Visitor I

Self-Employment and Disability

For the last 10 years I have been receiving 100% Veteran's Individual Unemployability Disability and haven't been working. Mid 2017 I started a new hobby and took up photography. I've had several people compliment me and now the kids are hounding me to start going professional. I don't go a lot because my health limits me. But if I"m in the right spot at the moment - I whip out the camera.

 

I know with the VA I won't lose my benefits if I earn under the poverty level for a household of one! I don't do it enough to earn even half that much. But what I want to know is about reporting this income for taxes purposes. I worry about an audit. These last 10 years I haven't worked and my VA disability is tax-free. If I start taking photos for people, i.e. weddings, family portraits, etc. - will this trigger something and then I get audited? I don't need to trigger an audit because someone notices for 10 years my income has been under the $20 I've earned in interest on my checking account - and all of a sudden I jump from $17 a year to say $5000 or $6000. I don't even know how I'd be taking payment. Most of the times it'd just be for friends/family so would probably be cash. But I know I have to report it. 

So if someone could answer the question - and offer where to find out how to report self-employment income (or even hobby income) - I have no idea where to even begin to learn about what to report and what to deduct - I'd really appreciate it!!!

 

TIA Janice