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In the question, Refusing income or payment without tax liabilities, the accepted answer states,

Generally speaking, you can not "turn your back" on income you are entitled to receive.

What exactly does that mean?

If I mow the grass or shovel snow for my elderly neighbor and she wants to pay me, I have to accept her money?

Let's say she wanted to pay me $20 for 31 weeks out of the year and I refused to accept. Does she have to issue a 1099 because she thinks I was entitled to more then $600 in a calendar year? Do I have to pay tax on it?

Please explain "income entitled to receive."

  • Your example does not involve a contract, and therefore no income you are entitled to receive. If she somehow did pay you for the work, it would then be income you did receive. – Nij Jan 17 at 2:12

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