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Category : > Income Tax Filing Across The USA
Posted On : Fri Nov 26th,2010




All tips you receive are income and are subject to federal income tax. You must include in gross income all tips you receive directly, charged tips paid to you by your employer, and your share of any tips you receive under a tip-splitting or tip-pooling arrangement.

The value of noncash tips, such as tickets, passes, or other items of value are also income and subject to tax. Reporting your tip income correctly is not difficult. You must do three things.

  1. Keep a daily tip record.

  2. Report tips to your employer.

  3. Report all your tips on your income tax return.


Taxable interest includes interest you receive from bank accounts, loans you make to others, and other sources. The following are some other sources of taxable interest.

Dividends that are actually interest.   Certain distributions commonly called dividends are actually interest. You must report as interest so-called “dividends” on deposits or on share accounts in:
  • Cooperative banks,

  • Credit unions,

  • Domestic building and loan associations,

  • Domestic savings and loan associations,

  • Federal savings and loan associations, and

  • Mutual savings banks.

Money market funds.   Generally, amounts you receive from money market funds should be reported as dividends, not as interest.
Certificates of deposit and other deferred interest accounts.  If you open any of these accounts, interest may be paid at fixed intervals of 1 year or less during the term of the account. You generally must include this interest in your income when you actually receive it or are entitled to receive it without paying a substantial penalty. The same is true for accounts that mature in 1 year or less and pay interest in a single payment at maturity. If interest is deferred for more than 1 year.
Interest subject to penalty for early withdrawal.   If you withdraw funds from a deferred interest account before maturity, you may have to pay a penalty. You must report the total amount of interest paid or credited to your account during the year, without subtracting the penalty.
Money borrowed to invest in certificate of deposit.   The interest you pay on money borrowed from a bank or savings institution to meet the minimum deposit required for a certificate of deposit from the institution and the interest you earn on the certificate are two separate items. You must report the total interest you earn on the certificate in your income. If you itemize deductions, you can deduct the interest you pay as investment interest, up to the amount of your net investment income.


When to report your interest income depends on whether you use the cash method or an accrual method to report income.

Cash method.   Most individual taxpayers use the cash method. If you use this method, you generally report your interest income in the year in which you actually or constructively receive it. However, there are special rules for reporting the discount on certain debt instruments.

Constructive receipt. You constructively receive income when it is credited to your account or made available to you. You do not need to have physical possession of it. For example, you are considered to receive interest, dividends, or other earnings on any deposit or account in a bank, savings and loan, or similar financial institution, or interest on life insurance policy dividends left to accumulate, when they are credited to your account and subject to your withdrawal. This is true even if they are not yet entered in your passbook.                         You constructively receive income on the deposit or account even if you must:
  • Make withdrawals in multiples of even amounts,

  • Give a notice to withdraw before making the withdrawal,

  • Withdraw all or part of the account to withdraw the earnings, or

  • Pay a penalty on early withdrawals, unless the interest you are to receive on an early withdrawal or redemption is substantially less than the interest payable at maturity.

Accrual method.   If you use an accrual method, you report your interest income when you earn it, whether or not you have received it. Interest is earned over the term of the debt instrument.


You generally must include in your gross income all amounts you receive as rent. Rental income is any payment you receive for the use or occupation of property. In addition to amounts you receive as normal rent payments, there are other amounts that may be rental income.

When to report.  If you are a cash basis taxpayer, you report rental income on your return for the year you actually or constructively receive it. You are a cash basis taxpayer if you report income in the year you receive it, regardless of when it was earned. You constructively receive income when it is made available to you, for example, by being credited to your bank account.

Advance rent. Advance rent is any amount you receive before the period that it covers. Include advance rent in your rental income in the year you receive it regardless of the period covered or the method of accounting you use.

Security deposits. Do not include a security deposit in your income when you receive it if you plan to return it to your tenant at the end of the lease. But if you keep part or all of the security deposit during any year because your tenant does not live up to the terms of the lease, include the amount you keep in your income in that year. If an amount called a security deposit is to be used as a final payment of rent, it is advance rent. Include it in your income when you receive it.

Expenses paid by tenant. If your tenant pays any of your expenses, the payments are rental income. You must include them in your income. You can deduct the expenses if they are deductible rental expenses. See Rental Expenses, later, for more information.
Property or services. If you receive property or services, instead of money, as rent, include the fair market value of the property or services in your rental income.              If the services are provided at an agreed upon or specified price, that price is the fair market value unless there is evidence to the contrary.            Rental of property also used as a home. If you rent property that you also use as your home and you rent it fewer than 15 days during the tax year, do not include the rent you receive in your income and do not deduct rental expenses. However, you can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040) the interest, taxes, and casualty and theft losses that are allowed for nonrental property. See Personal Use of Dwelling Unit (Including Vacation Home), later.

Part interest. If you own a part interest in rental property, you must report your part of the rental income from the property.


You must include on your return all 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.


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