Working “under the table” is all too common these days and poses an enormous risk to the individual, tax-payers and society as a whole. While there may be some immediate gratification of not paying any taxes, the cons far outweigh the pros. If you know someone working in this manner and they have a choice, please educate them on the consequences to their future. By generating income off the books you are contributing nothing to the tax payer system and therefore are essentially getting benefits that the rest of us pay for free such as education, recreation, infrastructure, healthcare and many more. They are essentially mooching like the friend on the couch that has overspent their welcome.
As far as their future is concerned, Social Security requires 40 credits (10 years) of work in order to qualify for any financial benefits. In addition, in order to qualify for Medicare you must receive or be eligible to receive Social Security benefits or eligible to receive railroad retirement benefits. Government employees that have not payed into Social Security may also qualify for Medicare by paying into Medicare payroll taxes.
Many retirees are living solely on the Social Security benefits and unfortunate for most of us that is not enough. If you’ve worked off the books long enough to not qualify for Social Security, this means it will be up to you to create your own savings and retirement plan. In my experience, those who work under the table are not financially secure or educated enough to plan for their own retirement. These folks may have a live day to day attitude and will most likely have to either live their entire lives or depend on the rest of us to support them when they get older through hand outs.