12.   Other Income

Table of Contents

Introduction

You must include on your return all items of income you receive in the form of money, property, and services unless the tax law states that you do not include them. Some items, however, are only partly excluded from income. This chapter discusses many kinds of income and explains whether they are taxable or nontaxable.

  • Income that is taxable must be reported on your tax return and is subject to tax.

  • Income that is nontaxable may have to be shown on your tax return but is not taxable.

This chapter begins with discussions of the following income items.

  • Bartering.

  • Canceled debts.

  • Sales parties at which you are the host or hostess.

  • Life insurance proceeds.

  • Partnership income.

  • S Corporation income.

  • Recoveries (including state income tax refunds).

  • Rents from personal property.

  • Repayments.

  • Royalties.

  • Unemployment benefits.

  • Welfare and other public assistance benefits.

These discussions are followed by brief discussions of other income items.

Useful Items - You may want to see:

Publication

  • 525 Taxable and Nontaxable Income

  • 544 Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets

  • 4681 Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions, and Abandonments

Bartering

Bartering is an exchange of property or services. You must include in your income, at the time received, the fair market value of property or services you receive in bartering. If you exchange services with another person and you both have agreed ahead of time on the value of the services, that value will be accepted as fair market value unless the value can be shown to be otherwise.

Generally, you report this income on Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Business, or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), Net Profit From Business. However, if the barter involves an exchange of something other than services, such as in Example 3 below, you may have to use another form or schedule instead.

Example 1.

You are a self-employed attorney who performs legal services for a client, a small corporation. The corporation gives you shares of its stock as payment for your services. You must include the fair market value of the shares in your income on Schedule C (Form 1040) or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) in the year you receive them.

Example 2.

You are self-employed and a member of a barter club. The club uses “credit units” as a means of exchange. It adds credit units to your account for goods or services you provide to members, which you can use to purchase goods or services offered by other members of the barter club. The club subtracts credit units from your account when you receive goods or services from other members. You must include in your income the value of the credit units that are added to your account, even though you may not actually receive goods or services from other members until a later tax year.

Example 3.

You own a small apartment building. In return for 6 months rent-free use of an apartment, an artist gives you a work of art she created. You must report as rental income on Schedule E (Form 1040), Supplemental Income and Loss, the fair market value of the artwork, and the artist must report as income on Schedule C (Form 1040) or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) the fair rental value of the apartment.

Form 1099-B from barter exchange.   If you exchanged property or services through a barter exchange, Form 1099-B, Proceeds From Broker and Barter Exchange Transactions, or a similar statement from the barter exchange should be sent to you by February 18, 2014. It should show the value of cash, property, services, credits, or scrip you received from exchanges during 2013. The IRS also will receive a copy of Form 1099-B.

Canceled Debts

In most cases, if a debt you owe is canceled or forgiven, other than as a gift or bequest, you must include the canceled amount in your income. You have no income from the canceled debt if it is intended as a gift to you. A debt includes any indebtedness for which you are liable or which attaches to property you hold.

If the debt is a nonbusiness debt, report the canceled amount on Form 1040, line 21. If it is a business debt, report the amount on Schedule C (Form 1040) or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) (or on Schedule F (Form 1040), Profit or Loss From Farming, if the debt is farm debt and you are a farmer).

Form 1099-C.   If a Federal Government agency, financial institution, or credit union cancels or forgives a debt you owe of $600 or more, you will receive a Form 1099-C, Cancellation of Debt. The amount of the canceled debt is shown in box 2.

Interest included in canceled debt.   If any interest is forgiven and included in the amount of canceled debt in box 2, the amount of interest also will be shown in box 3. Whether or not you must include the interest portion of the canceled debt in your income depends on whether the interest would be deductible when you paid it. See Deductible debt under Exceptions, later.

  If the interest would not be deductible (such as interest on a personal loan), include in your income the amount from Form 1099-C, box 2. If the interest would be deductible (such as on a business loan), include in your income the net amount of the canceled debt (the amount shown in box 2 less the interest amount shown in box 3).

Discounted mortgage loan.   If your financial institution offers a discount for the early payment of your mortgage loan, the amount of the discount is canceled debt. You must include the canceled amount in your income.

Mortgage relief upon sale or other disposition.   If you are personally liable for a mortgage (recourse debt), and you are relieved of the mortgage when you dispose of the property, you may realize gain or loss up to the fair market value of the property. To the extent the mortgage discharge exceeds the fair market value of the property, it is income from discharge of indebtedness unless it qualifies for exclusion under Excluded debt , later. Report any income from discharge of indebtedness on nonbusiness debt that does not qualify for exclusion as other income on Form 1040, line 21.

  
You may be able to exclude part of the mortgage relief on your principal residence. See Excluded debt, later.

  If you are not personally liable for a mortgage (nonrecourse debt), and you are relieved of the mortgage when you dispose of the property (such as through foreclosure), that relief is included in the amount you realize. You may have a taxable gain if the amount you realize exceeds your adjusted basis in the property. Report any gain on nonbusiness property as a capital gain.

  See Publication 4681 for more information.

Stockholder debt.   If you are a stockholder in a corporation and the corporation cancels or forgives your debt to it, the canceled debt is a constructive distribution that is generally dividend income to you. For more information, see Publication 542, Corporations.

  If you are a stockholder in a corporation and you cancel a debt owed to you by the corporation, you generally do not realize income. This is because the canceled debt is considered as a contribution to the capital of the corporation equal to the amount of debt principal that you canceled.

Repayment of canceled debt.   If you included a canceled amount in your income and later pay the debt, you may be able to file a claim for refund for the year the amount was included in income. You can file a claim on Form 1040X if the statute of limitations for filing a claim is still open. The statute of limitations generally does not end until 3 years after the due date of your original return.

Exceptions

There are several exceptions to the inclusion of canceled debt in income. These are explained next.

Student loans.   Certain student loans contain a provision that all or part of the debt incurred to attend the qualified educational institution will be canceled if you work for a certain period of time in certain professions for any of a broad class of employers.

  You do not have income if your student loan is canceled after you agreed to this provision and then performed the services required. To qualify, the loan must have been made by:
  1. The Federal Government, a state or local government, or an instrumentality, agency, or subdivision thereof,

  2. A tax-exempt public benefit corporation that has assumed control of a state, county, or municipal hospital, and whose employees are considered public employees under state law, or

  3. An educational institution:

    1. Under an agreement with an entity described in (1) or (2) that provided the funds to the institution to make the loan, or

    2. As part of a program of the institution designed to encourage its students to serve in occupations with unmet needs or in areas with unmet needs and under which the services provided by the students (or former students) are for or under the direction of a governmental unit or a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3).

  A loan to refinance a qualified student loan also will qualify if it was made by an educational institution or a qualified tax-exempt organization under its program designed as described in (3)(b) above.

Education loan repayment assistance.   Education loan repayments made to you by the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC Loan Repayment Program), a state education loan repayment program eligible for funds under the Public Health Service Act, or any other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program that is intended to provide for the increased availability of health services in underserved or health professional shortage areas are not taxable.

  
The provision relating to the “other state loan repayment or loan forgiveness program” was added to this exclusion for amounts received in tax years beginning after December 31, 2008. If you included these amounts in income in 2010, 2011, or 2012, you should file an amended tax return to exclude this income. See Form 1040X and its instructions for details on filing.

Deductible debt.   You do not have income from the cancellation of a debt if your payment of the debt would be deductible. This exception applies only if you use the cash method of accounting. For more information, see chapter 5 of Publication 334, Tax Guide for Small Business.

Price reduced after purchase.   In most cases, if the seller reduces the amount of debt you owe for property you purchased, you do not have income from the reduction. The reduction of the debt is treated as a purchase price adjustment and reduces your basis in the property.

Excluded debt.   Do not include a canceled debt in your gross income in the following situations.
  • The debt is canceled in a bankruptcy case under title 11 of the U.S. Code. See Publication 908, Bankruptcy Tax Guide.

  • The debt is canceled when you are insolvent. However, you cannot exclude any amount of canceled debt that is more than the amount by which you are insolvent. See Publication 908.

  • The debt is qualified farm debt and is canceled by a qualified person. See chapter 3 of Publication 225, Farmer's Tax Guide.

  • The debt is qualified real property business debt. See chapter 5 of Publication 334.

  • The cancellation is intended as a gift.

  • The debt is qualified principal residence indebtedness. See Publication 525 for additional information.

Host or Hostess

If you host a party or event at which sales are made, any gift or gratuity you receive for giving the event is a payment for helping a direct seller make sales. You must report this item as income at its fair market value.

Your out-of-pocket party expenses are subject to the 50% limit for meal and entertainment expenses. These expenses are deductible as miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2%-of-AGI limit on Schedule A (Form 1040), but only up to the amount of income you receive for giving the party.

For more information about the 50% limit for meal and entertainment expenses, see chapter 26.

Life Insurance Proceeds

Life insurance proceeds paid to you because of the death of the insured person are not taxable unless the policy was turned over to you for a price. This is true even if the proceeds were paid under an accident or health insurance policy or an endowment contract. However, interest income received as a result of life insurance proceeds may be taxable.

Proceeds not received in installments.   If death benefits are paid to you in a lump sum or other than at regular intervals, include in your income only the benefits that are more than the amount payable to you at the time of the insured person's death. If the benefit payable at death is not specified, you include in your income the benefit payments that are more than the present value of the payments at the time of death.

Proceeds received in installments.   If you receive life insurance proceeds in installments, you can exclude part of each installment from your income.

  To determine the excluded part, divide the amount held by the insurance company (generally the total lump sum payable at the death of the insured person) by the number of installments to be paid. Include anything over this excluded part in your income as interest.

Surviving spouse.   If your spouse died before October 23, 1986, and insurance proceeds paid to you because of the death of your spouse are received in installments, you can exclude up to $1,000 a year of the interest included in the installments. If you remarry, you can continue to take the exclusion.

Surrender of policy for cash.   If you surrender a life insurance policy for cash, you must include in income any proceeds that are more than the cost of the life insurance policy. In most cases, your cost (or investment in the contract) is the total of premiums that you paid for the life insurance policy, less any refunded premiums, rebates, dividends, or unrepaid loans that were not included in your income.

   You should receive a Form 1099-R showing the total proceeds and the taxable part. Report these amounts on lines 16a and 16b of Form 1040 or lines 12a and 12b of Form 1040A.

More information.   For more information, see Life Insurance Proceeds in Publication 525.

Endowment Contract Proceeds

An endowment contract is a policy under which you are paid a specified amount of money on a certain date unless you die before that date, in which case, the money is paid to your designated beneficiary. Endowment proceeds paid in a lump sum to you at maturity are taxable only if the proceeds are more than the cost of the policy. To determine your cost, subtract any amount that you previously received under the contract and excluded from your income from the total premiums (or other consideration) paid for the contract. Include the part of the lump sum payment that is more than your cost in your income.

Accelerated Death Benefits

Certain amounts paid as accelerated death benefits under a life insurance contract or viatical settlement before the insured's death are excluded from income if the insured is terminally or chronically ill.

Viatical settlement.   This is the sale or assignment of any part of the death benefit under a life insurance contract to a viatical settlement provider. A viatical settlement provider is a person who regularly engages in the business of buying or taking assignment of life insurance contracts on the lives of insured individuals who are terminally or chronically ill and who meets the requirements of section 101(g)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Exclusion for terminal illness.    Accelerated death benefits are fully excludable if the insured is a terminally ill individual. This is a person who has been certified by a physician as having an illness or physical condition that can reasonably be expected to result in death within 24 months from the date of the certification.

Exclusion for chronic illness.    If the insured is a chronically ill individual who is not terminally ill, accelerated death benefits paid on the basis of costs incurred for qualified long-term care services are fully excludable. Accelerated death benefits paid on a per diem or other periodic basis are excludable up to a limit. This limit applies to the total of the accelerated death benefits and any periodic payments received from long-term care insurance contracts. For information on the limit and the definitions of chronically ill individual, qualified long-term care services, and long-term care insurance contracts, see Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts under Sickness and Injury Benefits in Publication 525.

Exception.   The exclusion does not apply to any amount paid to a person (other than the insured) who has an insurable interest in the life of the insured because the insured:
  • Is a director, officer, or employee of the person, or

  • Has a financial interest in the person's business.

Form 8853.   To claim an exclusion for accelerated death benefits made on a per diem or other periodic basis, you must file Form 8853, Archer MSAs and Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts, with your return. You do not have to file Form 8853 to exclude accelerated death benefits paid on the basis of actual expenses incurred.

Public Safety Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

If you are a survivor of a public safety officer who was killed in the line of duty, you may be able to exclude from income certain amounts you receive.

For this purpose, the term public safety officer includes law enforcement officers, firefighters, chaplains, and rescue squad and ambulance crew members. For more information, see Publication 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

Partnership Income

A partnership generally is not a taxable entity. The income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits of a partnership are passed through to the partners based on each partner's distributive share of these items.

Schedule K-1 (Form 1065).    Although a partnership generally pays no tax, it must file an information return on Form 1065, U.S. Return of Partnership Income, and send Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) to each partner. In addition, the partnership will send each partner a copy of the Partner's Instructions for Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) to help each partner report his or her share of the partnership's income, deductions, credits, and tax preference items.

Keep Schedule K-1 (Form 1065) for your records. Do not attach it to your Form 1040, unless you are specifically required to do so.

For more information on partnerships, see Publication 541, Partnerships.

Qualified joint venture.   If you and your spouse each materially participate as the only members of a jointly owned and operated business, and you file a joint return for the tax year, you can make a joint election to be treated as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership. To make this election, you must divide all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit attributable to the business between you and your spouse in accordance with your respective interests in the venture. For further information on how to make the election and which schedule(s) to file, see the instructions for your individual tax return.

S Corporation Income

In most cases, an S corporation does not pay tax on its income. Instead, the income, losses, deductions, and credits of the corporation are passed through to the shareholders based on each shareholder's pro rata share.

Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S).   An S corporation must file a return on Form 1120S, U.S. Income Tax Return for an S Corporation, and send Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) to each shareholder. In addition, the S corporation will send each shareholder a copy of the Shareholder's Instructions for Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) to help each shareholder report his or her share of the S corporation's income, losses, credits, and deductions.

Keep Schedule K-1 (Form 1120S) for your records. Do not attach it to your Form 1040, unless you are specifically required to do so.

For more information on S corporations and their shareholders, see the Instructions for Form 1120S.

Recoveries

A recovery is a return of an amount you deducted or took a credit for in an earlier year. The most common recoveries are refunds, reimbursements, and rebates of deductions itemized on Schedule A (Form 1040). You also may have recoveries of non-itemized deductions (such as payments on previously deducted bad debts) and recoveries of items for which you previously claimed a tax credit.

Tax benefit rule.   You must include a recovery in your income in the year you receive it up to the amount by which the deduction or credit you took for the recovered amount reduced your tax in the earlier year. For this purpose, any increase to an amount carried over to the current year that resulted from the deduction or credit is considered to have reduced your tax in the earlier year. For more information, see Publication 525.

Federal income tax refund.   Refunds of federal income taxes are not included in your income because they are never allowed as a deduction from income.

State tax refund.   If you received a state or local income tax refund (or credit or offset) in 2013, you generally must include it in income if you deducted the tax in an earlier year. The payer should send Form 1099-G, Certain Government Payments, to you by January 31, 2014. The IRS also will receive a copy of the Form 1099-G. If you file Form 1040, use the State and Local Income Tax Refund Worksheet in the 2013 Form 1040 instructions for line 10 to figure the amount (if any) to include in your income. See Publication 525 for when you must use another worksheet.

  If you could choose to deduct for a tax year either:
  • State and local income taxes, or

  • State and local general sales taxes, then

the maximum refund that you may have to include in income is limited to the excess of the tax you chose to deduct for that year over the tax you did not choose to deduct for that year. For examples, see Publication 525.

Mortgage interest refund.    If you received a refund or credit in 2013 of mortgage interest paid in an earlier year, the amount should be shown in box 3 of your Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement. Do not subtract the refund amount from the interest you paid in 2013. You may have to include it in your income under the rules explained in the following discussions.

Interest on recovery.   Interest on any of the amounts you recover must be reported as interest income in the year received. For example, report any interest you received on state or local income tax refunds on Form 1040, line 8a.

Recovery and expense in same year.   If the refund or other recovery and the expense occur in the same year, the recovery reduces the deduction or credit and is not reported as income.

Recovery for 2 or more years.   If you receive a refund or other recovery that is for amounts you paid in 2 or more separate years, you must allocate, on a pro rata basis, the recovered amount between the years in which you paid it. This allocation is necessary to determine the amount of recovery from any earlier years and to determine the amount, if any, of your allowable deduction for this item for the current year. For information on how to compute the allocation, see Recoveries in Publication 525.

Itemized Deduction Recoveries

If you recover any amount that you deducted in an earlier year on Schedule A (Form 1040), you generally must include the full amount of the recovery in your income in the year you receive it.

Where to report.   Enter your state or local income tax refund on Form 1040, line 10, and the total of all other recoveries as other income on Form 1040, line 21. You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.

Standard deduction limit.   You generally are allowed to claim the standard deduction if you do not itemize your deductions. Only your itemized deductions that are more than your standard deduction are subject to the recovery rule (unless you are required to itemize your deductions). If your total deductions on the earlier year return were not more than your income for that year, include in your income this year the lesser of:
  • Your recoveries, or

  • The amount by which your itemized deductions exceeded the standard deduction.

Example.

For 2012, you filed a joint return. Your taxable income was $60,000 and you were not entitled to any tax credits. Your standard deduction was $11,900, and you had itemized deductions of $14,000. In 2013, you received the following recoveries for amounts deducted on your 2012 return:

Medical expenses $200
State and local income tax refund 400
Refund of mortgage interest 325
Total recoveries $925

None of the recoveries were more than the deductions taken for 2012. The difference between the state and local income tax you deducted and your local general sales tax was more than $400.

Your total recoveries are less than the amount by which your itemized deductions exceeded the standard deduction ($14,000 − 11,900 = $2,100), so you must include your total recoveries in your income for 2013. Report the state and local income tax refund of $400 on Form 1040, line 10, and the balance of your recoveries, $525, on Form 1040, line 21.

Standard deduction for earlier years.   To determine if amounts recovered in 2013 must be included in your income, you must know the standard deduction for your filing status for the year the deduction was claimed. Look in the instructions for your tax return from prior years to locate the standard deduction for the filing status for that prior year.

Example.

You filed a joint return on Form 1040 for 2012 with taxable income of $45,000. Your itemized deductions were $12,350. The standard deduction that you could have claimed was $11,900. In 2013, you recovered $2,100 of your 2012 itemized deductions. None of the recoveries were more than the actual deductions for 2012. Include $450 of the recoveries in your 2013 income. This is the smaller of your recoveries ($2,100) or the amount by which your itemized deductions were more than the standard deduction ($12,350 − $11,900 = $450).

Recovery limited to deduction.   You do not include in your income any amount of your recovery that is more than the amount you deducted in the earlier year. The amount you include in your income is limited to the smaller of:
  • The amount deducted on Schedule A (Form 1040), or

  • The amount recovered.

Example.

During 2012 you paid $1,700 for medical expenses. From this amount you subtracted $1,500, which was 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Your actual medical expense deduction was $200. In 2013, you received a $500 reimbursement from your medical insurance for your 2012 expenses. The only amount of the $500 reimbursement that must be included in your income for 2013 is $200—the amount actually deducted.

Other recoveries.   See Recoveries in Publication 525 if:
  • You have recoveries of items other than itemized deductions, or

  • You received a recovery for an item for which you claimed a tax credit (other than investment credit or foreign tax credit) in a prior year.

Rents from Personal Property

If you rent out personal property, such as equipment or vehicles, how you report your income and expenses is in most cases determined by:

  • Whether or not the rental activity is a business, and

  • Whether or not the rental activity is conducted for profit.

In most cases, if your primary purpose is income or profit and you are involved in the rental activity with continuity and regularity, your rental activity is a business. See Publication 535, Business Expenses, for details on deducting expenses for both business and not-for-profit activities.

Reporting business income and expenses.    If you are in the business of renting personal property, report your income and expenses on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040). The form instructions have information on how to complete them.

Reporting nonbusiness income.   If you are not in the business of renting personal property, report your rental income on Form 1040, line 21. List the type and amount of the income on the dotted line next to line 21.

Reporting nonbusiness expenses.   If you rent personal property for profit, include your rental expenses in the total amount you enter on Form 1040, line 36. Also enter the amount and “PPR” on the dotted line next to line 36.

  If you do not rent personal property for profit, your deductions are limited and you cannot report a loss to offset other income. See Activity not for profit , under Other Income, later.

Repayments

If you had to repay an amount that you included in your income in an earlier year, you may be able to deduct the amount repaid from your income for the year in which you repaid it. Or, if the amount you repaid is more than $3,000, you may be able to take a credit against your tax for the year in which you repaid it. Generally, you can claim a deduction or credit only if the repayment qualifies as an expense or loss incurred in your trade or business or in a for-profit transaction.

Type of deduction.   The type of deduction you are allowed in the year of repayment depends on the type of income you included in the earlier year. You generally deduct the repayment on the same form or schedule on which you previously reported it as income. For example, if you reported it as self-employment income, deduct it as a business expense on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) or Schedule F (Form 1040). If you reported it as a capital gain, deduct it as a capital loss as explained in the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040). If you reported it as wages, unemployment compensation, or other nonbusiness income, deduct it as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040).

Repaid social security benefits.   If you repaid social security benefits or equivalent railroad retirement benefits, see Repayment of benefits in chapter 11.

Repayment of $3,000 or less.   If the amount you repaid was $3,000 or less, deduct it from your income in the year you repaid it. If you must deduct it as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, enter it on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 23.

Repayment over $3,000.   If the amount you repaid was more than $3,000, you can deduct the repayment (as explained under Type of deduction , earlier). However, you can choose instead to take a tax credit for the year of repayment if you included the income under a claim of right. This means that at the time you included the income, it appeared that you had an unrestricted right to it. If you qualify for this choice, figure your tax under both methods and compare the results. Use the method (deduction or credit) that results in less tax.

When determining whether the amount you repaid was more or less than $3,000, consider the total amount being repaid on the return. Each instance of repayment is not considered separately.

Method 1.   Figure your tax for 2013 claiming a deduction for the repaid amount. If you must deduct it as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, enter it on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 28.

Method 2.   Figure your tax for 2013 claiming a credit for the repaid amount. Follow these steps.
  1. Figure your tax for 2013 without deducting the repaid amount.

  2. Refigure your tax from the earlier year without including in income the amount you repaid in 2013.

  3. Subtract the tax in (2) from the tax shown on your return for the earlier year. This is the credit.

  4. Subtract the answer in (3) from the tax for 2013 figured without the deduction (Step 1).

  If method 1 results in less tax, deduct the amount repaid. If method 2 results in less tax, claim the credit figured in (3) above on Form 1040, line 71, by adding the amount of the credit to any other credits on this line, and entering “I.R.C. 1341” in the column to the right of line 71.

  An example of this computation can be found in Publication 525.

Repaid wages subject to social security and Medicare taxes.   If you had to repay an amount that you included in your wages or compensation in an earlier year on which social security, Medicare, or tier 1 RRTA taxes were paid, ask your employer to refund the excess amount to you. If the employer refuses to refund the taxes, ask for a statement indicating the amount of the overcollection to support your claim. File a claim for refund using Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.

Repaid wages subject to Additional Medicare Tax.   Employers cannot make an adjustment or file a claim for refund for Additional Medicare Tax withholding when there is a repayment of wages received by an employee in a prior year because the employee determines liability for Additional Medicare Tax on the employee's income tax return for the prior year. If you had to repay an amount that you included in your wages or compensation in an earlier year, and on which Additional Medicare Tax was paid, you may be able to recover the Additional Medicare Tax paid on the amount. To recover Additional Medicare Tax on the repaid wages or compensation, you must file Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, for the prior year in which the wages or compensation were originally received. See the Instructions for Form 1040X.

Royalties

Royalties from copyrights, patents, and oil, gas, and mineral properties are taxable as ordinary income.

In most cases you report royalties in Part I of Schedule E (Form 1040). However, if you hold an operating oil, gas, or mineral interest or are in business as a self-employed writer, inventor, artist, etc., report your income and expenses on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040).

Copyrights and patents.   Royalties from copyrights on literary, musical, or artistic works, and similar property, or from patents on inventions, are amounts paid to you for the right to use your work over a specified period of time. Royalties generally are based on the number of units sold, such as the number of books, tickets to a performance, or machines sold.

Oil, gas, and minerals.   Royalty income from oil, gas, and mineral properties is the amount you receive when natural resources are extracted from your property. The royalties are based on units, such as barrels, tons, etc., and are paid to you by a person or company who leases the property from you.

Depletion.   If you are the owner of an economic interest in mineral deposits or oil and gas wells, you can recover your investment through the depletion allowance. For information on this subject, see chapter 9 of Publication 535.

Coal and iron ore.   Under certain circumstances, you can treat amounts you receive from the disposal of coal and iron ore as payments from the sale of a capital asset, rather than as royalty income. For information about gain or loss from the sale of coal and iron ore, see Publication 544.

Sale of property interest.   If you sell your complete interest in oil, gas, or mineral rights, the amount you receive is considered payment for the sale of property used in a trade or business under section 1231, not royalty income. Under certain circumstances, the sale is subject to capital gain or loss treatment as explained in the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040). For more information on selling section 1231 property, see chapter 3 of Publication 544.

  If you retain a royalty, an overriding royalty, or a net profit interest in a mineral property for the life of the property, you have made a lease or a sublease, and any cash you receive for the assignment of other interests in the property is ordinary income subject to a depletion allowance.

Part of future production sold.   If you own mineral property but sell part of the future production, in most cases you treat the money you receive from the buyer at the time of the sale as a loan from the buyer. Do not include it in your income or take depletion based on it.

  When production begins, you include all the proceeds in your income, deduct all the production expenses, and deduct depletion from that amount to arrive at your taxable income from the property.

Unemployment Benefits

The tax treatment of unemployment benefits you receive depends on the type of program paying the benefits.

Unemployment compensation.   You must include in income all unemployment compensation you receive. You should receive a Form 1099-G showing in box 1 the total unemployment compensation paid to you. In most cases, you enter unemployment compensation on line 19 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ.

Types of unemployment compensation.   Unemployment compensation generally includes any amount received under an unemployment compensation law of the United States or of a state. It includes the following benefits.
  • Benefits paid by a state or the District of Columbia from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund.

  • State unemployment insurance benefits.

  • Railroad unemployment compensation benefits.

  • Disability payments from a government program paid as a substitute for unemployment compensation. (Amounts received as workers' compensation for injuries or illness are not unemployment compensation. See chapter 5 for more information.)

  • Trade readjustment allowances under the Trade Act of 1974.

  • Unemployment assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

  • Unemployment assistance under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1974 Program.

Governmental program.   If you contribute to a governmental unemployment compensation program and your contributions are not deductible, amounts you receive under the program are not included as unemployment compensation until you recover your contributions. If you deducted all of your contributions to the program, the entire amount you receive under the program is included in your income.

Repayment of unemployment compensation.   If you repaid in 2013 unemployment compensation you received in 2013, subtract the amount you repaid from the total amount you received and enter the difference on line 19 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ. On the dotted line next to your entry enter “Repaid” and the amount you repaid. If you repaid unemployment compensation in 2013 that you included in income in an earlier year, you can deduct the amount repaid on Schedule A (Form 1040), line 23, if you itemize deductions. If the amount is more than $3,000, see Repayments , earlier.

Tax withholding.   You can choose to have federal income tax withheld from your unemployment compensation. To make this choice, complete Form W-4V, Voluntary Withholding Request, and give it to the paying office. Tax will be withheld at 10% of your payment.

  
If you do not choose to have tax withheld from your unemployment compensation, you may be liable for estimated tax. If you do not pay enough tax, either through withholding or estimated tax, or a combination of both, you may have to pay a penalty. For more information on estimated tax, see chapter 4.

Supplemental unemployment benefits.   Benefits received from an employer-financed fund (to which the employees did not contribute) are not unemployment compensation. They are taxable as wages and are subject to withholding for income tax. They may be subject to social security and Medicare taxes. For more information, see Supplemental Unemployment Benefits in section 5 of Publication 15-A, Employer's Supplemental Tax Guide. Report these payments on line 7 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A or on line 1 of Form 1040EZ.

Repayment of benefits.   You may have to repay some of your supplemental unemployment benefits to qualify for trade readjustment allowances under the Trade Act of 1974. If you repay supplemental unemployment benefits in the same year you receive them, reduce the total benefits by the amount you repay. If you repay the benefits in a later year, you must include the full amount of the benefits received in your income for the year you received them.

  Deduct the repayment in the later year as an adjustment to gross income on Form 1040. (You cannot use Form 1040A or Form 1040EZ.) Include the repayment on Form 1040, line 36, and enter “Sub-Pay TRA” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 36. If the amount you repay in a later year is more than $3,000, you may be able to take a credit against your tax for the later year instead of deducting the amount repaid. For more information on this, see Repayments , earlier.

Private unemployment fund.   Unemployment benefit payments from a private (nonunion) fund to which you voluntarily contribute are taxable only if the amounts you receive are more than your total payments into the fund. Report the taxable amount on Form 1040, line 21.

Payments by a union.   Benefits paid to you as an unemployed member of a union from regular union dues are included in your income on Form 1040, line 21. However, if you contribute to a special union fund and your payments to the fund are not deductible, the unemployment benefits you receive from the fund are includible in your income only to the extent they are more than your contributions.

Guaranteed annual wage.   Payments you receive from your employer during periods of unemployment, under a union agreement that guarantees you full pay during the year, are taxable as wages. Include them on line 7 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A or on line 1 of Form 1040EZ.

State employees.   Payments similar to a state's unemployment compensation may be made by the state to its employees who are not covered by the state's unemployment compensation law. Although the payments are fully taxable, do not report them as unemployment compensation. Report these payments on Form 1040, line 21.

Welfare and Other Public Assistance Benefits

Do not include in your income governmental benefit payments from a public welfare fund based upon need, such as payments to blind individuals under a state public assistance law. Payments from a state fund for the victims of crime should not be included in the victims' incomes if they are in the nature of welfare payments. Do not deduct medical expenses that are reimbursed by such a fund. You must include in your income any welfare payments that are compensation for services or that are obtained fraudulently.

Reemployment Trade Adjustment Assistance (RTAA) payments.   RTAA payments received from a state must be included in your income. The state must send you Form 1099-G to advise you of the amount you should include in income. The amount should be reported on Form 1040, line 21.

Persons with disabilities.   If you have a disability, you must include in income compensation you receive for services you perform unless the compensation is otherwise excluded. However, you do not include in income the value of goods, services, and cash that you receive, not in return for your services, but for your training and rehabilitation because you have a disability. Excludable amounts include payments for transportation and attendant care, such as interpreter services for the deaf, reader services for the blind, and services to help individuals with an intellectual disability do their work.

Disaster relief grants.    Do not include post-disaster grants received under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in your income if the grant payments are made to help you meet necessary expenses or serious needs for medical, dental, housing, personal property, transportation, child care, or funeral expenses. Do not deduct casualty losses or medical expenses that are specifically reimbursed by these disaster relief grants. If you have deducted a casualty loss for the loss of your personal residence and you later receive a disaster relief grant for the loss of the same residence, you may have to include part or all of the grant in your taxable income. See Recoveries , earlier. Unemployment assistance payments under the Act are taxable unemployment compensation. See Unemployment compensation under Unemployment Benefits, earlier.

Disaster relief payments.   You can exclude from income any amount you receive that is a qualified disaster relief payment. A qualified disaster relief payment is an amount paid to you:
  1. To reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses that result from a qualified disaster;

  2. To reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of your home or repair or replacement of its contents to the extent it is due to a qualified disaster;

  3. By a person engaged in the furnishing or sale of transportation as a common carrier because of the death or personal physical injuries incurred as a result of a qualified disaster; or

  4. By a federal, state, or local government, or agency, or instrumentality in connection with a qualified disaster in order to promote the general welfare.

You can exclude this amount only to the extent any expense it pays for is not paid for by insurance or otherwise. The exclusion does not apply if you were a participant or conspirator in a terrorist action or a representative of one.

  A qualified disaster is:
  • A disaster which results from a terrorist or military action;

  • A federally declared disaster; or

  • A disaster which results from an accident involving a common carrier, or from any other event, which is determined to be catastrophic by the Secretary of the Treasury or his or her delegate.

  For amounts paid under item (4), a disaster is qualified if it is determined by an applicable federal, state, or local authority to warrant assistance from the federal, state, or local government, agency, or instrumentality.

Disaster mitigation payments.   You also can exclude from income any amount you receive that is a qualified disaster mitigation payment. Qualified disaster mitigation payments are also most commonly paid to you in the period immediately following damage to property as a result of a natural disaster. However, disaster mitigation payments are used to mitigate (reduce the severity of) potential damage from future natural disasters. They are paid to you through state and local governments based on the provisions of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act or the National Flood Insurance Act.

  You cannot increase the basis or adjusted basis of your property for improvements made with nontaxable disaster mitigation payments.

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).   If you benefit from Pay-for-Performance Success Payments under HAMP, the payments are not taxable.

Mortgage assistance payments under section 235 of the National Housing Act.   Payments made under section 235 of the National Housing Act for mortgage assistance are not included in the homeowner's income. Interest paid for the homeowner under the mortgage assistance program cannot be deducted.

Medicare.   Medicare benefits received under title XVIII of the Social Security Act are not includible in the gross income of the individuals for whom they are paid. This includes basic (part A (Hospital Insurance Benefits for the Aged)) and supplementary (part B (Supplementary Medical Insurance Benefits for the Aged)).

Old-age, survivors, and disability insurance benefits (OASDI).   Generally, OASDI payments under section 202 of title II of the Social Security Act are not includible in the gross income of the individuals to whom they are paid. This applies to old-age insurance benefits, and insurance benefits for wives, husbands, children, widows, widowers, mothers and fathers, and parents, as well as the lump-sum death payment.

Nutrition Program for the Elderly.    Food benefits you receive under the Nutrition Program for the Elderly are not taxable. If you prepare and serve free meals for the program, include in your income as wages the cash pay you receive, even if you are also eligible for food benefits.

Payments to reduce cost of winter energy.   Payments made by a state to qualified people to reduce their cost of winter energy use are not taxable.

Other Income

The following brief discussions are arranged in alphabetical order. Other income items briefly discussed below are referenced to publications which provide more topical information.

Activity not for profit.   You must include on your return income from an activity from which you do not expect to make a profit. An example of this type of activity is a hobby or a farm you operate mostly for recreation and pleasure. Enter this income on Form 1040, line 21. Deductions for expenses related to the activity are limited. They cannot total more than the income you report and can be taken only if you itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). See Not-for-Profit Activities in chapter 1 of Publication 535 for information on whether an activity is considered carried on for a profit.

Alaska Permanent Fund dividend.   If you received a payment from Alaska's mineral income fund (Alaska Permanent Fund dividend), report it as income on line 21 of Form 1040, line 13 of Form 1040A, or line 3 of Form 1040EZ. The state of Alaska sends each recipient a document that shows the amount of the payment with the check. The amount also is reported to IRS.

Alimony.   Include in your income on Form 1040, line 11, any alimony payments you receive. Amounts you receive for child support are not income to you. Alimony and child support payments are discussed in chapter 18.

Bribes.   If you receive a bribe, include it in your income.

Campaign contributions.   These contributions are not income to a candidate unless they are diverted to his or her personal use. To be exempt from tax, the contributions must be spent for campaign purposes or kept in a fund for use in future campaigns. However, interest earned on bank deposits, dividends received on contributed securities, and net gains realized on sales of contributed securities are taxable and must be reported on Form 1120-POL, U.S. Income Tax Return for Certain Political Organizations. Excess campaign funds transferred to an office account must be included in the officeholder's income on Form 1040, line 21, in the year transferred.

Car pools.   Do not include in your income amounts you receive from the passengers for driving a car in a car pool to and from work. These amounts are considered reimbursement for your expenses. However, this rule does not apply if you have developed car pool arrangements into a profit-making business of transporting workers for hire.

Cash rebates.   A cash rebate you receive from a dealer or manufacturer of an item you buy is not income, but you must reduce your basis by the amount of the rebate.

Example.

You buy a new car for $24,000 cash and receive a $2,000 rebate check from the manufacturer. The $2,000 is not income to you. Your basis in the car is $22,000. This is the basis on which you figure gain or loss if you sell the car and depreciation if you use it for business.

Casualty insurance and other reimbursements.   You generally should not report these reimbursements on your return unless you are figuring gain or loss from the casualty or theft. See chapter 25 for more information.

Child support payments.   You should not report these payments on your return. See chapter 18 for more information.

Court awards and damages.   To determine if settlement amounts you receive by compromise or judgment must be included in your income, you must consider the item that the settlement replaces. The character of the income as ordinary income or capital gain depends on the nature of the underlying claim. Include the following as ordinary income.
  1. Interest on any award.

  2. Compensation for lost wages or lost profits in most cases.

  3. Punitive damages, in most cases. It does not matter if they relate to a physical injury or physical sickness.

  4. Amounts received in settlement of pension rights (if you did not contribute to the plan).

  5. Damages for:

    1. Patent or copyright infringement,

    2. Breach of contract, or

    3. Interference with business operations.

  6. Back pay and damages for emotional distress received to satisfy a claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

  7. Attorney fees and costs (including contingent fees) where the underlying recovery is included in gross income.

  Do not include in your income compensatory damages for personal physical injury or physical sickness (whether received in a lump sum or installments).

Emotional distress.   Emotional distress itself is not a physical injury or physical sickness, but damages you receive for emotional distress due to a physical injury or sickness are treated as received for the physical injury or sickness. Do not include them in your income.

  If the emotional distress is due to a personal injury that is not due to a physical injury or sickness (for example, employment discrimination or injury to reputation), you must include the damages in your income, except for any damages you receive for medical care due to that emotional distress. Emotional distress includes physical symptoms that result from emotional distress, such as headaches, insomnia, and stomach disorders.

Deduction for costs involved in unlawful discrimination suits.   You may be able to deduct attorney fees and court costs paid to recover a judgment or settlement for a claim of unlawful discrimination under various provisions of federal, state, and local law listed in Internal Revenue Code section 62(e), a claim against the United States government, or a claim under section 1862(b)(3)(A) of the Social Security Act. For more information, see Publication 525.

Credit card insurance.   In most cases, if you receive benefits under a credit card disability or unemployment insurance plan, the benefits are taxable to you. These plans make the minimum monthly payment on your credit card account if you cannot make the payment due to injury, illness, disability, or unemployment. Report on Form 1040, line 21, the amount of benefits you received during the year that is more than the amount of the premiums you paid during the year.

Down payment assistance.   If you purchase a home and receive assistance from a nonprofit corporation to make the down payment, that assistance is not included in your income. If the corporation qualifies as a tax-exempt charitable organization, the assistance is treated as a gift and is included in your basis of the house. If the corporation does not qualify, the assistance is treated as a rebate or reduction of the purchase price and is not included in your basis.

Employment agency fees.   If you get a job through an employment agency, and the fee is paid by your employer, the fee is not includible in your income if you are not liable for it. However, if you pay it and your employer reimburses you for it, it is includible in your income.

Energy conservation subsidies.   You can exclude from gross income any subsidy provided, either directly or indirectly, by public utilities for the purchase or installation of an energy conservation measure for a dwelling unit.

Energy conservation measure.   This includes installations or modifications that are primarily designed to reduce consumption of electricity or natural gas, or improve the management of energy demand.

Dwelling unit.   This includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, or similar property. If a building or structure contains both dwelling and other units, any subsidy must be properly allocated.

Estate and trust income.    An estate or trust, unlike a partnership, may have to pay federal income tax. If you are a beneficiary of an estate or trust, you may be taxed on your share of its income distributed or required to be distributed to you. However, there is never a double tax. Estates and trusts file their returns on Form 1041, U.S. Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts, and your share of the income is reported to you on Schedule K-1 (Form 1041).

Current income required to be distributed.   If you are the beneficiary of an estate or trust that must distribute all of its current income, you must report your share of the distributable net income, whether or not you actually received it.

Current income not required to be distributed.    If you are the beneficiary of an estate or trust and the fiduciary has the choice of whether to distribute all or part of the current income, you must report:
  • All income that is required to be distributed to you, whether or not it is actually distributed, plus

  • All other amounts actually paid or credited to you,

up to the amount of your share of distributable net income.

How to report.   Treat each item of income the same way that the estate or trust would treat it. For example, if a trust's dividend income is distributed to you, you report the distribution as dividend income on your return. The same rule applies to distributions of tax-exempt interest and capital gains.

  The fiduciary of the estate or trust must tell you the type of items making up your share of the estate or trust income and any credits you are allowed on your individual income tax return.

Losses.   Losses of estates and trusts generally are not deductible by the beneficiaries.

Grantor trust.   Income earned by a grantor trust is taxable to the grantor, not the beneficiary, if the grantor keeps certain control over the trust. (The grantor is the one who transferred property to the trust.) This rule applies if the property (or income from the property) put into the trust will or may revert (be returned) to the grantor or the grantor's spouse.

  Generally, a trust is a grantor trust if the grantor has a reversionary interest valued (at the date of transfer) at more than 5% of the value of the transferred property.

Expenses paid by another.   If your personal expenses are paid for by another person, such as a corporation, the payment may be taxable to you depending upon your relationship with that person and the nature of the payment. But if the payment makes up for a loss caused by that person, and only restores you to the position you were in before the loss, the payment is not includible in your income.

Fees for services.   Include all fees for your services in your income. Examples of these fees are amounts you receive for services you perform as:
  • A corporate director,

  • An executor, administrator, or personal representative of an estate,

  • A manager of a trade or business you operated before declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy,

  • A notary public, or

  • An election precinct official.

Nonemployee compensation.   If you are not an employee and the fees for your services from the same payer total $600 or more for the year, you may receive a Form 1099-MISC. You may need to report your fees as self-employment income. See Self-Employed Persons , in chapter 1, for a discussion of when you are considered self-employed.

Corporate director.   Corporate director fees are self-employment income. Report these payments on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040).

Personal representatives.   All personal representatives must include in their gross income fees paid to them from an estate. If you are not in the trade or business of being an executor (for instance, you are the executor of a friend's or relative's estate), report these fees on Form 1040, line 21. If you are in the trade or business of being an executor, report these fees as self-employment income on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040). The fee is not includible in income if it is waived.

Manager of trade or business for bankruptcy estate.   Include in your income all payments received from your bankruptcy estate for managing or operating a trade or business that you operated before you filed for bankruptcy. Report this income on Form 1040, line 21.

Notary public.    Report payments for these services on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040). These payments are not subject to self-employment tax. See the separate instructions for Schedule SE (Form 1040) for details.

Election precinct official.    You should receive a Form W-2 showing payments for services performed as an election official or election worker. Report these payments on line 7 of Form 1040 or Form 1040A or on line 1 of Form 1040EZ.

Foster care providers.   Payments you receive from a state, political subdivision, or a qualified foster care placement agency for providing care to qualified foster individuals in your home generally are not included in your income. However, you must include in your income payments received for the care of more than 5 individuals age 19 or older and certain difficulty-of-care payments.

  A qualified foster individual is a person who:
  1. Is living in a foster family home, and

  2. Was placed there by:

    1. An agency of a state or one of its political subdivisions, or

    2. A qualified foster care placement agency.

Difficulty-of-care payments.   These are additional payments that are designated by the payer as compensation for providing the additional care that is required for physically, mentally, or emotionally handicapped qualified foster individuals. A state must determine that the additional compensation is needed, and the care for which the payments are made must be provided in your home.

  You must include in your income difficulty-of-care payments received for more than:
  • 10 qualified foster individuals under age 19, or

  • 5 qualified foster individuals age 19 or older.

Maintaining space in home.   If you are paid to maintain space in your home for emergency foster care, you must include the payment in your income.

Reporting taxable payments.    If you receive payments that you must include in your income, you are in business as a foster care provider and you are self-employed. Report the payments on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040). See Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home, to help you determine the amount you can deduct for the use of your home.

Found property.   If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is your undisputed possession.

Free tour.   If you received a free tour from a travel agency for organizing a group of tourists, you must include its value in your income. Report the fair market value of the tour on Form 1040, line 21, if you are not in the trade or business of organizing tours. You cannot deduct your expenses in serving as the voluntary leader of the group at the group's request. If you organize tours as a trade or business, report the tour's value on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040).

Gambling winnings.   You must include your gambling winnings in income on Form 1040, line 21. If you itemize your deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), you can deduct gambling losses you had during the year, but only up to the amount of your winnings.

Lotteries and raffles.   Winnings from lotteries and raffles are gambling winnings. In addition to cash winnings, you must include in your income the fair market value of bonds, cars, houses, and other noncash prizes.

  
If you win a state lottery prize payable in installments, see Publication 525 for more information.

Form W-2G.   You may have received a Form W-2G, Certain Gambling Winnings, showing the amount of your gambling winnings and any tax taken out of them. Include the amount from box 1 on Form 1040, line 21. Include the amount shown in box 4 on Form 1040, line 62, as federal income tax withheld.

Reporting winnings and recordkeeping.   For more information on reporting gambling winnings and recordkeeping, see Gambling Losses Up to the Amount of Gambling Winnings in chapter 28.

Gifts and inheritances.    In most cases, property you receive as a gift, bequest, or inheritance is not included in your income. However, if property you receive this way later produces income such as interest, dividends, or rents, that income is taxable to you. If property is given to a trust and the income from it is paid, credited, or distributed to you, that income is also taxable to you. If the gift, bequest, or inheritance is the income from the property, that income is taxable to you.

Inherited pension or IRA.   If you inherited a pension or an individual retirement arrangement (IRA), you may have to include part of the inherited amount in your income. See chapter 10 if you inherited a pension. See chapter 17 if you inherited an IRA.

Hobby losses.   Losses from a hobby are not deductible from other income. A hobby is an activity from which you do not expect to make a profit. See Activity not for profit , earlier.

  
If you collect stamps, coins, or other items as a hobby for recreation and pleasure, and you sell any of the items, your gain is taxable as a capital gain. (See chapter 16.) However, if you sell items from your collection at a loss, you cannot deduct the loss.

Illegal activities.   Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

Indian fishing rights.   If you are a member of a qualified Indian tribe that has fishing rights secured by treaty, executive order, or an Act of Congress as of March 17, 1988, do not include in your income amounts you receive from activities related to those fishing rights. The income is not subject to income tax, self-employment tax, or employment taxes.

Interest on frozen deposits.   In general, you exclude from your income the amount of interest earned on a frozen deposit. See Interest income on frozen deposits in chapter 7.

Interest on qualified savings bonds.   You may be able to exclude from income the interest from qualified U.S. savings bonds you redeem if you pay qualified higher educational expenses in the same year. For more information on this exclusion, see Education Savings Bond Program under U.S. Savings Bonds in chapter 7.

Job interview expenses.   If a prospective employer asks you to appear for an interview and either pays you an allowance or reimburses you for your transportation and other travel expenses, the amount you receive is generally not taxable. You include in income only the amount you receive that is more than your actual expenses.

Jury duty.    Jury duty pay you receive must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21. If you must give the pay to your employer because your employer continues to pay your salary while you serve on the jury, you can deduct the amount turned over to your employer as an adjustment to your income. Enter the amount you repay your employer on Form 1040, line 36. Enter “Jury Pay” and the amount on the dotted line next to line 36.

Kickbacks.    You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), if from your self-employment activity.

Example.

You sell cars and help arrange car insurance for buyers. Insurance brokers pay back part of their commissions to you for referring customers to them. You must include the kickbacks in your income.

Medical savings accounts (MSAs).    In most cases, you do not include in income amounts you withdraw from your Archer MSA or Medicare Advantage MSA if you use the money to pay for qualified medical expenses. Generally, qualified medical expenses are those you can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions. For more information about qualified medical expenses, see chapter 21. For more information about Archer MSAs or Medicare Advantage MSAs, see Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.

Prizes and awards.   If you win a prize in a lucky number drawing, television or radio quiz program, beauty contest, or other event, you must include it in your income. For example, if you win a $50 prize in a photography contest, you must report this income on Form 1040, line 21. If you refuse to accept a prize, do not include its value in your income.

  Prizes and awards in goods or services must be included in your income at their fair market value.

Employee awards or bonuses.   Cash awards or bonuses given to you by your employer for good work or suggestions generally must be included in your income as wages. However, certain noncash employee achievement awards can be excluded from income. See Bonuses and awards in chapter 5.

Pulitzer, Nobel, and similar prizes.   If you were awarded a prize in recognition of accomplishments in religious, charitable, scientific, artistic, educational, literary, or civic fields, you generally must include the value of the prize in your income. However, you do not include this prize in your income if you meet all of the following requirements.
  • You were selected without any action on your part to enter the contest or proceeding.

  • You are not required to perform substantial future services as a condition to receiving the prize or award.

  • The prize or award is transferred by the payer directly to a governmental unit or tax-exempt charitable organization as designated by you.

See Publication 525 for more information about the conditions that apply to the transfer.

Qualified tuition programs (QTPs).   A qualified tuition program (also known as a 529 program) is a program set up to allow you to either prepay or contribute to an account established for paying a student's qualified higher education expenses at an eligible educational institution. A program can be established and maintained by a state, an agency or instrumentality of a state, or an eligible educational institution.

  The part of a distribution representing the amount paid or contributed to a QTP is not included in income. This is a return of the investment in the program.

  In most cases, the beneficiary does not include in income any earnings distributed from a QTP if the total distribution is less than or equal to adjusted qualified higher education expenses. See Publication 970 for more information.

Railroad retirement annuities.   The following types of payments are treated as pension or annuity income and are taxable under the rules explained in Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income.
  • Tier 1 railroad retirement benefits that are more than the social security equivalent benefit.

  • Tier 2 benefits.

  • Vested dual benefits.

Rewards.   If you receive a reward for providing information, include it in your income.

Sale of home.   You may be able to exclude from income all or part of any gain from the sale or exchange of your main home. See chapter 15.

Sale of personal items.    If you sold an item you owned for personal use, such as a car, refrigerator, furniture, stereo, jewelry, or silverware, your gain is taxable as a capital gain. Report it as explained in the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040). You cannot deduct a loss.

   However, if you sold an item you held for investment, such as gold or silver bullion, coins, or gems, any gain is taxable as a capital gain and any loss is deductible as a capital loss.

Example.

You sold a painting on an online auction website for $100. You bought the painting for $20 at a garage sale years ago. Report your gain as a capital gain as explained in the Instructions for Schedule D (Form 1040).

Scholarships and fellowships.   A candidate for a degree can exclude amounts received as a qualified scholarship or fellowship. A qualified scholarship or fellowship is any amount you receive that is for:
  • Tuition and fees to enroll at or attend an educational institution, or

  • Fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses at the educational institution.

Amounts used for room and board do not qualify for the exclusion. See Publication 970 for more information on qualified scholarships and fellowship grants.

Payment for services.    In most cases, you must include in income the part of any scholarship or fellowship that represents payment for past, present, or future teaching, research, or other services. This applies even if all candidates for a degree must perform the services to receive the degree.

  For information about the rules that apply to a tax-free qualified tuition reduction provided to employees and their families by an educational institution, see Publication 970.

VA payments.   Allowances paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs are not included in your income. These allowances are not considered scholarship or fellowship grants.

Prizes.   Scholarship prizes won in a contest are not scholarships or fellowships if you do not have to use the prizes for educational purposes. You must include these amounts in your income on Form 1040, line 21, whether or not you use the amounts for educational purposes.

Stolen property.   If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless in the same year, you return it to its rightful owner.

Transporting school children.   Do not include in your income a school board mileage allowance for taking children to and from school if you are not in the business of taking children to school. You cannot deduct expenses for providing this transportation.

Union benefits and dues.   Amounts deducted from your pay for union dues, assessments, contributions, or other payments to a union cannot be excluded from your income.

  You may be able to deduct some of these payments as a miscellaneous deduction subject to the 2%-of-AGI limit if they are related to your job and if you itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040). For more information, see Union Dues and Expenses in chapter 28.

Strike and lockout benefits.   Benefits paid to you by a union as strike or lockout benefits, including both cash and the fair market value of other property, are usually included in your income as compensation. You can exclude these benefits from your income only when the facts clearly show that the union intended them as gifts to you.

Utility rebates.    If you are a customer of an electric utility company and you participate in the utility's energy conservation program, you may receive on your monthly electric bill either:
  • A reduction in the purchase price of electricity furnished to you (rate reduction), or

  • A nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity.

The amount of the rate reduction or nonrefundable credit is not included in your income.


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