I’m constantly seeing people ask how much money they need to report or seeing them say they don’t have to report anything that doesn’t come on a 1099. I don’t know about other countries but in the US, you are required to report ALL income, whether you get a 1099 or not. It’s not worth risking huge fines and/or jail time just to avoid paying taxes.
I think that is what might scare some people off. I know a lot of people who hate tax time only because it seems confusing to them. Taking the proper steps to learn how to do it, as a work at home person or not saves you hassle down the road. I wonder why so many people skip it?
I think a lot of people who do independent work figure if the company isn’t sending any identifying information to the government they don’t have to claim it on their taxes. If you don’t claim your income you take the chance that the government won’t notice money going into your bank account.
I claim my income. I’ve been audited before so I know what that is like. You need to keep good records. Most of my income is pretty low so I’m not too worried about it but I still claim it. I’d rather pay now and avoid being given a huge tax bill later.
This can be a pretty heated topic. In general I think you’re right, we should report all income, but I do think there are some cases in which you might get an odd job or one-time, low-paying gig in which properly reporting takes more time than it’s worth. Typically the IRS doesn’t go after you for very small amounts.