According to the IRS, if you make money, you MUST report it. If you make enough money (regardless how you earn it) you WILL be expected to pay taxes on that money. One of the most unique aspects about the vending business is that by it’s very nature you have THOUSANDS of small cash transactions taking place in multiple locations. There are no “sales records” of any kind. This can lead to VERY sloppy record-keeping by most vending operators.
The sloppy record keeping is almost half the reason I feel you should keep your business legit. If you can remember I said to treat your vending route like a business. Part of this is tracking your income and expenses. If you are dealing purely on a cash basis then how can you ever really know which sites are doing well, which sites are doing poorly, and if your venture is even making money at all.
I know that some of you out there are thinking that you can just see which sites are doing well based on the product levels. Well, please allow me to blow your mind. Did you know that that with the advent of eBay there are literally thousands of duplicate vending keys floating around out there? I have personally seen cases were someone is able to buy a key that fits your machine, and can help themselves to your product and profit.
Look, if you run your business properly there are more than enough legal ways to reduce, if not eliminate, your tax burden. Remember though that all of these benefits only apply if you have a company that makes money. So don’t become so obsessed with taxation that you stop focusing on your primary goal – building a successful vending business. The only way to stay in the zero income tax-bracket is to have zero income.