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Companies are required to send a 1099 when they pay a contractor at least $600 during the tax year. In general, you are required to report all of your income and pay taxes whether or not you received a 1099 form. Let’s say you received $17,597 from various mystery shopping companies over the course of the year.
That may not sound like much profit, but remember that you got to keep those required purchases and your expense deductions may help to subsidize expenses you would have even if you were not mystery shopping.
What does matter is that you show at least as much income on your Schedule C as was reported on the 1099s. You can contact the company to ask if a 1099 was issued, and verify that they have your correct contact information.
If you received a check or money order with instructions to cash it and wire money to someone, DON'T DO IT! Behavioral Control refers to the degree of control a company exercises over what work is accomplished and how the work is done, through instructions, training, or other means. Financial Control covers facts that show whether the business has a right to direct or control the financial and business aspects of the worker’s job.
The extent to which the worker has unreimbursed business expenses.  Independent contractors are more likely to have unreimbursed expenses than are employees.
The extent to which the worker makes his or her services available to the relevant market.  As a mystery shopper, you are free to make your services available to other mystery shopping companies and to seek out other business opportunities. How the business pays the worker.  Independent contractors are often paid on a flat fee basis rather than an hourly basis, and receive a 1099 each year.
Written contracts describing the parties’ intent in creating the relationship.  This can be significant if you are having difficulty determining worker status through other means. How permanent the relationship between the parties is.  You are free to accept or decline shops and are under no obligation to accept any future shops unless you have already committed to perform them. The extent to which the work performed is a key aspect of the company’s regular business.  (Of course this is just one aspect of the process).
You should receive a Form 1099 from each company you provide independent contractor services to throughout the year.
For more information about filing your taxes as an independent contractor, see our previous article Reporting Mystery Shopping Income. If you are careful not to go over making $500 per company you’ll never have to pay a penny for taxes.
One purpose of the 1099 is that the IRS can run automated programs to match what was reported on 1099s to what taxpayers report as income. Here is the important part: Even if you do not receive a 1099 you are responsible for reporting your income and paying any taxes due. There isn’t some awesome tax loophole that says that as long as you only make a little bit of money from a bunch of companies you do not have to pay taxes on any of it.
Whether this shopper is ignorant of tax law or actively cheating on his taxes doesn’t matter to the IRS. The shopper could be the subject of a random audit and the auditor might discover this unreported income.
The good news for her was that she had reported the income, she just hadn’t done it correctly.


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1 bedroom apartments quincy maInternational Work at Home Opportunities: Jobs Outside the USAHelpful advice for those looking for international work at home jobs outside the United States. By now you should have received 1099s from any mystery shopping companies that paid you more than $600 last year.
Of course, as an Independent Contractor, you will also deduct all of your reasonable and necessary costs of doing business as expenses. Some of them may have paid you a couple hundred dollars each and a few may have paid a few thousand dollars each. For example, you would probably pay for Internet access even if you were not mystery shopping. Most companies only issue 1099s for fees; however, some companies will include reimbursements for purchases and other expenses in the 1099.
The IRS checks the totals of 1099s for your tax ID number against the gross amount of income you report.
The mystery shopping company may have issued a payment in late December, but you didn’t receive it until January. Because you do not have to send the 1099 in with your tax return, you can file your tax return even if you do not receive an expected 1099. How can I report my income from mystery shopping and not blow my cover as I will be shopping the Income tax company?
As an independent contractor, you have control over what assignments you accept.    As long as you get the job done you have a lot of control about how and when you complete those assignments. It is important to keep accurate records to track your income and expenses, mileage, or any other expenditure associated with your mystery shopping business.  You may deduct business expenses on Schedule C of your income tax return.
By taking enough jobs to make $500 from 30 or 40 companies you can make an extra $20,000 a year, tax free.
The law says that anyone who pays a contractor $600 (not $500) or more per year has to file a 1099 for that contractor.
This is true even if a particular company paid you less than $600 during that year, and even if every company you worked for paid you less than $600.
Whether you made $20,000 from an employer at your regular job or $500 each from 40 different mystery shopping companies, you have to report that income and pay any taxes due. One shopper told me she was audited because one of the mystery shopping companies she worked for got audited.
Bureau of Labor StatisticsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal . Work from home, mystery shopper, rebate processing--these can be real jobs or they can be employment scams.
Every year I get questions from secret shoppers about 1099s, so here are the answers to some of the questions I receive most often.


That means that you do not pay taxes on the gross amount you received, but on your profit after expenses have been deducted. Because you use the Internet for your business, you may deduct at least a portion of your monthly fee for Internet access. They included it in your 1099 for last year, but you are not counting that income until this year.
Remember, many companies will not send you a 1099 because they did not pay you at least $600. For tax purposes, you are considered to be self-employed.  Independent contractors are responsible for paying their own income tax and self-employment tax (Self-Employment Contributions Act – SECA). What they look for is whether someone with 1099 income has filed a Schedule C for income from self-employment or a small business at least equal to what was reported on 1099s.) If a company sent you a 1099 and you did not show self-employment income, you will probably get a letter from the IRS. In the course of that audit they compared the company’s records of payments made to the tax returns of the people who received the payments. As a result, she hadn’t taken any deductions against her contractor income and had actually overpaid her income taxes. Of course, as an Independent Contractor you are also entitled to deduct all of your reasonable and necessary expenses of doing business in determining how much of your mystery shopping income is taxable.
Christie Thomas is among a new generation of moms who have chosen to stay at home but earn an income, too. You might think of it as the contractor equivalent of the W2 form your employer files each year, showing how much you were paid and the taxes withheld.
But wait—if the mystery shopping companies aren’t reporting it to the IRS, how will they find out?
Her return did not include a Schedule C (where Independent Contractor income is reported) so they assumed she was hiding income and she got audited. At tax filing time, many libraries and community organizations have volunteers to help with tax return preparation. Don’t worry about it, as long as you are consistent from year to year.) Or there may be some other reason why your records don’t match exactly.
Only in the case of a 1099, taxes typically have not been withheld so it shows the gross amount paid to the contractor.
Had she been trying to cheat the government by not reporting income the outcome could have been quite unpleasant, as she would have owed not only the taxes due on the income but interest and penalties, too. There are software programs, such as TurboTax, you can use to complete and file your tax return.
There are lots of things you can do to run afoul of the IRS, but hiding income is the one that makes them maddest. You may have to explain mystery shopping to your tax preparer, because most of them are not familiar with it, but they can help you navigate any issues you may face related to taxes.



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