. Avoid the potential pitfalls of tax evasion by declaring your under-the-table earnings, ensuring financial security while staying within the bounds of the law.
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