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Failing to report side income has consequences

From the perspective of the IRS, all income from any source is subject to taxation. However, many taxpayers (including those living in Michigan) are failing to report all of the money they receive.

According to an article from, as many as 69.8 million American taxpayers fail to properly report income from part-time employment and other side occupations annually. This adds up to an estimated $214.6 billion in unreported income.

It appears that millennials are the ones most likely to engage in such behavior. Many of them are still paying off college loans and are hoping to catch up. However, there are other offenders as well. Over one-third of individuals making $150,000 to $300,000 also apparently fail to fully report side income.

What this suggests is that it is easy to fall into this trap. And while the temptation to not report income may be great, the consequences can prove disastrous.

The failure to report all of the income you make may lead to a criminal indictment. It could lead to an audit where the IRS will review your tax returns for the last several years. And it could lead to penalties that would eat up any savings you were hoping to keep by not fully reporting your income.

Before taking shortcuts concerning reporting of income, it is highly recommended that you speak to a tax attorney who can explain to you why such behavior will get you into trouble. And if you are already facing prosecution, it may be necessary to retain that same attorney to minimize the possible consequences.

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