Looking for a job or business you can work on the side where you can walk away with cash in hand at the end of the day? The good news is there are plenty of options available thanks to the gig economy, work apps, and online marketplaces to connect with people willing to pay for labor.

But if you’re looking to make money “under the table” so to speak, you’ll want to think twice about this decision. When people look for an under the table job, they’re looking to avoid paying taxes on the income earned. This approach is risky if you end up getting audited down the road.

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Looking for ways to earn a little cash?

In the past, I’ve been told that if you got paid $600 or less for a small job, you wouldn’t need to pay taxes or report the earnings to the IRS. But this isn’t accurate. You’re still obligated to pay taxes on small jobs where you make less than $600. It’s the employer that is not obligated to send you a MISC-1099 form for projects under $600. As a contract employee, you’re still obligated to pay tax.

All that being said, I’ve seen a lot of people in these part-time jobs or side hustles use to make extra cash that isn’t reported as income. Small businesses or jobs that traditionally pay you in cash are the ones I consider to be under the table. Anyone that accepts cash tips or is paid in cash for small projects could fit into this category.

I’ve personally met with people in the service industry and small food business industry who share with me privately they don’t always report all their earnings. I’ve included examples of these jobs and businesses for entertainment purposes below. Reader Note: You should always report income and taxes accurately.

Under the Table Side Business Ideas

Kettle Corn Vendor: A couple years ago, I hired a successful kettle corn vendor to teach me about the business. This vendor requested I bring $100 cash as payment for consulting services. During my consulting lesson the popcorn vendor explained that he only accepted payments in cash for bags of kettle corn that were sold. As a result, there was no paper trail for revenue. If you run credit card or debit payments through a POS system, this income is more easily tracked.

You can listen to my complete interview with this vendor here. The name of this source has been hidden for obvious reasons. It may not be right, but the reality is any food business that accepts cash payments is difficult to track assuming you don’t make large cash deposits into a bank after vending.

Yard work / Lawn Mowing: Kids and adults alike may not think they are doing anything illegal by accepting cash payments for mowing someone else’s lawn. But if you follow tax law to the letter, you should be reporting income for any cash payment for lawn work of any kind including gardening, weeding, mowing, and planting.

Moving Company: I’ve hired part-time moving companies off of websites like Craigslist in the past. When it came time to remit payment, the mover asked if I could compensate him in cash. He was big and I didn’t want to argue with him. But I did wonder why he insisted on cash instead of a check.

Legitimate moving companies are a big business opportunity that can be grown to multi-million dollar operations. According to reports, the moving services industry is valued at more than $14 billion. To move furniture for a two bedroom apartment across town, it’s not uncommon to pay $500 – $1,000. All you need to get started with this business is a rented moving truck and some serious muscle.

A moving truck in an urban center.

Barber / Hair Dresser: If there’s one thing I’ve learned from recent lockdowns and stay in place orders, it’s that barbers can make an income with cash when needed. The barbershop I frequented in Southern California only accepted cash payments and had an ATM machine positioned on-site so customers could withdraw funds if needed. As a barber, you could also offer on-site house calls to customers for an additional fee.

Nail Salon: Last year my wife got a text from her nail salon. The text stated that the nail salon would be open on a Saturday by appointment only. The message mentioned all customers would need to bring cash to pay for services.

Again, this message came during state-wide lock down orders in California when nail salons were not permitted to be open. While this practice was certainly not legal, it’s understandable that businesses like this require cash flow to make ends meet and pay their own rent. You can only generate an income if you’re able to be open.

Related Reading: 27 Mobile Business Ideas You Can Start This Weekend

Flipping Stuff: Selling second hand sports cards, sneakers, vintage toys, video game systems from the 90s, and gently own workout equipment has become a major trend thanks to the business model being well-documented on YouTube. There’s even popular cable television shows where people go out and buy used equipment from others to flip junk for a profit called American Pickers.

You can get a good education on the business model for flipping junk on this episode of Trash Talk with Gary V. In the video above, you learn how this entrepreneur turned $47 worth of old toys in $430.  Not bad! This is a real opportunity for anyone interested in traveling to different rummage sales and selling their treasures at a higher price online.

Pet Grooming: Dogs need hair cuts and personal care just like we do. According to industry reports, the pet grooming industry represents more than $7 billion in annual value. You can conduct these types of services at peoples homes by appointment making this a low-investment startup. An estimated 65% of U.S. residents own some type of pet, meaning this is a really big market with further growth projected on the horizon.

Exterior Building Cleaner: This is a broad category that includes window washing, pool maintenance, chimney sweep services, snow removal, and pressure washing. These are all jobs where you could purchase a piece of equipment for a few hundred bucks and start a business. As an example, you could buy a used snow blower for less than $1,000 and be in business during the winter. If you really need to get started on a bootstrapped budget, you could start making sales with a $20 shovel. As an added bonus, you’ll get a terrific workout and some fresh air.

There are all sorts of on-going home or building maintenance services available in every town. To get started, all you need to do is hand out flyers around your community offering a service. You can also offer up services on places like Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist.