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Receiving cash for work you do

If you're paid in cash, check you are getting the correct amounts and that your employer is paying super.

Last updated 14 June 2023

What you need to do

Your employer may pay your wages to you in cash (or with a cash cheque), rather than into your bank account. Paying wages in cash is legal and may be more convenient.

Some businesses deliberately use cash transactions (for example, pay their employees 'cash-in-hand') to avoid meeting their tax and employee responsibilities.

If your employer is paying you cash, you:

  • must declare the cash as income when you lodge your tax return
  • should still receive a payslip showing all your earnings and the amount of tax your employer takes out (withholds)
  • should receive an income statement at the end of the income year that shows your full earnings and the amount of tax your employer takes out
  • should check your employer is making super contributions
  • should check your employer is paying (at least) the correct award wages – refer to Fair Work OmbudsmanExternal Link
  • should check your employer is taking tax out of your pay – this helps to make sure you don't end up with a large tax bill
  • should check your employer's workers compensation insurance covers you in case of an accident.

Use our:

Declare your tips

Cash tips are income, regardless of how you receive them. It makes no difference if tips come from your employer or direct from customers.

You may share tips between employees that come from a collection by all workers (like in a tip jar).

If you receive cash tips, you must declare them in your tax return at Allowances, earnings, tips, directors fees etc.