21 Best Under the Table Jobs for Direct Cash + FAQs

Lana Dolyna, EA, CTC
Lana Dolyna, EA, CTC

Senior Tax Advisor

Some people prefer to start businesses or jobs where they are paid primarily in cash. These jobs are referred to as under the table. While it’s tempting to start one of these jobs, the IRS can still audit you.

It’s worth noting that you are still responsible for reporting all your income on your tax return, even if you are paid in cash. Underreporting is one of the most frequently cited non-compliance issues resulting from an IRS audit.

21 Best Under the Table Jobs for Cash

There are several industries and jobs where it’s common to be paid in cash for services or goods rendered.  

1. Childcare

Childcare can be a great way to earn extra cash, especially if you’re already caring for kids during the day. Many parents are happy to pay under the table for childcare since it’s often cheaper than sending their kids to a daycare center. Plus, it can be more convenient for parents to have someone they know and trust watching their kids.

Parents will want to know that their kids are in good hands, so they’ll expect you to provide a safe and nurturing environment. If you can do that, then providing childcare can be a great way to earn some extra money.

2. Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can be a cash job if you’re looking to make some extra money, and you can usually get under-the-table payments for your work. To get started, you need a power washer and some soap. You need to be sure to wear gloves and eye protection, as the high-pressure water can be dangerous.

Once you’re set-up, you can start washing away dirt and grime from driveways, sidewalks, and other surfaces. With a little bit of care, you can powerwash your way to extra income.

3. Pet Sitting

As a pet sitter, you are responsible for taking care of someone’s pet while they are away. This includes feeding, walking, and providing companionship. Pet sitting can be a flexible job that fits your schedule.

Most pet sitting gigs are paid under the table, so be sure to get all the details from your potential employer before agreeing to anything. Once you make sure that you’re comfortable with the animals you’ll be caring for, you can get to work. 

4. Yard Work

If you’re looking for a cash job, yard work is a readily available option. There’s always a demand for lawn care, and you can typically get paid under the table. The pay isn’t always great, but it’s honest work, and you can usually set your own hours. Just be prepared to get a little dirty and to sweat a bit. Yard work isn’t easy, but it’s a decent way to make some extra money.

5. Snow Removal

For those of us who live in cold weather climates, snow removal is a necessary evil. We shovel driveways and sidewalks, and sometimes even roads, just to make sure that everyone can get around safely.

Most people are willing to pay under the table for snow removal, if you have a flexible schedule and can be depended upon to show up after each snow storm, you can build a client base. You will need to make an initial investment in a snowblower or a snowplow if you intend to go after larger jobs.

6. Day Labor

Day laborers are usually paid in cash under the table for their work. Being paid in cash can be a disadvantage because they may not be able to get unemployment benefits or other government assistance if they lose their job.

In addition, day laborers may not be protected by labor laws, and they may not be eligible for workers’ compensation if they are injured on the job. Despite these challenges, many day laborers find cash jobs to be a convenient way to earn money without committing to a regular work schedule.

7. Cleaning

If you’re looking for a cash job, housecleaning is another option where you can easily find a job. You can usually find work through word-of-mouth or online classifieds. The pay is typically hourly, and you can work as many or as few hours as you like.

One of the benefits of being a housecleaner is that you can typically work around your schedule. However, one downside is that payments are often made under the table, so you won’t get any benefits such as health insurance or paid time off. 

8. Pet Grooming

Pet grooming is often paid in cash for their services. Whether you’re providing the service for a friend or family member or running your own pet grooming business, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The quality of your work is important – shoddy grooming can lead to health problems for the animal, so you will need to take your time and do a good job. You will also need to be prepared for a bit of a mess – grooming can be a messy business, so make sure you have the supplies you need to clean up afterward.

9. Class Instructors

Class instructors typically get under-the-table payments for their classes. The going rate varies depending on the class and the number of students. Some instructors also get tips from students, which can add up to a significant amount of money over time. Overall, teaching classes is a great way to earn some extra cash on the side. This is the side hustle that has the potential to turn into a career.

10. Handyman

If you’re good with your hands and have a knack for fixing things, then working as a handyman may be a good option for you. In general, handymen are paid on a cash basis for the job, which means that under-the-table payments are common.

While it’s possible to make good money as a handyman, it’s important to make sure that you’re getting paid what you’re worth. If you’re smart about it and do your research on which services are in demand, working as a handyman can be a way to earn some extra money.

11. Tutoring

Tutoring can be a decent way to earn some extra cash. Many people who tutor do so on an informal basis, working with students in their own community or even online. Some tutors work for formal tutoring companies, while others are self-employed.

Tutoring typically involves working one-on-one with a student to help them improve in a particular subject area. Tutors may also be hired to teach a class or lead a study group. In some cases, tutors may even be paid under the table by parents who want to give their children a competitive edge. Whether you’re looking for extra income or a full-time job, tutoring can be a lucrative option.

12. House Painting

House painting is one of those cash jobs that are always in demand. People are always looking to spruce up their place and are willing to pay under the table to get it done quickly and cheaply. The key is to find a niche market and build a reputation for being the go-to person for that particular type of job.

Once you’ve established yourself, you can start charging a bit more and further build your business. So if you’re looking for a cash job, house painting is definitely worth considering. You’ll need to make sure you can deliver quality work before diving in.

13. Selling Crafts

Selling crafts can be a great way to earn some extra cash, especially if you’re good at it. You can usually get under the table payments for your work, which can be a great help if you’re struggling to make ends meet.

The best place to sell crafts is usually at local markets or fairs, where you can set up a stall and show off your work. You can also sell online, though you’ll need to be careful about scams. Sites like Etsy special in selling and marketing handmade crafts making it easier to peddle your wares. 

14. Baking

Whether you’re whipping up batches of cookies or baking a cake for a special occasion, there’s always a demand for homemade goods. If you’re good at it, you can charge a premium for your services.

Baking requires time and patience, and some people simply don’t have the knack for it. But if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen and are not afraid of a little hard work, then baking could be a great way to earn some extra money.

15. Local Modeling Gigs

Many local modeling jobs are paid under the table. This means that the payments are made in cash, and no taxes are withheld. While this arrangement might seem convenient, it can actually be quite risky.

For one thing, under-the-table payments are often much lower than the standard rate. Additionally, if the client refuses to pay, there is no legal recourse available.

16. Makeup Artists

Makeup artists are often thought of as glamorous professionals, working with celebrities and models to create perfect looks. However, many makeup artists also work cash jobs under the table.

These jobs may be at nightclubs, private parties, or other events where people want to look their best but don’t necessarily want to spend a lot of money. In these situations, the makeup artist may be paid in cash under the table. 

17. Web Designer

Web designers are responsible for the visual design of websites. They work with clients to create a website that meets their needs and reflects their brand. Web designers usually charge by the hour, and they may also receive under-the-table payments for their work.

Some web designers are self-employed, while others work for marketing or design firms. Either way, they typically have a good understanding of HTML, CSS, and other web technologies.

18. Photographer

As a cash job, being a photographer has its perks. You’re your own boss, you can make your own hours, and under-the-table payments are commonplace. Of course, that also means that you don’t have the stability of a traditional 9-5 job. But for many photographers, the freedom and flexibility are worth the trade-off.

If you’re good at what you do, there’s also a lot of money to be made. Wedding photography, for example, is a lucrative industry. Photography does have a lot of competition, and you will need to invest time in marketing your services to land gigs.

19. Personal Trainer

Because of the pandemic, most people have been avoiding gyms for the past few years. Personal trainers work with individuals or small groups to help them meet their fitness goals.

If you enjoy working out, helping others, and have access to a gym, this can be a very profitable gig. Trainers are often paid under the table, right after each session. Many gyms also offer a referral program for trainers so you can build your client base. 

20. Personal Shopper

Working as a personal shopper can be a great way to earn some extra cash on the side. You will need to be skilled at picking out clothes and helping people find what they’re looking for. You are usually paid by the hour or a commission based on the clothing purchased by your client.

If you’re looking for a casual job that can earn you some quick cash, then working as a personal shopper is definitely worth considering.

21. Sign Spinners

Sign spinning is a common marketing technique used mainly in warmer climates or during the summer months. Because of the seasonality of the gig, you can usually find under-the-table jobs paid daily. 

Sign spinning has gained traction in recent years as competitive sign spinning has taken off. The pay isn’t amazing, but it’s decent for under-the-table work. Plus, you can usually set your own hours, which is great if you have another job or are in school. 

How to Find Under the Table Jobs

Most jobs do not advertise as being paid in cash because the business owners don’t want to be caught not paying the proper taxes. There are certain strategies you can use to find these types of jobs.

Review Job Postings Carefully

There are several websites and apps that can help you find under-the-table work. One of the keywords to look for is paid daily, which often means that you will be handed cash at the end of your shift. The Craiglist gig section is full of work that is usually under the table. You can also check NextDoor and similar apps to find people needing assistance in your immediate area.

Word of Mouth

Most under-the-table jobs are found by talking to your contacts. Friends and family are good sources of referrals for these types of jobs. People you already know are more likely to be willing to pay you under the table because they trust you not to report them.

Start Your Own Business

The easiest way to start getting paid under the table is by starting a service business that only accepts cash payments. By owning your own business, you can control how you are paid and what type of payments you will accept. You are still responsible for declaring your cash receipts on your tax return.

FAQs

Here are the answers to some common questions about under the table work.

Under the table means that your employer will not report the wages paid to you to any taxing authorities, and your wages will be paid in cash.

It is not against the law to receive payment for your work in cash. It is illegal not to report your earnings when filing your tax return.

We do not recommend working under the table to avoid paying taxes. One of the best ways to make money under the table is by starting a service business that only accepts cash payments. However, you could consider the consequences of working under the table

You can make unlimited money by working under the table. However, all the money you earn needs to be reported on your tax return.