Mystery Shopping Taxes

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Discussions About Mystery Shopping Taxes

Car Broke Down - Can I deduct on taxes ?

Hey Guys n Gals - My car is my primary and means of transportation for MSC assignments. Well, yesterday she broke down, and is now at the mercy of the auto shop. I'm scared of the repair bill. Am I allowed to deduct it from my taxes next year ?... Continue Reading


Hello-I am a secret shopper in Illinois. I will be making enough to receive a 1099 and pay taxes in Illinois. Is it a bad idea to secret shop while on vacation in another state? Would I have to file taxes in that other state then, which... Continue Reading

Attention shoppers 21-28 yrs Old in NJ! Earn extra income!

Hello Shoppers! We are looking for shoppers aged 21-28 in New Jersey to assist with very quick and easy ID verification at a popular chain. Make up to $500 conducting routes. You will have to visit a retail store and attempt to purchase an E-Cig/Vape product in order to validate if... Continue Reading

Quarterly Taxes

I am new to mystery shopping this year and wanted to know if we are supposed to be paying taxes quarterly? I also hold a full-time job so I am not sure what the protocol is. I donít want to be penalized next year at tax time for not doing... Continue Reading

PayPal payments vs gifts. How does the IRS or PayPal know the difference?

A friend has sent me several thousand as a gift to my PayPal account. How does the IRS or PayPal know it's a gift or business payment? I use PayPal for mystery shopping payments. I have no other business.... Continue Reading


Hi! I am looking through some tax information, and I was just wondering how everybody handles their taxes from mystery shopping. I know if one company you make $600 or more, you have to report it, right? But is that from each individual company or altogether combined? Do all the companies... Continue Reading

Understanding IPSOS 1099NEC - Does the amount include reimbursements or payment only?

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Mileage for Taxes

Is it correct that we can count mileage from home to shop, and to the next shop, etc, and then home again as business expense? So if I do an out of town shop I can claim all that mileage?... Continue Reading

Questions about taxes

Apologies, I'm new at SE taxes and business taxes. I have a few questions if anyone would be willing to share their experiences. Is there a benefit or reason to choose cash vs. accrual for accounting? I track my jobs but also track when I get paid so I... Continue Reading

We Go Look -1099

Did anyone else receive 2 1099s from WGL? I received two earlier and then I got an email that they had messed up and were redoing 1099s . I received 2 new ones today. I am not sure why I am getting 2.... Continue Reading

Any recommendations for a mileage app?

As the subject says, I am just wondering if others use apps, or have any recommendations for the easiest method of keeping mileage records. Thanks in advance for any advice I can get.... Continue Reading

1099 for reimbursement only

I did very little mystery shopping this year, but one shop I performed was a reimbursement-only shop for a large ticket item (over $1000). I was surprised when I opened the mailbox to find a 1099 from this MSC. My understanding is that such a payment is not... Continue Reading


I have seen a couple of veterans speaking about being reimbursed for mileage. Is that legit? I can ask for mileage reimbursement?... Continue Reading

Anybody get Intellishop 1099 yet?

It's the only one I haven't gotten. Did your come by mail or email?... Continue Reading

Anyone get their Market Force 1099 form yet?

I've been waiting to get mine in the mail. I know I should be getting one. They mail them out Jan. 31st.... Continue Reading

Mileage vs. Standard deduction

I have a question that some may know. I use Turbo Tax and by the time I put in my mileage, expenses, etc then it said that my standard deduction was the better fit. Is there a better place to put this, so it comes off the income of mystery... Continue Reading

Intellishop 1099

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Mystery Shopping Taxes: Military Personnel

I know this is not exactly the right place to ask this but I am hoping someone has an idea. I am active duty military and I do mystery shops where I am stationed which is not where my home of record is, so when I file my state taxes... Continue Reading

1099 From Ipsos?

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PayPal 1099K

I didn't get a 1099K from PayPal yet. Has anybody else gotten theirs yet?... Continue Reading

1099 form from individual company and paypal tax forms

I received my Paypal tax form and downloaded it. I made over $600 from a mystery shop company which pays via paypal. Will I have to pay taxes on both Paypal AND the individual company? How do you distinguish this to say that this was included in the paypal portion??... Continue Reading


I work for several companies. I have made well over $600 with many of them. I still have not received any 1099s. Has anyone gotten any? I know they have until the 31st, but I don't remember it being this late last year.... Continue Reading

Taxes - Yuck

I am going to preface this question with the fact that I know anything anyone says is not official nor is it official tax advice. I have a couple of questions as I close out the last year of mystery shopping and prepare to file taxes. I would... Continue Reading

IRS 2023 Mileage Rate is $0.655 per mile

The IRS standard mileage rate has gone up 3 cents for 2023. It will be 65.5 cents per mile effective January 1, 2023. Continue Reading

1099k rule suspended for a year

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CBS MoneyWatch IRS will delay requirement to report $600 in gig work on taxes

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Wisconsin Movie Shops: $195-$375 Profit + Reimbursement For Tickets & Mileage Up to $150

Amusement Advantage has fun patron count shops at Movie Theatre locations in Wisconsin available now! These shops pay $195-$375 including $45-$225 regular pay ($45 for first two showings + $30 for each additional showing) + $150 extra pay + reimbursement of all required movie tickets. Mileage pay up to $150... Continue Reading

Income Tax Preparation Shops

Does anyone know which companies often have these accounts? I imagine they are incredibly detailed with you having to redact a lot of information. Are they worth it? My taxes this year are going to be a hot mess and I'm hoping to not go too far... Continue Reading

California Movie Shop: $75 Profit + Reimbursement For Tickets & Mileage

Amusement Advantage has fun theatre check shops at Movie Theatre locations in California available now! These shops pay $75 including $25 regular pay + $50 extra pay + reimbursement of all required tickets + up to $100 mileage pay. To view the details and apply go to: and click on... Continue Reading

New IRS/Paypal Reporting Question

I asked a major shopping company about this new IRS law and here is the response I got: "The 1099 we provide does not include reimbursement. Youíll get a 1099-K from PayPal. That is just a record of what was paid to you. That does not have to be filed with... Continue Reading

PayPal is reporting me to IRS

In the light of the new ď$600 thresholdĒ reporting rule, Iím expecting 1099-K form from PayPal in January 2022. It is my first year of mystery shopping and I havenít had the pleasure of filing business (I did register one member LLC in January 2022) tax return yet. Any word of... Continue Reading

What else do you do for income?

Just out of curiosity and to get to know my fellow shoppers more, what else do you do for income? Is mystery shopping your main job or just a side gig? I'll start...I have a day job working 9-5 as my main source of income. Fortunately, I work from home so... Continue Reading

NEW - Job Inquiry Audit - No up-front expenses and $75 pay for only 15-20 minutes of work!

Hi Shoppers! We are currently scheduling a ďJob Inquiry Audit.Ē COMPENSATION The compensation for this shop is $75.00, for only 15-20 minutes of work! SHOP DESCRIPTION This audit does not include a meal experience and does not require a purchase, phone call, or photo capture. It also does NOT count toward the location's food shop... Continue Reading

FL: Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach - Grab a Lunch Shop for $10 Pay + $50 Expenses!

Hi Shoppers! We have LUNCH* dine-in/table service shops available at multiple favorite locations! *This can be used for brunch if offered at the location(s) on Sundays! For the food items, you may choose anything from the menu, but you should order at least two (2) different entrees. You may order additional items as... Continue Reading

1099 from presto

I received a email for a 1099 in my regular email.Its supposedly from presto and wants me to click a link to fill out a 1099.I can't find anything about this on there app.Wondering if this is legit or someone trying to get my info.... Continue Reading

Delivery shops when you are outside the mileage range

What have you tried to do delivery shops when your residence/work is outside the range? I have tried a library and a laundromat, neither of which worked well. I see a lot of delivery shop offers but have not been real successful at finding places to receive the orders. Some... Continue Reading

How am I doing as far as income?

I clear $1000 a month, not including reimbursements. I limit my shops to a 20 mile radius. How am I doing as far as income?... Continue Reading

Ipsos (Sassie) taking long to approve SSN/EIN numbers for new shoppers.

I submitted my Ipsos application on October 13th. It still hasnít been verified. I understand that it takes 2 weeks (14 days) to approve Social Security Numbers or Employer Identification Numbers, but Iíve never experienced a MSC taking so long to verify a SSN/EIN. Have any of you folks experienced... Continue Reading

Anyone received a 1099 from Reality-based group?

Trying to find out if Reality-based groupís 1099 is based on fees only or fees and reimbursements? I left four messages with them and they never called back.... Continue Reading

Tools for mileage/mapping/routes

I'm regretting not doing mileage daily and dreading catching up. I have a backlog of mileage to work on. I'm also interested in a more effecient way to map my days that in a perfect world would also help me track mileage. Any suggestions for an app... Continue Reading

1099 Question

Does the 1099 threshold of $600 include fees and reimbursement or only fees? I think it should be only fees.... Continue Reading

Claiming mileage

How much does claiming travel mileage help when you do your taxes?... Continue Reading

1099 Forms

This is the first year where I will break the threshold to receive 1099s. I should be getting them from several different companies. Question: Do the 1099s show only the "pay" for a shop or do they include the reimbursement? That is, does the MSC report the total... Continue Reading

Getting paid for mileage - how?

Hello all, When I started mystery shopping, ages ago, I lived in NYC and had no car. Some MSCs would reimburse me for subway/bus fare, which was great, but most of the time I was able to do a bunch of shops within walking distance. I moved to a different state... Continue Reading

Question about being a shopper as main income and applying for mortgage

In a nutshell, I basically work as a mystery shopper full-time. On average, I do anywhere from 5-25 shops a day (the higher number typically consisting of quick, 5 minute gas shops or something similar). I am in the process of going through a divorce, and let my... Continue Reading

Taxes- Be able to seperate reimbursements

Hello, I'm new to MS. I am curious to how reimbursement works on our taxes. I make a generous living in my full time job. I am only doing this part time after work to experience free meals and extra income. Last year when filling taxes it said you can... Continue Reading

Double taxed on income?

So, apparently Paypal wants our ssn so they can report to IRS. We don't work for Paypal. We just got paid through them which the MSCs should already report our income. Why on earth we need Paypal to report it again? This is happening in a communist ideology government when... Continue Reading

IRS mileage rate increase

Sorry if this is a duplicate but I couldnít find another post about it. Effective July 1st - 62.5 Continue Reading

Taxes--deducting travel and lodging during a shop?

Its probably an old topic here and I apologize if I'm echoing what someone else has already brought up but here it goes. I live in the Coastal Bend of Texas. There are not a ton of shops down here relative to the concentrations you'd find in Houston, Austin,... Continue Reading

Clothing Deduction for Button Cam Shirts

Is anybody deducting their hidden button camera shirts on their taxes as special work clothing. I'm not an accountant but the IRS rule is that clothing you can wear on an everyday basis when not at work can't be deducted. Thoughts?... Continue Reading

A question on the 1099's

Can PayPal and the MSC both send you a 1099? If they do, will that confuse the IRS?... Continue Reading

What tax deductions do you take for mystery shopping?

I'm looking at getting a new computer and tablet as write offs. If you're out doing mystery shops and you stop for lunch is that a write off? I'm already writing off part of my internet and cell phone service.... Continue Reading

New York Movie Shops: $95 or More Profit + Mileage Pay Up to $100 - This Weekend

Amusement Advantage has patron count shops at Movie Theatre locations in New York available for this weekend! These shops pay $95 or more including $45 regular pay (for first two showings + $30 for each additional showing) + $50 extra pay + reimbursement of all required movie tickets +... Continue Reading

1099 and IPSOS again

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Confero 1099

Does Confero mail out their 1099s or do we need to access a digital copy somewhere? I don't believe I received one from them but I should have. Thanks. Nevermind, Confero called me back and confirmed that they do not send them. Not sure how to delete this.... Continue Reading

New 1099-K Question

So my question is, if Paypal issues and reports all income on 1099-K, but the mystery shopping companies also send out their own 1099. Some of that income would be double reported wouldn't it? Also, the payments that come to us though Paypal would also include the reimbursement... Continue Reading


I live in a very rural area, which has both pluses and minuses. The plus side is there are very few shoppers around, the minus is I have to drive a lot more than I'm sure urban shoppers have to. Often, some company will reach out and ask... Continue Reading

Anyone get 1099-K from PayPal with over $20,000 & 200 transactions?

Still working on taxes for this year and have a difficult situation...wondering if anyone else in these circumstances has filed yet. I prepare my own taxes using TurboTax. This year, my 1099-K from PayPal was more than $20,000 and had more than 200 transactions, which are the triggers for this year... Continue Reading

Strategic Reflections sending incorrect 1099 for 2021

Anyone receive a 2021 form 1099-NEC from Strategic Reflections claiming that you did work for them in 2021, but you did not. If so what did you do about it?... Continue Reading

Discrepancy in Expenses Amount Between Presto and Company Website

Hey Y'all. I did my first Presto In-App Gas Station shop this past weekend. I noticed that on the actual mystery shop company's shop log, the "expenses" amount for the shop is for the full authorized amount ($6.00), but my actual amount came under that. In Presto,... Continue Reading

Benefit of EIN vs SS

What would be the benefit of having and using an EIN?... Continue Reading

1099 from Ipsos ?

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1099 forms

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Presto 1099-NEC states above $5000

Received a 1099-NEC from Presto giving income of $1500 but also box with $5000 above sales says YES. What does this mean as they have not sold me anything above $5000 ?? Also does Ipsos and sassie send these by email ? Thank you.... Continue Reading

1099 Question

Do you all the companies automatically send a 1099? Or will I need to request it from some of them?... Continue Reading

IRS Mileage Rate for 2022

I don't remember seeing this posted yet. The IRS standard mileage rate for 2022 is $0.585 per mile (an increase of $0.025 compared to 2021).... Continue Reading

Yearly income goal

I want to set a goal for my mystery shopping income for the coming year. Iíve been doing it hit and miss for years, but have become rather consistent over the past 5 months. Is $35,000 a reasonable goal for somewhere between part time and full time?... Continue Reading

The Source - Penalty Monetary Deductions

My last two shops for The Source were the Medicare Advantage shops. They each paid $34. The Source deducted $6.80 from each. That's a 20% reduction. I'm not sure why and haven't gotten an answer from them yet. The problem with the first one was: "Was a nondiscrimination statement included on... Continue Reading


I'm trying to get a head start and prepare myself for the tax season. Can you include the difference between what is reimbursed and what you spent as a deduction? Also for items that are reimbursed how does that impact taxable income from the MSC's... Continue Reading


This keeps popping up in the notifications tab on PayPal. Their system will not accept my current status which has been the same for 10+ years. Have anyone been able to confirm that their SS# is correct? "Confirm your taxpayer status by adding your Tax ID Number. This will allow you... Continue Reading

1099 for Kinesis?

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1099 for Presto Insta-shops-SurfMerchants

Did anyone else receive this email and is it on the level?... Continue Reading

The IRS is looking to get you!

This is an email I got from one of my banks today. It sounds like they are trying to do a George Orwell on us. Or is this to catch people using PayPal and Venmo and other ways to skirt the reporting criteria that the IRS has established? September 28, 2021 To... Continue Reading

Hi Ive received an email from the above company linked to presto shops stating I need to complete the W9 with this company. Just checking that this is all legit and normal. Thank you.... Continue Reading

Returning products - taxes

Hello Some mystery shops allow you to return the product after testing it if the shop allows it, then you would get a refund. I guess someone has to have been in this situation, how did you handle it? Let's assume the following: You get paid for the actual work you did, i.e salary... Continue Reading

Market Force and SSN

Hi Applied to join Market Force completed a shop for them. Now my account says SSN not confirmed and will not let me apply for new jobs. Emailed their help desk and they saying SSN was discontinued in the 1960s ! which considering its been verified by other MS companies is @@. They saying... Continue Reading

Market Force and SSN

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Get $125 to File Taxes In Office, + Fee Cost! - AL, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

Hello Everyone! Customer Impact is currently seeking help with a Mystery Shop opportunity to file your taxes and evaluate the preparerís knowledge and compliance with the tax preparation process. You will make an appointment with an assigned tax preparer (name disclosed upon assignment). You will be fully reimbursed for any fees... Continue Reading

$50 Bonus +$70-$120 Pay +Poss Mileage Pay: Movie Theater Counts in MA and MI

Amusement Advantage - Mystery Shopping has hundreds of great movie theater assignments all across the US, including some with $50 BONUS in MA and MI. Pay varies from $25-$125 + BONUS + Ticket Reimbursement. VIEW/APPLY: Continue Reading

$20 Tables and Chairs Audit in Los Angeles

Thank you so much for taking the time to view this post. We are looking for a shopper to do an Onsite price audit for tables and chairs. The client requires you to visit the retailer listed in the shop and gather pricing and other information for a list of... Continue Reading


Hello. This is my first year mystery shopping, and I am wondering how you do your taxes. I have receipts from various companies where I had to purchase an item to prove that I shopped there. The company reimbursed me with my payment. I kept the things I bought like... Continue Reading

1099 IntelliShop

I still haven't received my 1099 from IntelliShop. I've been emailing the company since the end of January. I made several thousand from them. After so many emails, towards the beginning of March, they forwarded my emails to the payments department and CCed me, so I could see. Before that,... Continue Reading

Mileage Tax- not happening

For those of you who might have been concerned, news just came out that the fed is not planning a mileage tax, as had been discussed as part of the infrastructure plan. Continue Reading

Easter Buny Photo Shops in Many States - Bonus and Mileage Pay Available

Amusement Advantage - Mystery Shopping has many great Easter Bunny Photo Shops available in: AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, LA, MO, NC, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PA, TN, TX, WA and WV. Some with Bonus and Possible Mileage Pay. VIEW/APPLY: Contact Kendra at: Continue Reading

Now Get $95 to File your Taxes In Person! - AL, AR, AZ, CA, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV

Hello Everyone! Customer Impact is currently seeking new mystery shoppers to file your taxes and evaluate the preparerís knowledge and compliance with the tax preparation process. You will make an appointment with an assigned tax preparer (name disclosed upon assignment). You will be fully reimbursed for any fees (up to $350)... Continue Reading

EASY Movie Theater Checks ALL across US - Many with HUGE BONUS and/or possible MILEAGE pay!

ALL kinds including traditional, luxury, Drive-In's and even Private Theater Rentals. AL,AR,CA,FL,GA,ID,IL,IN,KY,MA,MD,MI,MN,MO,MT,NC,ND,NJ,NY,OH,OK,RI,TN,TX,VA,WA,WI with more added daily! View/Apply: Continue Reading

CHC Solutions BEWARE - refused to reimburse expenses

This is my 3rd casino shop with this company and I will NEVER shop for them again. After a very lengthy Casino shop (24 hours to complete), spending $851 on Food/Bev/Casino games, and 20 man-hours writing up narratives - they informed me that they would not accept my shop and... Continue Reading

$85 Get Paid to File your Taxes In Person

Good Afternoon Everyone! We are currently seeking new mystery shoppers to file your taxes and evaluate the preparerís knowledge and compliance of the tax preparation process. You will make an appointment with an assigned tax preparer (name disclosed upon assignment). You will be fully reimbursed for any fees (up to... Continue Reading

Intellishop & taxes

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How To Become a Millionaire On Minimum Wage or Low-Income This was an interesting piece. Of course, there are a lot of routes one can take, but this one focuses on investing.... Continue Reading

Tax Shops - Get your taxes done on us!

Market Force has tax shops available that we're looking to wrap up over the next week throughout the country. If you haven't yet filed your taxes and are expecting a refund, come visit us to find a location in your area. These have a decent pay rate (with bonuses available)... Continue Reading

1099 Marketforce

Has anyone gotten their 1099 from Marketforce yet? I know they have until the last day of January to send them, but it's the 9th and I haven't gotten mine.... Continue Reading

1099s from IPSOS/Maritz?

Has anyone received their 1009s from IPSOS this year? Itís the only one Iím missing, and Iím not sure if it will be mailed/emailed/online...... Continue Reading


Which MSCs have shops to get taxes done?... Continue Reading

1099 Forms from Strategic Reflections

Has anyone gotten theirs yet? Last one I need before submitting everything to our accountant.... Continue Reading

1099 for IPSOS

Has anyone had a 2020 1099 tax statement yet for IPSOS? I think it's normally early Feb so I'm probably a bit early to expect it. I'm wondering if it will be one for everything or will there be a separate one from Maritz from the start of the year,... Continue Reading

What is a 'fair' mileage (KM) rate to charge for a route of shops?

I have a company I have done a number of shops for and they are asking me to do a route of 30+ shops. The problem is the shops themselves only pay $5 each, but they are spread out in remote communities that would take a 4 hour round trip... Continue Reading

This forum should consider ads for income

Haha, just logged in after being away for several months. How the hell do you navigate this site now? There are ads frickin everywhere. Top of page bottom of page in between and all over.... Continue Reading

Wichita Falls test center mystery visit $100 + travel expenses

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

'The IRS offers a $625,000 bounty to anyone who can break Monero and Lightning'

The full article is at The IRS is accepting proposals for how to crack the codes of seemingly untraceable accounts/wallets and transactions. The IRS will ultimately control the study and all subsequent events. It will share information with law enforcement. Anyone interested?... Continue Reading

Tax Deductions for Business Expenses

Several forum members have posted that an advantage to mystery shopping outside NV was that they could deduct business expenses, whereas NV regulations classified mystery shoppers as employees and thereby prevented NV shoppers from claiming business expenses such as automobile mileage deductions. This was but no longer is a... Continue Reading

Do you deduct for mileage if reimbursement only?

Does anyone know the answer to this? Do you deduct for mileage if the shop is reimbursement only, like a Texas Roadhouse with no fee, but $35 reimbursement? Thanks!... Continue Reading


I was advised yesterday by an MSC that once I reached $600 I could no longer work for them without getting an EIN from the IRS. Apparently this is their new policy. I have added the text from the email I received. Can someone please tell me what the difference... Continue Reading

SSN all of a sudden "Pending", can't get paid

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Got a 1099 from Power Reviews in Chicago! Who are they?

I have no record of shopping for this company. Anyone know what name theyíre doing business under?... Continue Reading

If you filed for PUA you better make sure you have been properly reporting your income on past and future tax returns

Expect a ton of future audits, the Federal Government isn't going to just give money away and not eventually verify qualifications.... Continue Reading

IRS Stimulus Site Open

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What about that EIN? How long is it "good?"

A long time ago one of the MS companies suggested (required?) that shoppers get an EIN. I got one, but I use my SSN on tax returns. Question: if I have never used it, is it still "good?" The State of Texas requires proof of self-employment to apply for... Continue Reading

Does observa send 1099s

If so I havenít received... Continue Reading

Has anyone used Credit Karma for filing taxes?

Just wanted to see if anyone has used Credit Karma for filing taxes. I used the IRS free file ones last year and it was fine, but this year they said they want to charge me $105 to file using schedule C (so much for the FREE file huh?) and... Continue Reading

Taxes JITB shops

To get right to the point I have a question on taxes for these Jack In the Box shops. I did so many last year that I received a 1099. So here is my question: on what amount would I pay taxes on in the following scenario: Say the fee... Continue Reading

Monterey, CA: $30 EXTRA PAY = $150 Aquarium Shop: Admission, Food & Souvenirs - February Monday-Friday

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at an Aquarium / Oceanarium location in Monterey, CA available now! This shop pays $120 + $30 EXTRA PAY in February for a total of $150 (not including the $5 bonus for submitting early). Shop pay includes reimbursement for admission for up to... Continue Reading

Movie Measure 1099 for 2019

Has everyone gotten their 1099 for 2019 from Movie Measure? I contacted Rakesh and Accounting on 2/12 and have heard nothing back. I was under the impression that the IRS said the 1099s had to be mailed out by 1/31 and received by 2/15.... Continue Reading

GBW/Gapbuster 1099

Hello, anyone received 1099 from GBW yet? I did complete enough projects with them to be eligible for a 1099 fortunately I received payment for it too after 5 months, wahooo!!). I have contacted them regarding 1099 but no response from yet. What's my next step or options? I... Continue Reading

What mileage reimbursement do most MSCs believe is reasonable compensation?

The reason I ask is because I said I would take a job, but would need mileage because it is over 50 miles round trip. When I asked for the standard IRS personally-owned vehicle mileage of 57.5 cents per mile I never received a response, so Iím guessing the scheduler... Continue Reading

Mileage for mystery shops

Hello. Do you track the mileage to a mystery shop and the mileage home at the end of the day?... Continue Reading

Stericycle 1099

If you have not filed taxes yet, you might want to wait. I questioned my 1099 as it was significantly lower than my total in my records. After asking for clarification on several responses, I have been told they are checking with their tax department and will let me know... Continue Reading


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What are reasonable travel expenses ?

One of the companies I work as an IC for lost another IC in an adjacent state. They asked me if I was willing to drive on a case by case basis and I agreed to as they came to me. I had one case where I drove 10 hours... Continue Reading

Full Time Mystery Shoppers and Apartment Rental (Income Statements, Check Stubs, Moving)

Full Time Shoppers, how are you reporting your income to apartments? Are you limited to apartments which allow bank statements in the place of check stubs? Or are you creating a business identity to qualify and inquiring to places that allow it? Something else? Bear with me, because I've searched for... Continue Reading

Monterey, CA: $120 Aquarium Shop - Admission, Food, Souvenirs & Fun! - Weekday & Weekend Shops Available

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Aquarium / Oceanarium location in Monterey, CA available now! This shop pays $120 (not including the $5 bonus for submitting early). Shop now pays $20 more for the same requirements! Guest not required. Shop pay includes reimbursement for at... Continue Reading

A post on taxes a few months back ...

Several months back someone was kind enough to post about taxes as an Independent Contractor but I canít seem to locate that post now. Can anyone help me find that information? Thanks! :)... Continue Reading

HS Brands 1099 Income statement

I have not yet received a 1099 from HS Brands, and I am certain I am over the threshold with over $1000 in payments/bonuses (not reimbursements). Has anyone received one from them?... Continue Reading

IPSOS 1099s

Has anyone gotten their 1099s from IPSOS yet, OR are they by chance available online anywhere? I've looked, but if they are there, they are eluding me... these two are the only ones standing between us and filing :)... Continue Reading

Taxes Question

Hi all, does anyone report their reimbursement as part of their income when you file taxes? Iíve always only considered fees as income, not reimbursement, but now Iím hearing otherwise and want to check what you all do.... Continue Reading


Hi, quick question how much taxes did you all seasoned mystery shoppers have to pay at the end of the year to the irs? Im still kind of new to Msc and was not sure what I can expect to pay from the money I have earned.... Continue Reading

IRS 2020 mileage rates

Sorry if this has already been posted - I searched but didn't find anything. Can you believe it went DOWN? :) IR-2019-215, December 31, 2019 WASHINGTON ó The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2020 optional standard mileage rates (PDF) used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile... Continue Reading

$100 to help recover from holiday expenses! Easy time audits in Buffalo, New York!

Happy Holidays Brand Agents, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season! I don't know about you, but I could use $100 to help recover from holiday expenses! Complete four easy time audits and the $100 is yours! These audits only require you to confirm the target enroller is working... Continue Reading

Do all MSCís ask for social security number?

Or are there companies that donít ask for it? I have signed up with a couple of companies, only one of them did not required the social.... Continue Reading

Hypothetical business deduction

How much mystery shopping do you think you would need to do to write off mileage on a trip? We are going to TN and I have two small shops. In the past, I have completed more shops, but still at most $200-$300 in reimbursements and pay. I have... Continue Reading

mileage one way or round trip

Gonna do my own taxes. To determine mileage, do you calculate one or round trip?... Continue Reading

Social Security Scam

Calls are being made to US Citizens from foreign call centers. The robo call claims that your social security number has been compromised and thus suspended. The receiver of the call is advised to press one. The Social Security Administration is aware of this.... Continue Reading

$70 Tampa, FL Roller Skating Shop: $10 Higher Pay, Shorter Report & Fewer Expenses = EASIER SHOP for MORE PAY!

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller Skating location in Tampa, FL available now! This shop pays $70 (not including the $5 bonus for submitting early). Pay is $10 higher than before (as of February 2019). Shorter report, fewer expenses/requirements, and higher pay = EASIER SHOP... Continue Reading

Calculating time, expenses, and payment

Would you say $20 is a fair pay for a Storage unit shop 16 miles one way? This job will take about 2 hrs total Time breakdown.10 min for the call† .20 min for the visit.30 min for the report† 1 hour driving time (round trip (.30 min each to and from)† (.30 minutes... Continue Reading

$20 Los Angeles, CA Phone/Web ONLY Shop at a Museum/Science Center (no on-site visit or expenses required - ALL PROFIT!)

Amusement Advantage has Phone / Website ONLY shops at a museum/science center in Los Angeles, CA available now! This shop pays $20 and is a phone only shop to inquire about a group event at the museum/science center. There is no on-site visit and no required expenses for... Continue Reading

Has anyone on here had their Social Security Benefits increased?

Has anyone here, over 62, had their Social Security benefits increased from earnings from mystery shopping?... Continue Reading

Hi! Introduction and a question about EIN

Hello! Just wanted to write a quick post to say hi and that I love reading the threads in this forum. They are so informative and entertaining, especially the funny stories while on the job. I have been shopping since 2016 and it's been a great way to earn some... Continue Reading

$85 -$100 potential monthly income - Be our newest auditor - AZ CA FL HI MA MI NJ NY

Need something different than Mystery Shopping? Why not try auditing? Ipsos (formerly GfK) Mystery Shopping Company is shoppers who might be interested in auditing. You need no experience for these audits! We help you 100% by helping you learn to audit and achieve success. Does this sound like something you could... Continue Reading

What happens if you don't pay your quarterly taxes?

I have not paid any quarterly taxes this year. I didn't have the money until now. If you owe $1000 in taxes is there any penalty.... Continue Reading

$100 travel expenses test center mystery visit Longwood Florida

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$120 travel expenses test center mystery visit Sioux Falls South Dakota

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$120 travel expenses test center mystery visit Albany Georgia

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$100 travel expenses test center mystery visit Farmington New Mexico

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$100 travel expenses test center mystery visit Portland Oregon

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$100 travel expenses test center mystery visit Taylorsville Utah

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$100 travel expenses test center mystery visit Charlotte North Carolina

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$90 Lincoln Park, MI Roller Skating Shop - Higher Pay & Less Narratives/Expenses = MORE PROFIT!

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller Skating location in Lincoln Park, MI available now! This shop pays $90 (not including the $5 bonus for submitting early). It pays an average of $40-$50 or more PROFIT after expenses than it used to! Also, now only one... Continue Reading

$75 Clovis, CA Roller Skating Shop (Shorter Report/Less Requirements & Expenses = EASIER SHOP & MORE PAY!)

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a roller skating location in Clovis, CA available now! This shop pays $75 (not including the $5 bonus for submitting early). The pay has been increased by $10 and the second Snack Bar/Cafť Visit has been eliminated, along with several other questions... Continue Reading

Field Agent, Presto invoices for taxes

I bookkeep earnings from doing gigs for these smaller MSPs, and use them in calculating my mileage. However, along with Performalogics, they don't have invoices that I can easily access and download come tax time. Anyone with experience with the taxmen know if we need to provide all invoices if... Continue Reading

$70 Tampa, FL Roller Skating Shop (Less Narratives & Expenses = Shorter Report & MORE PROFIT!) - August Fri/Sat

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller Skating location in Tampa, FL available now! This shop pays $70 (not including the $5 Early Return Bonus). Now with less report narratives, requirements & expenses = shorter, easier report & MORE PROFIT - approximately $40-$50 after expenses. Roller... Continue Reading

$30 EXTRA PAY = $120 Lincoln Park, MI Roller Skating Shop (Less Requirements/Expenses = Shorter Shop & MORE PROFIT!) - August

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller Skating location in Lincoln Park, MI available now! This shop pays $90 + $30 EXTRA PAY in August for a total of $120 (not including the $5 Early Return Bonus). It now pays an average of $60-$70 or more than... Continue Reading

$20 EXTRA PAY = $115 Wickliffe, OH Roller Skating Shop (Less Requirements/Expenses = Shorter Shop & MORE PROFIT!) - August

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller Skating location in Wickliffe, OH available now! This shop pays $95 + $20 EXTRA PAY in August for a total of $115 (not including the $5 Early Return Bonus). It now pays an average of $60-$70 or more after expenses... Continue Reading

$10 EXTRA PAY = $105 Wickliffe, OH Roller Skating Shop (now MORE PROFIT, less expenses & narratives!) - August

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller / Ice Skating location in Wickliffe, OH available now! This shop pays $95 + $10 EXTRA PAY in August for a total of $105 (not including $5 Early Return Bonus). Now pays an average of $50-$60 or more PROFIT after... Continue Reading

$10 EXTRA PAY = $100 Indianapolis, IN Roller Skating Shop (now MORE PROFIT, less expenses & narratives!) - August

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller / Ice Skating location in Indianapolis, IN available now! This shop pays $90 + $10 EXTRA PAY in August for a total of $100 (not including $5 Early Return Bonus). Now pays an average of $50-$60 or more PROFIT after... Continue Reading

$10 EXTRA PAY = $90 Columbus, OH Roller Skating Shop (now MORE PROFIT, less expenses & narratives) - August

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Roller / Ice Skating location in Columbus, OH available now! This shop pays $80 + $10 EXTRA PAY in August for a total of $90 (not including $5 Early Return Bonus). Now pays an average of $50-$60 or more PROFIT after... Continue Reading

Golf Course Cash Audit Shops - Shopper Pay $62/Expenses $10 -

Mercantile Systems has golf course cash audit shops available near you. You don't need to be a golfer or golf for this audit! You will conduct an audit alongside the location's General Manager, who will be counting the money in the register at the Pro Shop, Grill and office safe.... Continue Reading

Mobile app for mileage

If you are using a mobile app or software to track mileage, what are you using? I just started using Stride Tax. (free)... Continue Reading

More profit, less expenses

Hey guys I need a little help here. Which shops would you say are the best for making profit without spending any money out of pocket or at least very little. Some months I do good, but a good amount of the time my reimbursements are more than my profit.... Continue Reading

Do MSCs Know that $5, $6, $7, etc. Shops Don't Even Cover Mileage? Do Clients Know Our Pay?

Let alone hourly work time (prep/study time, shop time, and report time)? Also, do clients know that MSCs offer shops at $5, $6, etc. and how that doesn't cover expenses and/or encourages cheating and falsifying reports possibly (I could imagine a desperate person not even studying the guidelines or... Continue Reading

Another newbie question - SSN vs. EIN

SSN verifies instantly. EIN takes 2+ weeks. Is there any benefit to an EIN? I hate dropping my SSN number on-line. Is SASSIE solid with SSNs?... Continue Reading

The payment deduction from BARE international

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$120 travel expenses test center mystery visit Sault Ste Marie

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

$100 PLUS travel expenses test center mystery visit Sault Ste Marie

You will be acting as a candidate for an exam in order to assess security standards at a test center. Note that there is no fee for you to pay! This visit is to an Examination Centre, to check that the security standards are being met. You will complete the... Continue Reading

If Pizza Delivery Drivers Get Mileage Reimbursed, Shouldn't All MSCs Offer it on Shops Too?

Thoughts on this? eta: I think the thing I hear usually is that they are shops for people who just happen to be driving by a place. Fair enough, but a lot of times no one JUST HAPPENS to be driving to these locations. Instead, we have to... Continue Reading

So glad I have another income

We are in a country with a booming economy and record low unemployment, I hear traditional business cant find employees, but, MS and field service companies still think they have you by the gonads. Twenty five dollar shops are not 17 or less and 10.00 or 7.00. Coupon shops with... Continue Reading

Filing Taxes on Mystery Shopping

I part time mystery shop for extra money. I do not file taxes, as it doesn't amount to much over the year. Does anyone else do this? Has anyone got in trouble for it?... Continue Reading


I have a question about reporting income to the IRS. There is a difference in shop fee and reimbursement. However, sometimes shops just post a fee. What If the shop posts a fee of $60 but requires you to spend $60 on food in a restaurant. Can you deduct the... Continue Reading

Bar shops available at popular Hunt Valley, MD 21030 - Quaint American Cuisine Farmhouse - $20 Pay/$100 Expenses

Mercantile Systems has bar integrity shops available at an American Cuisine restaurant in Hunt Valley, MD. For this shop, you will sit at the bar top for one hour and observe the actions of the Bartender. You will complete two separate alcoholic drink transactions and order an appetizer.... Continue Reading

How is your summer golf game? Several major Golf Course / Driving Range Shops in SC- $50+expenses for up to 3

Amusement Advantage has fun shops at a Golf Course / Driving Range locations in SC These shops pay $50 + Reimbursement for up to 3 (can be completed alone as well) Even if you aren't interested, please refer your friends, family and co-workers. You will earn $20 for every new shopper... Continue Reading

IRS rules for mileage and other things

I am including a link below to publication 334 or the IRS which explains all the rules for independent contractors under the new tax laws. There are always questions regarding mileage and meals and overnight stays etc for mystery shoppers. The mileage info is on page 32 of this publication.... Continue Reading

Bar Shop at Steak House in Hunt Valley, MD 21030 - Shopper Pay $20/Expenses $100

Mercantile Systems has a bar shop available at popular Steak House in Hunt Valley, MD 21030. Shopper Pay $20; Expenses up to $100. Available Tuesdays/Wednesdays. Interested? Register/Apply at Questions: Email or text 925-237-1710.... Continue Reading

Should you make Quarterly Payments to cover the Social Security and Medicare taxes?

I know I will pay little to no federal taxes, but will have Social Security and Medicare taxes over $1000. Should I make Quarterly Payments to cover them?... Continue Reading

Question on the gas mileage deduction

Does the gas mileage deduction more than make up for the cost of gas?... Continue Reading

Mileage Deduction for No Fee Food Shops?

Can you still claim mileage if you don't claim the food as income and then claim the food as an expense? Can you still deduct mileage for these food shops, like for ACL where you get the cost of the food but no fee? I'm doing my taxes and don't know if... Continue Reading

Taxes - beware of "Earned Income Credit""

It may be late in the game but for all those who have not filed yet, there are new rules for the EIC that allow it to be available to more tax payers than before. DON'T TAKE IT! Of course, it depends on your own situation. What happened to me... Continue Reading

Bar Integrity Shops Available - $20 Shopper Pay/$30 Expenses - TX Locations - Richardson, Beaumont, Dallas, Bedford

Have a couple of drinks at this popular Seafood or Tex-Mex Restaurants Bar and Grill! Grab a guest or go solo. This is an Integrity Bar shop where you will be evaluating the Bartenders cash handling, if there is over pouring, the carding of customers that appear to be under... Continue Reading

Anyone else using HR Block Online? Question about 1099s being entered

Hello everyone, been a while since I posted. I decided to use the HR Block free online this year since total income was much less than $60K and I moved into rural WV where help is few and far between. I suppose I could use an online CPA? I'm ready...... Continue Reading

Has anyone Received a 1099 from this company

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Intellishop 1099 not right

I just received my Intellishop 1099 miscellaneous form. This is the first 1099 I had ever received from them because I have never worked with them before. I donít know how they figure out their compensation, because I did it both with only the fees and with both... Continue Reading


Alright shoppers here's my dilemma. I took my taxes to HR Block to be done for the first time because of shopping income. I made mostly reimbursements of a few thousand dollars, with a few hundred dollars in fees. The tax professionals have no idea how to handle this so... Continue Reading

1099's Where are You?

What's up with the delay? My go-to's, Market force and intelli have yet to get those out to me. Last year they were already out to me by this time. Has anyone gotten there's yet. Weather it's timely payments or forms, these companies have been up... Continue Reading

Bare 1099 email

I received an email today from this company, efile4biz. The email said they were hired to provide 1099s for Bare. It also said the deadline to opt out and get a paper copy was 1/28/19. Why would they give notice on the 30th for a deadline that already passed. I... Continue Reading

Harland Clarke no longer paying mileage

I just noticed in the most recent shop offer email from Harland Clarke that they're no longer paying for mileage. This is a bummer, since most of their shops are a good distance from me.... Continue Reading

Single Parent of College Student Looking to Supplement Income

Hello everyone. I have been out of the mainstream workforce for 19 years now. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Now that my daughter is in college, I would love to find some flexable part time work. I have just started researching... Continue Reading

1099 time

For those concerned about January payments, think of the MSC accounting departments this month and their January 31 deadline. Before this becomes a "trash the MSC thread", I'll head it off at the pass. A high percentage of our (us that is, the IC mystery shoppers) individual accounting departments have no excuse.... Continue Reading

Brewhouse ID Check Shops Available - $10 Pay/$35 Expenses! Check it out!!

Mercantile Systems has Brewhouse Bar ID check shops still available! This is an easy 15-minute shop! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit at the bar top, order an alcoholic drink and see if the decoy is asked for ID. You can order... Continue Reading

IRS Mileage Rate for 2019

I don't recall anyone posting the IRS mileage rate for 2019. It has gone up to $0.58 per mile. Keep this in mind when you are thinking about accepting a shop.... Continue Reading

I'm sure this is a dumb question..mileage

I just started mystery shopping a few months ago and haven't kept track of mileage. Going forward I will and I can see the benefit on mileage tax deduction (and might be able to go back figure out mileage for shops) but HOW important is calculating mileage??... Continue Reading

LRA taxes

For those who have worked on LRA projects: Does the tax form they issue break down the shop fees and the per diems as separate items or are they combined into one sum?... Continue Reading

US shopper in Canada - taxes

Toying with the idea of spending a few weeks in Canada next year, and wondering if it's worth it to pick up a few shops while there, or if the paperwork hassle will be much more than it would be worth. Any insights appreciated.... Continue Reading

Are there ways to lower your Social Security and Medicare taxes?

As an independent Contractor, we pay both side of the Social Security and Medicare tax. Are there ways to low what you pay? I'm 65, on Social Security and Medicare. Doing mystery shopping, I'm still paying into both, but won't get anymore back from them. If I meal cost me... Continue Reading

mspa webinar about taxes

I got an email from mspa about a new tax deduction for independent evaluators. You need to pay $20 to attend a webinar. Anyone know anything about this?... Continue Reading

Brewhouse Decoy Shops - AVAILABLE 11/27 ONLY - $21 Shopper Pay + $35 Expenses - Sacramento, CA

Mercantile Systems has a Brewhouse bar decoy shop available in Sacramento/Natomas location for TONIGHT, 11/27 and would love your help! Shopper pay INCREASED to $21! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit at the bar, order an alcoholic drink and see if the decoy is... Continue Reading

Brewhouse ID Check Shops Available - Bar and Dining Room - Shopper Pay $20 + Expenses - CO, MD, TN

Mercantile Systems has Brewhouse bar decoy shops available and would love your help! Enjoy food and drinks on us this holiday weekend! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old Shopper pay INCREASED to $20! BAR: Sit at the bar, order an alcoholic drink and see if... Continue Reading

Brewhouse ID Check Shops - PAY $17 + $35 Expenses

Mercantile Systems has Brewhouse bar decoy shops available and would love your help! Enjoy food and drinks on us this holiday weekend! Shopper pay INCREASED to $17! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit at the bar, order an alcoholic drink and see if the decoy is... Continue Reading

IRS and 1099 forms from multiple companied

If I dont make $600/company and I'm registered to 5 different companies, do I have to report it on income taxes?... Continue Reading

Writing off flight expenses when traveling anyways?

If I am traveling for personal reasons but complete a shop in the airport at my destination, am I able to file the flight expenses as a business expense during tax time?... Continue Reading

Golf Course Dinner Shop - Fairfield, CA - $20 Shopper Pay/$40 Expenses

Mercantile Systems has a new golf course dining shop available at Legends & Heroes at Solano Rancho Golf Course in Fairfield! The shop needs to be completed on Friday, November 9th or November 16th between 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Shop details: ē Go to the bar counter, order a... Continue Reading

IRS Request

Just got a letter from the IRS disallowing my mileage for my shops from a few years back. The first year that I shopped. Now they want to know why I drove all of those miles. They seem to think that it was my spouse that had done all of... Continue Reading

Brewhouse Bar Decoy Shops! $10 Pay/$35 Expenses - 15 minute shop!

Mercantile Systems, Inc. has Brewhouse Bar Decoy shops still available! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit at the bartop, order an alcoholic drink and see if the decoy is asked for ID. Sit at bartop for 15 minutes. You can order food! Shopper Pay: $10... Continue Reading

Brewhouse Dining Decoy Shops - Shopper Pay NOW $15 + $35 Expenses - CO, FL, IN

Mercantile Systems has Dining Room Decoy Shops still AVAILABLE! $5 BONUS Added! You OR your guest MUST be between 21-30 years old. Sit in the dining room, order an alcoholic drink and a minimum of one food item and see if the decoy is asked for ID. Also, take... Continue Reading

Is it better to use An Employer Identification Number and create a company?

I use to be a business owner and I have been doing Mystery Shopping since 2013. During this time I have my SS number. With ALL the companies getting hacked and getting personal information would it be better to make a company and go to EIN number?... Continue Reading

Social Security Numbers and Name of Banking Institution

Are there any concerns about putting your social security number and the name of your banking institution on the applications to be a mystery shopper? These companies seem to work all over the world and that is information that could get the shopper in trouble with identity theft?... Continue Reading

Brewhouse ID Check Shops - $20 Shopper Pay/ $35 Expenses - MUST Complete by 8/28 - AZ, CA, CL, FL, IN, KY, MD, NY OH, TX, VA

Popular Brewhouse ID Check Shops Still Available! We have added a $10 BONUS to the dining room decoy shops, making the shopper pay $20! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit in the dining room, order an alcoholic drink and a minimum of one food item and see... Continue Reading

Brewhouse Dining Room Decoy Shops Available! $10 Pay/$35 Expenses - AZ, CA CO, FL, IN, KY LA, NY, OH, TN, TX, VA

Brewhouse Dining Room Decoy shops available! You or your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Sit in the dining room, order an alcoholic drink and a minimum of one food item and see if the decoy is asked for ID. Shopper Pay: $10 Expenses: $35 ** Use the locations current promotion on... Continue Reading

Taxes and Mileage

I did a little MS last year but this year I have done quite a bit. I was told that I only write off the money I make for jobs and not the reimbursement about since I am being reimbursed, it is not income. My 1099 should only list the... Continue Reading

Easy ID Check Shops Available - $10 Shopper Pay/$35 Expenses

We have ID check shops available at a popular Brewhouse! For this shop, you OR your guest must be between 21-30 years old to complete the shop. The shop will be conducted in the DINING ROOM. The decoy will need to order one alcoholic beverage and see... Continue Reading

Reimbursement vs fees and taxes

Going over this issue of what you can write off. My taxable income is under $6000 a year, mostly from mystery shopping. If it wasn't for having to pay both sides of Social Security and the Medicare tax I wouldn't have to file taxes. In my case does the reimbursement... Continue Reading

AARP Booth Evaluations at concerts, festivals and fairs in CA, CO, CT, SD and WV

B. Business Solutions has the following AARP ďPop-upĒ Booth assignments available for evaluators 40 or older, for completion on the following dates. You will be paid $18 plus any required entrance fee and parking expenses for one person, for each assignment. You will be visiting a specific event location... Continue Reading

ID Check Shop - 10 Minute Shop - $20 shopper pay/$35 Expenses - AL, AR, AZ, CA, FL, IN, NY, TX, MD, VA

Brewhouse ID Check shops available and are looking for shoppers to complete them! Shops need to be completed 7/30 or 7/31! This is a quick and easy shop! You are your guest must be between 21-30 years old. Go to the bar, order a drink and see if... Continue Reading

Does MF pay for taxes?

There used to be one shop that if I ordered a drink I would not be reimbursed for. Tax because I would go over the max reimbursement. I just did the burger shop plus milkshake and got the bare minimum but my total is a dollar over because of... Continue Reading

5 minute Bar Decoy Shop - Frederick, MD - $20 Shopper pay + $35 Expenses!

We have decoy shops at a popular Brewhouse in Frederick, MD - and we are in need of shoppers or shoppers with guests between 21-30 years old to complete these shops! It's a 5-minute shop - the decoy orders an alcoholic drink and sees if they are asked for ID. ... Continue Reading

Trendsource: EIN vs SSN

Hi folks, I didn't see this addressed after performing a search, so I hope I didn't miss something. I'm nearing the $500 mark on non-reimbursable payments from Trendsource for this year, so I'm getting e-mails telling me I need to give them an EIN, *not* an SSN. From their website: "The Source... Continue Reading

Get paid to order drinks! $35 Expenses, $10 Shopper pay!

Visit a popular Brewhouse to get paid to drink! Either you or your guest needs to be 21-30 years old. Only 8 question survey! Reimburse- $35 Shopper Pay- $10 Mobile AL 36608 Huntsville AL 35806 Mobile AL 36608 Phoenix AZ 85050 Oxnard CA 93030 Temecula CA 92591 Newport Beach CA 92661 Los Angeles CA 90024 Valencia CA 91355 Rancho Santa Margarita CA 92688 Modesto... Continue Reading

SFO International Airport Shops - Shopper pay $20-$25 + Expenses

SFO International Airport Shops available! Traveling into or out of SFO International this month or you are a badged shopper for this airport? These shops are POST Security: Grab - N Go Shop: Terminal 3 Boarding Area F Monday -Friday ONLY 11 am - 5 pm Shopper Pay: $20, Expenses: up to $25 Parking: up to... Continue Reading

Canada shops/ Canada taxes

I have a friend thatís new to mystery shopping that lives in Canada. For those of you in Canada how does it work being an independent contractor there? It would just be a part time job maybe $1000-1500 a year. They already work full time and pay into the system... Continue Reading

Providing social security number

How safe is it to provide my SSN as part of the application process to be a shopper for a company?... Continue Reading

Proving Income

How should I go about proving MS income? I am wanting to rent an apartment soon and this is my main source of income for now. Should I start using accounting software such as Quickbooks?... Continue Reading

Ardent Services EIN number

Hi All, I'm wondering if anyone has the EIN number for Ardent Services. I misplaced my 1099 and can't file. I reached out to Corey, but haven't heard back. Thanks!... Continue Reading

Newbie from Pennsylvania filing my taxes... help? Haha. Read on to hear my plight.

So... I received 7 1099 forms guys... and HR Block software is new to me since this is my first time doing this and not just a W2.. that I could get prepared for free as a low income worker. I read a ton here and I kept great... Continue Reading

Filing taxes online... who's the best in your experience?

I have used H&R for 6 years now... and kinda been sticking to that since they have all my records but as I'm winding down and gearing up to pay SE tax this year (previous years had enough W2 work paid in to cover it all) I'm second guessing the... Continue Reading

Part-time work - Abingdon, Bristol and Wytheville areas of VA - 16 stores, $50 per store + mileage

Work is for a major grocery retailer - installing new dividers and PIP slider cards. NO POG - just installing of dividers. IF you are in that area and have merchandising experience - please PM me and i'll share the rest of the details (store list, companies etc)... Continue Reading

$35 Expenses $10 Shopper Pay for Drinks and dinner! you our guest 21-30 years old

Don't miss out on our best shop right now! Popular Brewhouse ID Check shops! 21-30 years old (you or your guest) $35 Expenses & $10 Shopper Pay for Drinks and dinner! 5:30-9pm ONLY 8 QUESTION SURVEY!! Email AR Little Rock 72205 AR North Little Rock 72116 AZ Chandler 85226 AZ Phoenix 85050 CA Brea 92821 CA Vacaville 95687 CA Montebello 90640 CA Concord 94520 CA San Rafael 94903 CA Temecula 92591 CA Modesto 95356 CA San Rafael 94903 CA Escondido 92025 CA Salinas 93906 CA Los Angeles 90024 CA Valencia 91355 CA Victorville 92392 CA Culver City 90230 CA City of Industry 91748 CA Rancho Santa Margarita 92688 CA Dublin 94568 CA Santa Rosa 95401 CA Anaheim Hills 92808 CA Torrance 90503 CA Modesto 95356 CA Chula Vista 91910 CA Stockton 95207 CA Palmdale 93551 CA San Jose 95123 CA Vacaville 95687 CA Woodland Hills 91367 CA Oxnard 93030 CA Laguna... Continue Reading

Need EIN number for Market Force Information LLC

Can someone tell me the EIN for Market Force? Just need this information to complete my returns.... Continue Reading

1099 question

When an MSC sends you 1099, showing income paid to you, does any of that include reimbursement amounts or are those generally not included? thank you.... Continue Reading

Boston Logan International Airport - Dining Shops Available - 2/26-2/28 - $40 Shopper pay + Expenses

Traveling into or out of Boston Logan International Airport or are a badged shopper for this airport? We have two lunch/dinner shops available at popular Bistro location You will dine in the bar area. You will evaluate customer service and food quality. Shopper Pay: $35 Pay... Continue Reading

Denver International Airport - Bar shop available - 2/26-2/28 - $40 Pay + Expenses!

Are you traveling into or out of Denver International airport or you are a badged shopper for this airport? We have bar integrity shop at a popular Sports Bar and restaurant location. The shop must be completed by February 28th. For this shop, you will sit at... Continue Reading

Mystery Shopping, 1099, and the taxes... I feel much better this year.

I've been shopping for about five years, but my first three years I was strictly with MSI & Marketforce. I had no idea so many others existed so when I started shopping full time last year, taxes began to feel a bit overwhelming, even with great records and all the... Continue Reading

Question about phone bill for taxes

My phone has two lines , one for me and one for my wife. She obviously uses her line for personal use 100%. I use mine for personal use and my day job use about 10% and 90% for mystery would I claim that expense? As 90% of my... Continue Reading

Does Sinclair or PersontoPerson send 1099's if you've resigned/deactivated yourself?

I left both of these companies last year and although I kept spreadsheets, I seem to have failed to print my shop logs or I've stuck them somewhere and with moving twice they've gone poof. I like to keep hard copies in my folders and cannot for the life of... Continue Reading

Maritz 1099

Has anyone gotten theirs yet? I'm waiting on 1099's from a couple of companies, actually.... Continue Reading

1099-Misc Forms

I'm expecting Market force and Intelli-shop to send these out to me this year since I topped $600 for both, do they usually get them out in january? I'm not sure how this income will affect my tax situation in 2017 and am anxious to get the filing over... Continue Reading


I need the EIN for Texas Shopper Network. I couldn't get any info for a 1099 over the phone. I'm just trying to get my income reported.... Continue Reading

Safe to give SSN to Market Force?

I am new to mystery shopping and I realize for tax purposes they must ask for my SSN but I am very apprehensive to giving it out. I signed up at Market Force is this a safe site to give SSN?... Continue Reading


This may have already been answered. I am adding up my totals for filing taxes. Do I add up just the fees and ignore the reimbursements or do I add up the total received and claim the reimbursements as deductions? Thank you in advance... Continue Reading

Help--income tax shop - how to answer prequalifier question

Do they want a yes or no answer for this question???? Our refund is typically around that amount. Will answering one way or another exclude me from the shop? Do you anticipate your FEDERAL refund (either single or married filing jointly) to be equal to or greater than $1,500.... Continue Reading

MS income for taxes ?

Do you show your MS income as hobby income, self employment income(Schedule C ?) OR just as a regular income (add it to your regular income). This is my first year of filing returns as a shopper. Basically tax professionals are human being's just like us (many are good... Continue Reading

Asking for SSN?

Is it safe to put in your SSN awhile creating an account to become a mystery shopper??? Is it a necessity?... Continue Reading

Employee Mileage & DT

I was recently hired by a company that you have to keep track of mileage and all drive time. The 40 mile & 1 hour applies. Is it unreasonable to believe I'm on the clock as soon as I have to write down my odometer reading & time I leave?... Continue Reading

Doing taxes with flat rate shops

If a Donut shop pays $15 flat rate and you buy $10 of donuts (not reimbursed), how do you claim taxes on that?... Continue Reading

Market Force and SSN card

Hi fellow shoppers. Good morning and hope you're having a good day so far. I wanted to ask the group a question about Market Force. Would you highly recommend them as a company to shop for? I'm asking because they are requiring that I show an actual Social Security... Continue Reading

SSN Pending

My ssn has been pending with a couple of companies almost two months. Is this common? These companies won't pay until it is verified. I appreciate any input.... Continue Reading

Mileage deductions while visiting family; Any special rules?

I've been staying with a friend/family for two weeks to provide them some much needed company. It's only 25 minutes from my house, but I have been making trips to the post office twice a week for my online shop. Are there special rules about deducting these miles? I typically... Continue Reading

Just accepted a tax prep shop -- won't my mystery shopping income give me away?

So I just accepted a shop assignment for tax preparation. I had to accept before I could see full instructions, which I've just looked over. Since I have to file taxes on my mystery shopping income, will I not immediately be giving myself away??!! As expected, the guidelines do not... Continue Reading

Do Not Forget to Write Your End of the Year Mileage!

Maybe, a little early, but wanted to make sure it was said.... Continue Reading

Mileage/gas for tax purposes

Can I claim gas as an expense on my taxes as a mystery shopper? I have multiple receipts of fuel usage, is that enough, or do I have to be more detailed....for example, the shop is 25 miles away so I purchased 2 gallons of unleaded?... Continue Reading

New Mileage Rates Released... Apologies if someone already posted.

Forgot to post a couple of days ago but I figured someone else hit on it already. Still waiting on the new tax bills and all that -- but anyway looks like the rate went up. Continue Reading

JMRidgeway Did Not Reimburse My Expenses!

I completed my first job for JMRidgeway. It was $15 PLUS up to $5.50 to buy a cup of coffee. The coffee cost me $3.76 and was so bad I had to toss it. I wanted to call the manager, but that is a ďno-noĒ for mystery shoppers. My... Continue Reading

Potential lower taxes for this sideline income?

Good morning everyone. I have a question to ask. I am wondering if anyone out there has any thoughts/input towards how our taxes on MSC income may be affected by the upcoming potential new tax structure? Taxes are something that is a bit beyond me - I... Continue Reading

Taxes question

This year most of the shops I have completed were reimbursement shops (restaurants etc). I did not make much (total is under $4). I worry if my ratio of income ($ paid for performing shops and $ for food reimbursement) vs expenses ($ spent on food and mileage) is appropriate.... Continue Reading

Tax bill mileage deduction was it eliminated?

Did the new tax bill eliminate mileage deduction? If it does that would end most of my mystery shopping. How about you? I would still do shops for eating out.... Continue Reading


For reporting tax purposes, if a company does not send a 1099, I still report it as income, but what do I provide as proof of that income? Is there an official document of some sort that I need to create to attach?... Continue Reading


Does anyone deduct mileage for traveling to shops on their taxes? Are there any other deductions? I'm also wondering if you can deduct the cost PV500.... Continue Reading

Reporting Income Correctly

Quick question. If a shopper completes an assignment in December, he/she gets paid in January 2018. Is it correct to report this income in 2017, or 2018? Thanks.... Continue Reading

Why do companies ask for SSN. It make me nervous

I've notice that some companies as for your SSN in the shopper application. Why is this?... Continue Reading

Combining Fees and Reimbursements on taxes

Some shoppers have mentioned they combine all fees and reimbursements together to find their yearly income, then deduct the reimbursements to show their taxable income. For shoppers that do this, what if the receipt exceeded the maximum allowed reimbursement? Example, you were told you would be reimbursed up to $10,... Continue Reading

HS Brands SSN issue

Apparently when I signed up for HS Brands, I entered the wrong SSN number. I have tried to go into my profile and change it, but it keeps rejecting my change. I have tried emailing them, even including the change I'm pretty sure needs to be made (it's... Continue Reading

How do you report your income?

Please help me with filling out tax forms.... Continue Reading

Excel Spreadsheet for Shopping expenses

Has anyone developed a spreadsheet for keeping a record of shops and expenses?... Continue Reading


Hi I am in the process of joining ath Power Consulting Corporation but was asked to enter my SSN. Is this part of their requirement?... Continue Reading

Using an EIN rather than SS#

So one of my MSCs just sent me a notice that they are going to be relying more on shoppers who have an EIN (Employee Identification Number) rather than a Social Security number. They say that "more companies will be doing so" because it promotes more of a "professional" or... Continue Reading

Quarterly taxes penalty for the self employed. I found this article interesting. I've never considered having to pay quarterly taxes.... Continue Reading

Income potential

I have a personal question. How much do you make doing this part time? I live in Chicago and there seem to be ample opportunities and I'm trying to decide if this is something I could do during the day on a part time basis and make a... Continue Reading

SSN Pending? BWW

Hello, I signed up for a few MSC. One MSC state that my SSN is pending. Been seeing this for more than a week now. Is there something I need to do? The MSC says I will not get paid for shops until this is taken care of. Also, I... Continue Reading

1099 question

Do the MSCs count reimbursements toward reportable income? I understand that it shouldn't be taxable, but just wondering if it is included toward the $600 requirement or not. I'm guessing the answer is no, but just want to confirm. Thanks!... Continue Reading

Travel expenses in hotel shops.

Hi gyus! I need an advice of experienced shoppers in hotel evaluation area. I have been working as a full time shopper around eight month. After I performed more than 1000 different shops, I decide to do more hotels shops. Probably it would not be more profitable, however, it could... Continue Reading

EPMS Released My Social Security Number To A Total Stranger

I received a letter from Joanna Ellis at EPMS - Ellis Partners Management Solutions. The letter is dated February 2017. It says EPMS accidentally sent my tax form 1099 to another shoppers address. Please note it says to another shopper (not some random unknown person). The letter goes on to... Continue Reading

Independent contractor taxes

This will be the first year I'll be claiming my income from mystery shopping on taxes. Any advice? Do I need to create a business name and all that good stuff? I want to write off my mileage, gas, etc. suggestions welcome!... Continue Reading

Do I need to provide my social security number for Western Union "Send" scenario?

Just wondering what personal information I need to provide to do a Western Union "send" scenario? Are they usually quick shops? Any landmines I should watch out for? How is the report?... Continue Reading

Using Tax EIN instead of SS#

I'm nervous about having so many companies having my Social Security Number. I got an EIN from the IRS for a Sole Proprietorship. Am I allowed to switch to that number for the companies I have already signed up for?... Continue Reading

JMRidgway extra expenses question

-- moved topic -- ... Continue Reading

How to record mileage for multiple stops along a route?

Hello all, I'm new here. I downloaded the free spreadsheet posted in the pinned link above but I have questions about how to input my mileage when I am driving a route and have more than one stop. How do I record that on the spreadsheet? I... Continue Reading

Market force SSN fax

I was working with them for last 3 months. I was not able to see available shops since last week, so I emailed Helpdesk. I got the reply that I need to fax my SSN as the SSN which I provided earlier was not validated properly. When I said that... Continue Reading

Taxes- Canada

Hi , This is for my fellow Canadian friends ? 1. How do you report profit made on USD CAD conversion for reimbursements ? 2. If you spend $200 for auto repairs, where you would be reimbursed only up to $75, would you claim whole $200 as deduction ? Thanks... Continue Reading

Mileage request amount?

How much money do you usually request per mile? Also TrendSource is always low on their miles to the actual shop. How do you address that?... Continue Reading

How on earth do schedulers calculate mileage?

I got a call from Informa to do a shop 16 miles from me. Nice pay for a 32 mile round trip I thought, so I asked the exact location. The scheduler mentions a city that is at best a 34 mile drive and 45 minutes away. ... Continue Reading

MSC Reporting Inaccurate Mileage

The mileage shown for the majority shops is inaccurate information. Most of the scheduler's, I have conversed with has acknowledged this as truth. Therefore, I hope fellow shoppers are mindful of this known fact when planning your routes or only shopping!... Continue Reading

Income Tax shop - Assets lost value?

Hi, I am thinking to apply for income tax shop. One qualifying question is: Have any assets that you own lost value over 2016 tax year? Does that apply to my car that I depreciate as I use it for getting to my shops? I am afraid maybe this refers... Continue Reading

What kind of card do you charge your expenses to?

Has anyone ever had a cash back credit card and charged all their mystery shopping expenses to it? Would you consider this beneficial? That way, not only are you getting reimbursed for those expenses (obviously if you did a shop which the company states they'll reimburse you), you're also getting a... Continue Reading

IRS Audit Due to Mystery Shopping?

Who among you have you been audited due to your reported mystery shopping Schedule C income or reported losses? I am interested in the frequency that this sort of self-employment triggers an audit. Furthermore, have you been challenged on your assertion that your work qualifies as a business... Continue Reading

IPSOS 1099

Hey Guys Does IPSOS generates 1099 with all the reimbursements? Some of their shops has pretty large reimbursements however they were not my income. I haven't got the 1099 yet but asking if someone has got it already. Also as I will be doing taxes as personal taxes I can not... Continue Reading

Did anyone receive their 1099 form from Market Force?

Just curious if anyone has received their 1099 form from Market Force? Thanks!... Continue Reading

When do 1099s arrive?

Hi all, I was going to take advantage of one of the tax preparation jobs as my records are quite good and I know the 1099s are just informational, but I thought I would hang on just to be safe. Does anyone know when companies start sending them out? Does... Continue Reading

Income Tax Shops

For those of you who have completed income tax shops for Marketforce, how did you get around the 1099 forms from MSCs?... Continue Reading

Great resource for Schedule C taxes & deductions.

Hello! Well tax time is here, and Lifehacker had a good article about deducting business expenses: They had a link to a 100-pg. PDF . It's from the National Association for the Self-Employed. It seems to have lots of information and is easy to use (it's a big... Continue Reading


Looking for Tax Tips...... Continue Reading

Uh Oh.... Mileage is down with the IRS...

ē53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016. Also I just learned that January 23 is when you can start filing. All this on the site... Then I saw this: Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle... Continue Reading

Doing your own Taxes. What program do you use?

I did a little research and found Turbo Tax was rated the best. If you do your own taxes with your mystery shopping, what program do you use? How much did you pay for all programs *portions) needed to successfully do your taxes? Any difficulty in preparing your own taxes... Continue Reading

"Special Expenses"

I just saw a couple of job postings where there is a fee listed and then a line that says "special expenses." Does anyone know what that is supposed to be? Is that considered a bonus?... Continue Reading

Travel expenses

Happy Black Friday, I have opportunity to do some computer audits this weekend. I live near Dallas and can perform one or more assignments in Houston and they tell me to name my travel expense. I have never claimed travel expenses beyond tolls so I wonder what you guys think... Continue Reading

PayPal Deductions

Do you contract with any MSC's that charge you to have your pay sent to PayPal? I just found that Second to None charges $1 but will allow free bank direct deposits. I prefer to avoid providing bank routing information.... Continue Reading

income levels

Hi- I'm new and have only signed up with a couple of companies. I found that some of them ask for household income level and I don't feel comfortable sharing that on the application. Does anyone have suggestions on companies that don't require that info on their applications?... Continue Reading

Do you count payment for meals as income on taxes?

I was wondering if reimbursement for meals that you get on a restaurant shop (or part of it) counts as income on income taxes. I've searched this forum for answers and also online. I don't have an accountant, so I'd appreciate and guidance from those of you who have been... Continue Reading

Social security numbers

I am new to the organization . I am fearful of giving my Social Security Number over the internet. Do all companies request your S.S. number?... Continue Reading

Mileage and deductions

Should I record and deduct only the mileage to the shop or round trip to come home? Thanks!... Continue Reading

Doing taxes

I apologise ifthis is posted somewhere and I haven't found it. When you do your taxes with mystery shopping, I won't make $600 with one company but will over all the shops this year that I have done combined if that makes sense. So I won't get a... Continue Reading

Best app for keeping track of mileage?

I'm notoriously bad at keeping track of mileage. An app WOULD help. Suggestions? And any other apps that experienced shoppers find helpful besides Evernote?... Continue Reading

Jobslinger - EIN problem

I am signed up with Jobslinger and put in my EIN #. It shows that it can't be verified. I have given it to many SASSIE companies without any problem. I put in the correct number. Has anyone else had this problem? ... Continue Reading

IRS is Filing a Lawsuit Against Me

I have been called about 3 times in the past few weeks with this same "scam" robo call. Is there anyway to put a stop to it?... Continue Reading

SSN Verification

Hello! I really some help! I am registered with at least 20 different MSC, and NONE of them are able to verify my SSN. I got married April 30, 2016, and assumed my husband's last name. I obtained a new SS card over two weeks ago with my new married... Continue Reading

How to determine mileage bonus

I`m wondering if fellow shoppers have a standard rate when asking for mileage reimbursements. I had a scheduler ask me to name my price and I had no clue. I panicked and pulled $30 out of thin air. It would have costed me $11 gas, I asked for $30 and... Continue Reading

Taxes and the spreadsheet

I'm starting a new thread about keeping track of expenses for taxes. If the mods need to move it to the original thread, please do so. I called my accountant about what we can or cannot take as expenses on our schedule C for the tax year of 2016. Meals may... Continue Reading

SSN Status

Hello everyone, I have registered with Intellishop and I notice that my SSN status is taking some time to clear. I registered with my married name and I think this might be causing an issue. How long should it take to verify my number?... Continue Reading

Paying taxes as a shopper

Do mystery shopping Companies send us any kind of forms at the end of the year for tax purposes. .... Continue Reading

SSN request

If supposed to be independent contractor, why the need for a SSN? Am I being overly concerned about identity theft?... Continue Reading


Are reimbursements taxable? Are they considered income? How do you file quarterly? How do you pay Social Security taxes? Can't seem to find the answers when I Google them........... Continue Reading

Merchandiser Independent Contractor Mileage Question.

-- moved topic -- ... Continue Reading

Were you aware the IRS cut Mileage from $.575 to $.54 per mile?

The IRS cut our mileage deduction from $.575 down to $.54 representing a 6% decrease in our ability to expense jobs. I did not know they dropped mileage expense, when did you figure this out?... Continue Reading

EIN vs SSN Identity Theft

I've been doing a lot of reading about using an EIN as a sole proprietor instead of your SSN to reduce your risk of identity theft for MS. I haven't found the answer to this question: Can identity thieves take out loans with your EIN? If so, how would using... Continue Reading

MSC that do not require SSN?

I am an international student in the U.S. on a student visa and I am unable to get a SSN... long story and don't want to deal with bureaucracy. What MSC's do not require SSN until you reach $600 or do not require SSN at all? Thanks... Continue Reading

$5/mo internet for low income households

This evening's news mentions that as part of the AT&T agreement with their take over of DirecTV they have agreed to provide internet service for $5 per month to any household where at least one member receives food stamps. The program is expected to continue until 2020. If... Continue Reading

Taxes - Can I report only income made?

(This is my first time filling out the schedule c and I'm using Turbotax for businesses owners.) I'm just wondering if it's okay to report only the total amount of money I made mystery shopping during 2015. I didn't keep a log of my miles and I don't have all my... Continue Reading

Using A Fake SSN# for a Shop

This topic was discussed a few years ago, however, for me, I need the conversation updated. I've been offered several high paying shops where the client is reviewing their finance department. The shop requires the purchase and financing of a big ticket item, using a fake SSN#... Continue Reading

Contemplating :[ After I had prepared my taxes. It may be time for me to do less of mystery shopping,

It may be time for me to do less of mystery shopping. After driving to and from route of shops. I figured that I may not be fully making all that money. Gas and time, and reports afterwards. This actually started as a stepping stone, until I found a... Continue Reading

Working a tax prep shop, and telling them about your mystery shopping income?

Has anyone done a tax prep shop and claim your mystery shopping income during these shop? I've been tempted to sign up for these tax prep shop, but I don't know what they would think of me when I tell them about the other income. Thoughts?... Continue Reading

Anyone doing your taxes through H&R Block?

Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone is doing their taxes through an H&R Block office (not online). My tax preparer is asking for each and every one of the 1099's even under the $600 threshold, in order to process my taxes, "as a protection because those are the rules with... Continue Reading

Income drop due to retirement

So, I am retiring soon and my earned income will drop about 95%. I will make it up through unearned income such as pension, annuities and such. Does income mean earned income, or can it include unearned income?... Continue Reading

Didn't file taxes last year, but am preparing for this year

Hello, I am new to the forum, though I have lurked. I'm inquiring here now because I know now I need to file taxes for 2015, because all income needs to be reported. I made the mistake of not reporting the income I made in 2014 as a college student.... Continue Reading

Casual mystery shopping as a way to supplement income?

I'm totally new to mystery shopping (haven't actually done it yet) and am trying to figure out how I can fit it in in a way that makes sense. I work a regular 9-5 job and have a family so I'm trying to find ways I can do shops... Continue Reading

Mileage on tax return

Hello, I have just finished my first year of Mystery Shopping. I made almost 7000 dollars. After deducting all of my expenses and mileage my income came out to 64 dollars. Is this normal? Thanks... Continue Reading

1099 and disability questions

the lady friend is on disability so she has to turn over all her pay stubs to her mother who then fills out the paperwork for monthly income i have started her mystery shopping and she is wondering when to report her income and if she as flexibility from month... Continue Reading

IRS computer failures

CNBC reports IRS computer failures: Continue Reading

Online Tax Programs and Business Income

Forgive me if this has been discussed: I have used TaxAct online for years and it successfully navigated me through business income and self-employment taxes. This year, they are charging for that feature. Does anyone know of another similar software that does not charge for this part... Continue Reading

Suggested Forum: Mystery Shopping and Taxes

This seems like a very common topic where shoppers ask about taxes. There are many wonderful posts out there already that should be stickied and a dedicated forum is the best place to stick em!. If I have a question about taxes, the first thing I do is... Continue Reading


This was my first year as a Mystery Shopper. I had surgery and was out of work and had to do something. I really enjoyed shopping. I didn't make much, just enough for gas to get my kids back and forth to school. OK, so now its... Continue Reading


I work for one company that does only dining shops, and pays only reimbursements. Yet they sent me a 1099! It's my understanding that reimbursements of required purchases are NOT income. But this 1099 lists them as such. Has anyone else had this happen? How do you... Continue Reading

Taxes-Reimbursed and not reimbursed-where?

I know this topic has been covered. I did a search and I'm having a heck of a time finding last years tax thread. Can someone point me in the right direction. I'm trying to figure out where on the form I put these items. I know there has been... Continue Reading

I already received a W-2 and a 1099!

Yesterday in the mail, I received a W-2 and a 1099 statement and was quite surprised to see them so early. :) Have you guys received any 1099's or W-2's yet?... Continue Reading

Does anyone use a Federal EIN number for mystery shopping?

Hi, I'm a long time reader of this forum but this is the first time I have posted. I have been mystery shopping for over seven years and am signed up with over 200 companies. In that time I have been using my name and SSN for payment.... Continue Reading

Is it too early to start a 2015 Taxes Thread?

I know it's barely January, but I got an early copy of Turbo Tax and have been noodling with my expected taxes. I need to wait for my W2 for my day job which is at least a few weeks out, but I've got some questions about the MS... Continue Reading

Cold truth about mystery shopping - $3/hour average after expenses.

I see the same blowhards like bgriffin the woman who pretends she's a man on this board are still bloviating about their "big" fees. I have a regular job now and make 6k/month and do mystery shopping on the side. I mastered mystery shopping in 2014--took about 4 weeks to... Continue Reading

Would you do mystery shopping if it's the ONLY reason you have to file income taxes?

I'm now on Social Security, getting enough to pay rent and pay bills. I also do part time work as a caregiver for a company. Because you have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes yourself, when doing mystery shopping, I have to file a tax return. Now I have... Continue Reading

Started my Social Security this month. This will make mystery shopping easier

I started on my Social Security this month. Now mystery shopping will be a choice and not something I NEED to do, to pay the rent and bills. It will be more relaxing. Merry Christmas everyone. I look forward to a more profitable year.... Continue Reading

Advice for tracking mystery shopping expenses and income?

The payments from mystery shopping are so diverse and are usually for small amounts. Not to mention, they come in either by check or more often paypal. How do you keep record of them? I just linked all my accounts on so I can actually see where my money... Continue Reading

Quality Shopper - Not a 1099 IC job with no guaranteed work and 2+ days effort to get hired. Anyone bite?

Has anyone found it worth jumping through all these hoops? This is not 1099 and is hourly pay. They do not say what the hourly rate is past the testing at minimum wage and base it on your area cost of living. By paying you an hourly wage and not... Continue Reading

MSCs that pay mileage

What MSCs pay mileage? The only one I know of for sure is HC, but they only pay .36/mile, which is less than what the IRS allows. Since I am spending so much time in my car and am considering buying a hybrid because f the gas/mileage situation, I'm wondering... Continue Reading

Can you claim this expense on your income tax?

I did a reimbursement only shop lately. I was supposed to purchase a skin care product and get up to $40 reimbursed. However, any skin care product at this boutique is above $55. So I ended up spending $60 with tax. That is $20 out of my own pocket.... Continue Reading

$70,000 or more in annual income

Just received an email about some new revealed audits. The audits can take up to two hours and may require up to 45 photos. There is no narrative. The requirements are a shopper score of 8 or better and an annual household income of $70,000 or more. Oh... Continue Reading

Which tax software do you use for filing taxes

This is the first year I'll have to report income for mystery shopping. What tax software do you use? The only write off I'll have is for mileage. I don't have a cell phone, my computer and printer are over 5 years old. Except for mileage, I cannot think... Continue Reading

Mystery shopping and collecting Social Security

Has anyone has an issue of collecting social security and doing mystery shopping? I'll start getting Social Security in December. I know the limits for earnings is just over $15,000. I won't make that much. Have you had other issues? I just read this on the Social Security site: "if... Continue Reading

Taxable Work-Related Expense Deductions

So, in trying to be proactive about taxes this year I thought of a few mystery-shopping related tax questions... Scenario: A mystery shop company will pay $30 to go try on and purchase a dress from an upscale boutique. The shop instructions dictate that you MUST purchase a dress from... Continue Reading

Is it normal for company to ask for SSN

I did mystery shopping years ago & now going at it again. One company is asking for my SSN which I don't recall ever providing that in past. The company asking for SSN is Sinclair, is that normal to provide my social.... Continue Reading

What is fair mileage?

I am wondering what is fair mileage to offer a company to do their shop? I live in a very rural area, and there is a town that is quite out of the way, but there are occasional shops there. What is a fair amount to ask, and does... Continue Reading

Registering with multiple companies using social security number

I have done a few shops now using 3 different companies, each requiring I include my social security number upon registration. I have searched the forum for information but not finding the answer to my question. My question is, should I be cautious with how many companies I... Continue Reading

On doing taxes and mystery shopping. What if you don't make enough income to even report?

I am barely able to make rent each month. I'm single, no children. I'm 62, do a lot of mystery shopping and have friends helping me get by until December. How would I handle taxes if I don't even make enough to report? I'll start getting Social Security at... Continue Reading

Market Force EIN

Hi all. With tax extension due tomorrow... finally sitting down to complete what I started lol. I'm currently on a trip and left my 1099 at home. Can someone tell me the EIN for Market Force? Just need this information to complete my returns. Thanks in advance.... Continue Reading

Worker's Comp Deductions

I have 4% workers comp insurance deducted from my paychecks. I understand this is automatic if I don't carry my own. Is this normal. Only one company that I do independent contractor work for does this. I do have my own medical insurance.... Continue Reading


If I decide to become a MS how far do I travel, I don't like traveling far from home. How do I decide on what company's are best for me? How do I get started on a job? I have so many questions and can't find the answers I need.... Continue Reading

SASSIE Social Security Verification Time - New to Shopping, Help!?

I am very new to mystery shopping (just did my first shop today) but signed up for a bunch of SASSIE companies (Beyond Hello, HS Brands International, Intellishop, GFK, Compliance Solutions Worldwide) and am wondering how long it takes for my social to be verified? Additionally, if the "pay date"... Continue Reading

Social Security Number Collection

I found the following message on one mystery shopping company's site and believe that all mystery shopping companies should adopt this policy immediately. If nothing else, they are setting themselves up for a lot of trouble if they get hacked and it is really not necessary since a majority... Continue Reading


Hi Everyone! Do any of the msc's 1099 you if you make under $600.00 a year with them?... Continue Reading

Social Security Numbers

When a mystery shop company goes out of business or the mystery shopper resigns from a mystery shop company, what does that company do with your social security number that you had to give to them?... Continue Reading

Sassie Shop SSN Verification Time

Hi, I've been signed up for multiple Sassie Shop websites for about 10 days now. I have a few scheduled shops coming up soon and my SSN still isn't verified. The websites all say that it will be verified from as soon as instantly and can take up to 3-7... Continue Reading

Email & SSN Verification Issues

Hi All! I've been signing up with various MSC and I've come across one or two issues that seem to reoccur: no email or SSN verification. I keep waiting and waiting but nothing changes in my status and I don't get email verification notes in my email. I... Continue Reading

Calculating Mileage

Hello All! I apologize if this was covered previously. I did a search and found quite a bit of helpful information on the subject, but not a direct answer to my question... I really bumped up the amount of shopping I've done this year, which is a good thing, but I'm... Continue Reading


I'm curious for anyone willing to help me out. Do I need to file taxes once I've reached $600 total, or for each MSC that I've reached $600 with? For example, if I am registered with 7 MSCs, and I make $100 from each one individually, should I... Continue Reading

Trendsource- EIN ?

So I just signed with Trendsource & they are asking for an EIN. Can I give my Social Security # instead? I don't want to get an EIN. I'm in California.... Continue Reading

Simple question about 1099s from a newbie

Hi all, I've been lurking on the board for a while and finally signed up and joined the conversation. Thanks to all the experienced shoppers on here who are patient with us noobs. :) I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to get any 1099s this year. I've done... Continue Reading


Anyone know of a company that pays for mileage?... Continue Reading

Reimbursement of expenses

I would like to know if you accept a shop and they say they will pay you $100.00 for doing the shop and up to $1,000.00 for expenses. Do companies always reimburse for the expenses even if they do not want to pay you for the shop? I... Continue Reading

Route out of the area...expenses?

If I do a route of 25 or so auto dealer shops, in another major city 300 miles away, and there are not many shoppers who can do these in the language they want it done....shouldn't there be some kind of extra incentive? The jobs pay $50 each. Or is... Continue Reading

Deductions : If a MSC is paid in full shouldn't the shopper as well?

We all can and will make mistakes. Aside from a report being rejected, I do not understand how a MSC can deduct from fees and even reimbursement if the client accepts and pays in full for a report. As a contractor, do shoppers deserve full disclosure any time... Continue Reading

note to self: check for street fairs before scheduling

trying to get to a location in an unfamiliar area...and run into a street fair...doesn't help calling to see if they are open.....sure they are open....but they don't say you have to park a half mile away and walk in...with a thunderstorm rolling into the area!... Continue Reading

IRS data hacked; beware of callers who seem to know about your return contents

Yesterday the IRS announced that thieves who had gained info from other sources about passwords and security questions used that to access the tax returns (current and past) of over 100,000 tax payers by getting into the service site that provides transcripts of own tax returns (needed when you apply... Continue Reading

Trendsource's EIN Requirement

I wanted to add Trendsource to the list of companies for which I shop. I went on their site to register and see that they require their shoppers to get an EIN. I don't meet any criteria for which the IRS would require that I obtain... Continue Reading

Exact Mileage or Total Mileage

I'm just curious - is it necessary to have the exact mileage numbers (for example: I began at 29,834 and ended at 29,844), rather than just logging that I drove 10 miles to that particular shop? I wasn't sure if for some reason in the future that would I need... Continue Reading

How long does it take for your SSN to be verified in most Sassie systems?

Just curious... Continue Reading

Return Home Mileage Deduction - Definite Yes, No or Gray Area?

I am dutifully tracking my mileage to a shop and from one shop to the next shop. I have been under the impression that the return home mileage is not deductible UNLESS I happen to make a business related stop on the way home such as picking up office... Continue Reading

How do you handle taxes?

Do you pay at the end of the year when taxes are due? Do you pay quarterly? What are the benefits of each? Not sure how I'm going to do this. I cannot file the long form. I'm single no kids, no write offs.... Continue Reading

Got two 1099's from the same company?

Has anyone ever gotten two 1099s from the same company? (Yes, they are the same year. No, one is not marked "corrected")... Continue Reading

Deducting reimbursed expenses

Just wanted someone to clarify the terminology everyone uses as it relates to tax preparation (doing them right now grrrr). Reimbursed "expenses" (cash out of pocket to perform shops) are not truly "expenses" as this income should not be reported. When you work for an employer and they reimburse your out of... Continue Reading

Timing of Expenses for Tax Purposes

So I'm working on my taxes and I'm wondering about something. Nearly all of the income that I generated in December and some of November's wasn't paid until 2015 and I get that I will claim that income when I file next year. What I'm wondering is how to... Continue Reading

Finally doing taxes. Should I use Schedule C-EZ if I can?

Looks like I easily meet the requirements to use Schedule C-EZ for 2014. Any reason not to do so? Thanks for any advice.... Continue Reading

Harland Clarke mileage?

So Ive been shopping with Harland Clarke for a few months. I really like them but in the past 2 days, I've received two shop request emails with no mileage included. I've never seen their shops not offered with mileage and I'm wondering if anyone else is experiencing the same... Continue Reading

IRS and mileage deduction

I heard today that you cannot claim mileage from your house to a shop. You can only claim mileage from one shop to another. For example, I drove to *** and it was 12 miles to my first shop. Then, I went to three other shops in the same town... Continue Reading

In addition to shopping, what do you do for income?

Some here probably have regular jobs and shop on the side, but what about those piecing together income bit by bit? I'm looking for other ways to make some dough on short-term assignments without a set schedule.... Continue Reading

Has any mystery shopper ever been audited by the IRS?

I am keeping good records, and I don't anticipate any problems, but I was curious if anyone has been audited by the IRS (only as mystery shoppers, not other professions). I did a quick search on IRS audits through the forum and did not see any other threads indicating... Continue Reading

Intellishop-2 point deduction because they had to contact me.

I did a shop for Intellishop and submitted the report. I have done several of these shops over the past seven years. I get an e-mail with the following comment: A significant amount more detail is needed in all of your narratives. Each of these narratives should read... Continue Reading

Taxes and Supplying Backup

Do you provide a worksheet depicting your fees, reimbursements, expenditures and expenses to the IRS along with your return? I have never but was wondering if I should attach my spreadsheet this year.... Continue Reading

recording mileage

I am visiting family who is about 150 miles away from me, and while i'm visiting them i took a really simple gas station shop. I have been recording mileage, but should I record the mileage from my house to the gas station? or should I record the mileage from... Continue Reading


Hi all, Have been wondering about what I should call myself. I want to do my taxes using H&R, and they will probably ask what my occupation/profession is. I cannot say that I am a mystery shopper?! Anybuddy has any idea.... Continue Reading

QAMS and the misguided 1099

Hello shoppers. Perhaps someone can help me. I did a search on the forum for this topic but didn't find anything. I nevr have luck with that. Also, I know QAMS sent out emails on this subject but I can't find mine. Anyway, they sent out a 1099 for amounts way... Continue Reading

I just got an email from Stericycle that they are sending out corrected 1099 that remove the reimbursement amount from their initial 1099.

-- moved topic -- ... Continue Reading

MSI Services - EIN vs. SSN

Does anyone know why MSI wants an EIN instead of a SSN for their shoppers? Do other companies require EIN's? This is the first time I've encountered this.... Continue Reading

Casual dining,taxes and schedule C

I'm doing my taxes as self employed. I already have a schedule C worksheet for Form 1040 for my sales on eBay. I need to report more income, I have 2 children. I worked for 5 mystery shop companies. None of them sent me a tax form because I didn't... Continue Reading

IRS FreeWebinar: Independent Contractor or Employee

Hi all My husband is a CPA and I do data entry for him. As a CPA, he needs to complete continuing education every year, and he likes me to do it with him as a learning experience for me. We just signed up for one that might be... Continue Reading

Schedule C and Unreimbursed Expenses and Questions That Arise

Regarding un-reimbursed expenses for Schedule C: If you are paid a fee only and the restaurant meal, taxes and tip exceed the fee received, do you claim all the dollar amount exceeding the fee as an expense of the shop? Or, in another version of the same scenario,... Continue Reading

2014 1099'

Have you... Continue Reading

1099's and Paypal I was vaguely aware of this for the last couple of years but never translated it into what it meant for us here until I had a tax client who pays all of her subcontractors through Paypal and asked me to 1099 them and I realized we didn't have to. If... Continue Reading

Federal Income Taxes

I just had my 2014 taxes done and declared that I did mystery shopping as an Independent Contractor and lo and behold I was surprised that I had to paya federal Self Employment tax on that income. Is there anyway to do your federal taxes without having to pay that... Continue Reading

1099 from Customer Perspectives

I received the 1099 with the incorrect address for Customer Perspectives. I received an answer from them. I was told to change the N.Y. to N.H. they are located in Hooksett, N.H. Not N.Y.... Continue Reading

MF 1099 Form

Has anyone received their 1099 form from MForce? I'm more than ready to file my taxes but they are the only hold up, and to make it more interesting I stopped shopping for them in August of 2014 so I hope I don't have any problems receiving it. Thanks!... Continue Reading

Customer Perspectives 1099 FYI

Just an FYI (not sure how much it matters), Customer Perspectives has Hooksett, NY listed as their address. It is Hooksett, NH (I pass the office almost daily). I will either call or stop in on Tuesday to let them know. I seriously doubt anyone will be in the office... Continue Reading


Has anyone received any tax forms from the mystery companies that they work with? I have few companies with which I have made the amount for which they specified a tax form will be mailed. Should I want or file my taxes? Most of the shops I have done are... Continue Reading

Within a certain mileage requirement

This is getting on my last nerve. Shops requiring that I live within a specific mile range. I'm on the cusp of being within 20 miles of anything. I certainly do not live within the 20 miles that companies want. Even if they take my zip... Continue Reading


Well it's here again. That wonderful time of the year where the great and powerful Tax Man comenth. So just what all do you claim? You know those great items that you get to count off on your taxes. That new printer you got? How about that new cell phone? For... Continue Reading

Health Insurance & Taxes

@Dspeakes wrote an article all about what you need to know in terms of health insurance and taxes this year. It's useful info! Discuss it here.... Continue Reading

1099 and expense reimbursement

Hi all, I just got form 1099- MISC from Reality Check. They included my parking expense reimbursement as part of income which made me go over the $599 maximum in income and generated the 1099 form. This seems crazy to me, as I should not have to pay taxes on... Continue Reading


Hi I'm new to mystery shopping and everything sounds great & rewarding so far but the only thing I'm having trouble with is giving my SSN out and worrying about the w9 tax forms. I was wondering if any of you all got an EIN for mystery shopping? I'm... Continue Reading


Hi I'm new to this industry completely and had a (probably dumb) question. Some companies ask you to fill out your w9 form. I am not sure if I will be accepting any shops from said companies. DO I really need to fill this out? I'm... Continue Reading

IRS Free File

The IRS has a new option called FreeFile. Like the name suggests it is a free service. It uses 'partner's websites' and is available on January 20th, 2015. The IRS says more than 70% of people can use it. You may access it from the IRS... Continue Reading

2015 Mileage rate change

I looked but did not see anything, for those that manually track your mileage, the 2015 rate is now $.575 so you just got a "raise" LOL.... Continue Reading

tracking mileage

if you do several shops in a day, going from one directly to the next; can you just track your beginning and ending mileage or do you track mileage between each shop?... Continue Reading

1099's and reimbursement (mostly)

I tried searching and could not find this topic. I only shop for my favorite companies nowadays and I received a notice from Goodwin that they need my info for a 1099. Do I still claim all of the money they reimbursed me for even if it was not really... Continue Reading

Maritz & 1099

Has anyone gotten their 1099 yet ? Thanks... Continue Reading

2014 tax deductions to make before the year's out

This video segment was on The Today Show this morning. I was just too busy to post in the forum until now. Do what you will with it. (VIDEO)... Continue Reading

IRS Mileage Rate in 2015

The IRS mileage rate in 2015 is increasing from 56.0 cents to 57.5 cents per mile.;-Business-Rate-to-Rise-in-2015 In my opinion, it may drop later in the year if gas prices stay low. It changed twice in a year as recently as 2011.... Continue Reading

Questions on taxes

This is my first year mystery shopping. My question is when filing, what does the government see as earnings? Since we receive money for a job as well as payment for, lets say a meal at the restaurant we are evaluating, will we be taxed for the entire payment or... Continue Reading

IRS documentation

Please share the format you utilize to record mystery-shop activity from start-to IRS. Do you record the initial date to include location and time? The income? The expenses incurred? The mileage, round-trip? The reimbursement? My format could use a new year's resolution! Please share your successes. Thanks... Continue Reading

Clarification needed on taxes

As the end of the year approaches, I have been researching all of the threads on the forum (as well as the IRS website) regarding taxes. I understand tracking income and reasonable business deductions with the goal to show under a $400 profit to avoid paying self employment tax. My... Continue Reading

Giving SSN to Client

I just saw that for some of the Bank shops for Maritz, they are asking for permission to give my SSN to the bank to see if I qualify to be able to the shop. They are also asking for release of any liability on Maritz's part for anything... Continue Reading

cell phone and taxes

How many of you write off your cell phone or a portion of your cell phone use for mystery shopping on your taxes? Is there a formula to follow? thanks... Continue Reading

taxes and mileage

Hi all. I am trying to figure things out. For tax purposes- I basically take my pay/fee + reimbursed money then subtract my expenses (Like if I had to purchase a meal or pizza for the required shop?) Can I also include paper and ink for my printer since I... Continue Reading

1099 questions, please

One of the MSC reimburses for the product purchased during the shop. Not all of their shops require purchases. I know they won't send you a 1099 unless you make over $600. Does the 1099 break down whether it is a fee or reimbursement? Or are reimbursements included in the total amount? I... Continue Reading

Reduce Transportation Expenses City Bus!

I was reading the threads on the net money and was surprised on the gas expense of shoppers. So I'll share how I keep mine down. I am performing shops for two days on one bus line. I pay $20 for a 7 day pass. Wednesday I was fortunate: I did... Continue Reading

Cell phone apps - Income as MS income for taxes or seperate?

I know it's a bit early for tax time. However, I started getting into the cellphone apps like Gigwalk, Rewardable and others and am wondering how mystery shoppers treat that income and expenses for taxes purposes. Do you combine it with your mystery shopping Scheduler C? It... Continue Reading

Mystery Shopper without a SSN

One of my former college coworkers is back in the states working on her Master's. She mystery shopped a bit this fall for companies that did not require a SNN to get paid unless you made more than the $600. She made sure she fell under that amount for this... Continue Reading

social security number?

Hi All- I am considering becoming a mystery shopper and one of the questions in the form was to include my SS number.... I am concerned about doing this because of scams and potential identity theft, especially after I filled out a myriad of other personal information on the same page.... Continue Reading

MSI requiring EIN?

MSI says you HAVE to have an EIN to get paid. Anyone shop with MSI and just use a SS#? I know they say it is easy to get a EIN...just curious if I really HAVE to? Do other companies have this requirement? TIA... Continue Reading

Need some info on claiming expenses.

I just started mystery shopping this week and I'm loving it. Its the perfect second job. But I have a few questions about claiming expenses. First and most important: Mileage. I read online that the reimbursement rate is .568cents/mile. Now when I factor in my mileage am I counting all... Continue Reading

Trendsource reimbursement and taxes

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that Trendsource lumps your reimbursements with shopper fees at the end of the tax year. Is that correct? If so, how do you handle it on your taxes? Thanks!... Continue Reading

Giving SSN is one thing, but my State ID online, not comfortable.

Giving SSN is one thing, but not sure about putting my State photo ID online. I have an EIN, but unless I'm driving a vehicle, it should not be a requirement (besides, I would show that ID to the Auto Sales shop for my test drive not to the MSC,... Continue Reading

Looking for Mystery shopper companies to do bussniss with

Hi: my name is shelly saxton I am a realtor looking to do Bussniss with mystery shoppers companies Please call me or email me at Thanks Shelly's... Continue Reading

Social Security Number

I do a lot of shops with sassie companies. For some reason, my social security number does not always work...but this is only with sassie companies...and sometimes it does work. I have tried contacting the individual companies but they have been NO help at all. They make me feel stupid... Continue Reading

How much do you end up paying in taxes?

Not a specific dollar amount, but when all is said and done, what percent of your earnings to you actually end up paying taxes on after expenses? I was looking at my mileage tracker and since I live in a rural area, there are a lot of miles on... Continue Reading

Keeping Track of Mileage

So when tallying all my miles for my shop do I calculate to and from or just to? If I do one shop in a day that is ten miles from my house and I go straight home after the shop, should I record as 10 or 20 miles?... Continue Reading

Income taxes

I've done 3 whole shops and am currently scheduled for 2 more this week. They are all from different companies, which got me thinking, ... ... Will I be sent income statements from EVERY SINGLE COMPANY? OR, Am I responsible for keeping track of my aggregate income? OR, Do the companies send out income statements... Continue Reading


I was notified by my daughter who just received an attempted SCAM from the IRS. Our CPA notified all of his customers to warn all of us about this. She reported it to the police. Our CPA told us that he received several calls from his customers... Continue Reading

What "fun" stuff does mystery shopping income fund for you?

Not to be nosy, just wondering what fun stuff others use mystery shopping to pay for? My full-time job pays my bills, so I use mystery shopping for "extras." I recently bought a 60" flat screen TV and the furniture it sits on with MS money. Mystery... Continue Reading

EIN vs SSN and Tax Returns

Hi All - I have one MSC that I regularly shop for. They are one of my favorites. But they will not accept an EIN. I have recently done my first shop for TS. Although their sign up procedure says you just don't get to self-assign without an EIN, their inital quiz... Continue Reading

Applying for an EIN as an LLC

Hello, Has anyone heard of applying for an EIN as an LLC instead of a sole proprietor? Just curious. Thanks, Dan... Continue Reading

What is income?

Can anyone tell me, are (reimbursed) meals and items you buy considered income for tax purposes? Also, I do a lot of product testing (for example, I would receive Dr. Scholl's orthotics in the mail to try and have to report on what I thought of them. I get to... Continue Reading

How do I get an EIN, etc?

Well, I just saw on another thread a member suggest that another member get an EIN and not use their SSN. Can someone please give me the benefits of this and how to go about it? I am rather new and have given my SSN to date.... Continue Reading

Here's a reason I love mystery shopping as an income stream.....

I was just released from 13 days of hospitalization last Saturday and right now I am recooping from some pretty intense surgery. I need to have my life kind of free of details at the moment to heal and since I am an IC as a mystery shopper -... Continue Reading

I Know Your SSN

I printed off the paperwork for a merchandising assignment several days ago. It was for checking a line of products before Mother's Day. There were a few pages included that confused me but I decided to keep them with the others. Later, I realized that they were... Continue Reading


My reimbursement for mileage is more than my compensation from the shops (not including reimburesment for expenses). Will I still owe taxes? Do I need to seperate my shops from my husbands he only did a few?... Continue Reading

Health Insurance Deduction

FYI...I just learned through cannot deduct your health insurance premiums if you're eligable for health insurance through your spouse's employer. This counts me out.... Continue Reading

Proof of Income

Hi All-Is it OK to use invoices as poof of income?... Continue Reading

What Do You Use To File Your Taxes?

I'm interested in finding out what is used to file taxes and inputting IC data. I've been using TurboTax in the past and kind of hoped that it would be good for IC taxes. I do the taxes myself for our family and my husband works from home also. ... Continue Reading

is the full odometer reading legally required for irs tax purposes?

are full odometer readings necessary when recording mileage for business purposes? (for example: 54607 starting and 54637 ending). a friend of mine told me that he doesn't record the exact odometer reading, but that he only records how many miles that he drove that day (for example: 50 miles). but he... Continue Reading


I do not understand taxes for Mystery Shopping and I need HELP, please! Wages and expenses are broken out for most companies I work for, but some are not. I worked for several different companies in 2013. I am not too concerned about mileage because I used... Continue Reading

Taxes for Mystery Shopping

After receiving what I needed from the msc's and filing last week, I got my refund this morning. That was fast! :) They had no problem with my expenses. I'm a small fry in their books I guess. :)... Continue Reading

Trendsource EIN?

It doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to me that Trendsource seems to REQUIRE an EIN in order to shop for them. Am I missing something?? I'm one guy, not an employer or employee. Why would I want an EIN??... Continue Reading

Filing taxes separately or jointly

Just curious how do those of you who are married file taxes? Separately or jointly? My spouse is working full time and I did not make much MSing, yet he can no longer claim me as his dependent. Not sure what to do. Any advice?... Continue Reading

Taxes - Help!

My situation is slightly different than most when it comes to taxes. I already work from home for my current job, and drive a company car and have a home office. Clearly, I cannot double dip. I'm trying to fill out my Schedule C and I feel like I'm over-complicating it.... Continue Reading


Hi, I am a relatively new mystery shopper and I do not completely understand how we are supposed to report taxes. I mean, I understand that if you earn more than $ 600 with company X, it will send you a form to pay taxes. I also heard that if... Continue Reading

taxes (CANADIAN)

Ok so tax season has arrived in Canada (booooo!) I haven't done THAT many mystery shops. through all of the mystery shopping companies im with I have maybe reached the $200 mark (& that includes the reimbursments) So my question is ( I suck at math & just dump my... Continue Reading

Ardent 1099 Frustration

I love working for Ardent. They pay the following month. Although their reports are long, they're pretty easy to do, and the pay is relatively high. However, they always send 1099s which include the costs of the meals we are required to buy. We can only write off 50% of... Continue Reading

Mileage Tracking/Accounting...still scratching my head...Need help please :-)

First, thank you all for the wonderful tips and strategies posted on this forum! They are precious nuggets that have helped me become more organized and able to track income and expenses for tax purposes. I am sincerely grateful :-) That being said, I am still struggling with... Continue Reading

Groceries and taxes?

How are you guys counting groceries on your taxes? I'm not sure how to do it. For example, multiple grocery shops I do have a flat fee, no reimbursement, but a required purchase. Can I count the entire thing as an expense (up to the fee) or just the cheapest... Continue Reading

Time to file taxes

With some changes from different companies, I am worried that I will under-report my earnings. As I understand it, we only file for income of $600 or more from any given company. Yet, some companies, i.e. Tallgrass (Sunflower) is taking taxes out of my earnings every job. They did not send... Continue Reading

Giving Social Security # to Market Force?

I was looking to sign up at the website MarketForce, during the application it required a SS# should I give it or is this a scam?... Continue Reading

1099 Question

Does anyone know if the 1099 $600 threshold covers amounts earned in a given year or is it for amounts actually paid? I performed shops in 2013 where commissions exceeded $600, but the payments I received in 2013 were less than $600. The rest of the payments... Continue Reading

Taxes reimbursement

Just a quickie. Is reimbursement still considered your income when filling taxes? Or just commission? Do I need to report both? Thanks!... Continue Reading

Will having an EIN change tax prep?

I signed up for a MSC that requires an EIN and registered online to get my number. I have already done a couple jobs for them. Now I have seen a few posts from people that prefer not to have a EIN. Does having one change how... Continue Reading

The 1099's are coming! The 1099's are coming!

I know that we shouldn't need them if we've been keeping meticulous track of payments, but that 1099 lends assurance to the accuracy of my figures, lets me know that what they're reporting to the gov't is also what I'm reporting, and if there's a difference it affords a final... Continue Reading

Using a fake Social Security number?

There's a shop that says you will use a 'provided' social security number. That seemed fine, until I realized that I'll have to use my real name. So, is that going to create anything weird in my records, since my name will now be floating around with two social security... Continue Reading

1099 for $15??

I did one assignment for this company and chose not to work for them anymore. I made $15 and just received a 1099 for it!? I definitely wasn't expecting that, since it's way below $600.... Continue Reading

Business Cards, Income Tax Codes, and More

Hi, Obviously, this is my first go around at tax time. So, what are the various tax codes that you use? 2) Do you have a title? Obviously I am not a housewife. 3) Do you have business cards? The MSPA site, I think, said that they recommended business cards. So, do... Continue Reading

Income Tax Shop

Someone stated that the Income Tax Shop is known by the tax preparer? I thought it said something else when I read it and passed it over? How is that known? Is the company being shopped at the time also? Why is that considered a hit on the persons... Continue Reading

1099 Issued Because Of Expenses Reimbursements!

I relied on the advice given on the "Taxes and Mystery Shopping" thread by Flash that said only shop fees, and not reimbursements, were taxable. Because of this I got a 1099 from a MS company because $70 of expenses put my income $18 over the $599 limit. I did... Continue Reading

Taxes and home office

Did everyone see that the tax option is available this year that you can claim a flat $5 a square foot for a home office, up to 300 square feet. That simplifies things, and you can take the simple deductions one year and the regular deduction a different year... Continue Reading

1099 Change for 2013

You are receiving this message because you were an active shopper in 2013. We are reaching out to you to inform you of 1099 requirements based on the changes to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6050W. I received the message below from one of the MSCs I work with and... Continue Reading

1099's, PayPal and the IRS

I was on a MSC website today and they had a link about a new 1099 IRS rule concerning PayPal. I clicked on the link, went to PayPal were they had the information. So, you can sign in and put 1099 in the search area of PayPal and get the... Continue Reading

Denied Shop Report and Taxes

This situation hasn't arisen yet, but I thought I would ask just in case. If a shop report is denied and I am not granted payment, can I claim the cost of that shop (travel and expenses) on my taxes as a business expense?... Continue Reading

Weird question about keeping track of expenses

I know I should keep track of all expenses incurred while shopping, but should I keep track of gambling expenses while doing casino shops?... Continue Reading

Here's a twist on writing off mileage.....

I'm wondering, as I have started taking the bus to shops - I have cut the distance in which I am willing to travel to shops a bit as I have other projects going too now - and I buy a monthly bus pass to get to shops which in... Continue Reading

Question about mileage

I am really trying to 1-do more mystery shops this year and 2-stay organized as I do it! I currently do home services as my full time job. I provide services in several towns around me. If I do a shop between 2 of my sessions for my full time... Continue Reading

Mileage logs: How detailed to they have to be? Specifically for IRS purposes?

Mileage logs: How detailed do they have to be? Specifically for IRS purposes? For example: If I make 10-20 stops on a route (let's say about 50-100 miles of driving), can I log the mileage at just the first and last stops, or am I required to log the mileage at... Continue Reading

Shopper Income vs "Normal" Income

The $50k thread had me thinking today while I was driving. In relation to $$ left over after taxes and expenses and quality of life, how do you think Shopping income stacks up against "normal" income? I'm mostly talking about people who shop full time compared to someone... Continue Reading

Does anyone here actually have an income over $50,000?

Got a shop offer and that was a requirement...odd.... Continue Reading

How to determine mileage when riding subway

So, I'm keeping track of my mileage for shops. However, I am planning to take the subway system for some of the shops near me. How do I account for my mileage in this case? Is it just keeping track of the miles covered, like I would if I were... Continue Reading

taxes and health insurance

I read this on the taxes link above: Of course the reason that I shop, if you pay your own health insurance, it can be deducted against your business to the extent that your business is profitable. Thus, if my health insurance costs me $3100 per year, the first $3100 of... Continue Reading

New IRS "simple" method for deducting a home office

According to the current issue of the Costco Connection (their member magazine), the IRS has a new way to do an at home office deduction that does not incur depreciation when you sell your home. I am not sure if non members can access the magazine online through Continue Reading

profit and taxes

Hello, I have read through the tax information in the new shopper area. It makes sense, and I understand the schedule C that has to be filled out. I have income (what I was paid, not including reimbursements), deductions (for me, seems just straight mileage, and perhaps a copy... Continue Reading

Opinion on mileage/hourly drivetime changes

I received an email last night from a company that is about to become a former company I worked for. They have cut the drive time wage by 30%, and now only pay between stores. Effective immediately. The current assignment I am about to send back was only accepted because... Continue Reading


Oh dear, I was hoping that if I just ignored taxes they would just go away. But I started to read the forum on taxes. From the sticky from flash: There are shops to be done at Costco that require a Costco membership. When my membership is up for renewal, I... Continue Reading

Giving social security number online

Hello, I have been asked by several companies to give my social security number online. I hesitate because it is online and I do not know the company. Is this legitimate? Have any of you done this? There is a post saying Sassie cannot register you anymore if you don't give... Continue Reading

Employer Identification Number

One of the companies wants shoppers that do the Medicare shops to have an EIN. Should I just skip the shops with this company? Not sure how much work is involved but I'm doing this to make a little money and not a full time or even part... Continue Reading

Does Anyone Know What's Up With The IRS?

I received an e-mail regarding an industry teleconference. I probably won't be able to attend since I have a fine dining shop during the same time period. Three topics of conversation are listed below. Does anyone have any insight as to what is going on with the... Continue Reading

deactivation/social security

Today I was trying to get a copy of my credit report and I was thinking about it and I realized that my social security number is plastered at 40 different mystery shopping company websites. I am thinking of bailing on mystery shopping because of various reasons. (Mainly b/c I... Continue Reading

Leasing a vehicle for better tax deductions?

I read an article that said if you are self employed there is an advantage to leasing over buying a vehicle because more is deductible on schedule C. Would any of you care to weigh in on this statement?... Continue Reading

mileage questions

Ok, I have a question for you more experience shoppers. When tracking mileage, do you just track out of town or all, even if you only live a couple miles from where your assignment is. hmross... Continue Reading

Extra Income, not Registered Business

I don't see this topic addressed anywhere: I don't want to register a "business" for mystery shopping because that would mean paying scads of local and state fees. I just want to report my 1099 as extra income. Can I still claim my travel and office supplies as... Continue Reading


Thanks to this forum, I no longer get invested in the ratings I receive as long as my overall average enables me to continue to self-assign. Also, from information gleaned here, I feel pretty comfortable understanding that rejected shops, generally, result from not following the specific guidelines. If you're not at... Continue Reading

They are offering a hotel shops...$600 expenses, shopper pay $0???? Really?

That means that I have to put up to $600, wait to get reimbursed, take the risk that my shop could be rejected and I would be in the hole for the expenses...and I don't make any money on top of that? Do some Mystery Shopping companies really think people... Continue Reading

Deductions for "Grammar & Spelling"

I recently posted in a lively discussion about scores from the editors at Intelli-shop. In that discussion I admitted that I always get scores of 8 with deductions for grammar. I used to get the same score for deductions of grammar & spelling. Then I downloaded a... Continue Reading

Reimbursable Expenses = Income or Not

Do I have to count reimbursable expenses as income on my taxes?... Continue Reading

Why do companies need EIN?

I have a SSN. I thought just having that would be okay. I am being asked to apply for an EIN. I don't know what that is. I've only lived in Ameria for a few years and have never worked. I am retired. (except for mystery shopping)... Continue Reading

Setting aside money for taxes

Hello, I am very new to this. I understand that there is a certain of taxes taken for like medicare, state, social security, and whatever else. Would it be helpful to set aside some of the money that is made from each assignment instead of spending it all at... Continue Reading

Mileage/Tax question

Wondering if any veteran shoppers can help me with this one? We are at the beach on vacation about 200 miles from home. Of course, I couldn't help myself and picked up a handful of shops while here that will help offset the cost of the trip :) So the question is... Continue Reading

So do we HAVE to have an EIN for Trendsource?

Is it a requirement or simply encouraged? I used to do their grocery stores years ago until they started requiring the EIN. I thought I had read somewhere on the forum that it's not required. I signed up for a shop for this Thursday. If I... Continue Reading

SSN 2013

-- moved topic -- ... Continue Reading

Validating SSN - CORI

I signed up with CORI a few days ago (Monday, I think) and was accepted as a shopper/auditor, but it says that I cannot complete or sign up for any shops until they've validated my SSN... Does anyone have an idea of how long this usually takes? I'm anxious to... Continue Reading


I am trying to figure my taxes out. Fore example, if I am being reimbursed up to 4.75 for alcohol compliance shop and I buy a bottle of alchohol that is over 4.75 can I claim the full amount. Of course, there was alchohol that was under 4.75.... Continue Reading

Unsure how to express this in an nonoffensive way so please forgive my gracelessness.

This is sort of off topic and I'm not sure where to post this kind of (potentially insensitive) question. So yea...I hope my wording doesn't come across as disrespectful. Apparently, the shop I conducted was in an area where I stood out (which I didn't know before I visited the area). It... Continue Reading

Ball Park Figure for MS Income

I realize this is a tough question but can you give a ballpark idea of reasonable income expectation based on, lets say, 30 - 40 hrs/wk worked in a metropolitan area (Detroit) after two or so months of experience? Thanks... Continue Reading


Does anyone know what taxes are based on. The total of the shop (including the cost of the food) or just the fee paid by the shop to do the shopping??????... Continue Reading

grocery store shops and taxes

I started shopping in 2012 and am now JUST I am sloghing (sp) through my 2012 taxes. I shop several different grocery chains for as many different mscs. They all pay differnetly. #1 msc - grocery store requires a small nonreimbursed purchase and pays with a whooping $60.00 gift... Continue Reading

Social Security Hell (Wish they would consider mystery shoppers!)

This is my month of experiencing government hell firsthand as a citizen of the United States. Bad enough I already have had to endure the Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Rabun County Tag Office but these past three days I have spent a total of 5 Ĺ... Continue Reading

Discussions of Mystery Shopping Taxes

compared to some of y'all, but I've gotten $100 a pop for a couple of senior living centers, apartments and a financial services seminar (which I believe also reimbursed mileage). (Source). May 27, 2023

Intouch Insight wants to send you to Cancun! Complete mystery shops for Intouch Insight and earn entries into the all-expenses paid (including flights and transfers) trip to Cancun! Contest ends May 31. (Source). May 26, 2023

The reimbursement, the required purchase, is not considered taxable, "income. (Source). May 26, 2023

There are no required expenses, so that's all profit! To view the details and apply go to: www. (Source). May 25, 2023

There are no required expenses, so that's all profit! To view the details and apply go to: www. (Source). May 25, 2023

There are no required expenses, so that's all profit! To view the details and apply go to: www. (Source). May 25, 2023

I also like the flexibility of hours and locations. I already have offers from a few schools. Went to Social Security Office to update citizenship info. (Source). May 25, 2023

If you take the standard mileage duction, no. Repair expenses are already factored into that rate. (Source). May 23, 2023

Well, yesterday she broke down, and is now at the mercy of the auto shop. I'm scared of the repair bill. Am I allowed to deduct it from my taxes next year ? (Source). May 23, 2023

Then it asked what watch I wear, expecting it to be a 10k watch. I wear a Fitbit. It also asks about education level and household income. (Source). May 23, 2023