10 Taxable Items That May Surprise You

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10 Taxable Items That May Surprise You

Did you aware that the buried treasure you discovered in your grandparents’ lawn is taxable? That’s just the beginning. You may be startled to hear that the following ten items are taxed, whether they are gifts, cash, or money you don’t have to repay.

Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to tax reporting, the IRS wants to make sure you pay your fair part, which includes disclosing some things that may seem unexpected.
  • Some of these goods include gifts for more than $16,000, items traded as barter, forgiven debts, and unemployment income.
  • While many of these situations are exceptional or infrequent, if you are unaware of them, you may find yourself paying past taxes.

1. Certain Large Gifts

Gifts between specific persons or organizations are never taxed, regardless of amount, and must be rather significant before the IRS takes attention. Monetary transfers between spouses and direct donations to a medical or educational institution, for example, are never taxed.

The yearly exclusion applies to gifts up to a specified amount per donee each year. The sum is $16,000 for the tax year 2022. This sum, however, may be raised if gift-giving is done strategically.

Spouses may both give the same individual a present, thereby doubling the gift: This implies that everyone may contribute $16,000, totaling $32,000. Assume two parents desire to provide as much as they can to their kid and his or her spouse. Parents may contribute up to $64,000 before the gift tax kicks in in 2022. How? One parent may give each half of the younger couple a $16,000 present, and the other parent can do the same (4 x $16,000 = $64,000).

2. Bartered Items

It may seem that bartering is not taxable since no money is exchanged, however this is not always the case. It is determined by the worth of the commodities being bartered and whether or not the items would typically provide money for the donor.

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For example, if you and your neighbor alternate babysitting each other’s dogs while the other person is away, you don’t have to declare it on your taxes since you both got something of equal value and neither of you is in the animal boarding business. However, the IRS states that if you perform an hour’s worth of your neighbor’s yard work in exchange for your neighbor helping you build your website, which is what they do for a livelihood, you must declare the market value of the service on your tax return.

3. Alimony

Previously, alimony had to be recorded as income on your tax return. Some folks were confused because they expected it was handled like child support, which is not taxed.

If paid under a divorce or separation agreement completed after December 31, 2018, alimony or separate maintenance payments are no longer deductible from the payer spouse’s income or includible in the receiving spouse’s income. These are just a few of the numerous changes made possible by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).Payments made before to 2019 are unaffected.

4. Forgiven Loans

In most circumstances, whether a debt is forgiven by a private entity, such as a bank, or the federal government, the money you end up not paying must be declared as income. This is something that many individuals who choose to use debt settlement are unaware of.

There are certain situations in which you do not have to pay tax on a forgiven debt, such as when it is forgiven by a loved one—this qualifies as a gift. Furthermore, forgiven debt may be exempt from taxation if it is part of a bankruptcy, insolvency, or principal mortgage obligation.

  Flat Tax Definition

5. Illegal Activity

If you gain money from illicit activities, you must report it. This involves drug dealing and extortion. This is most likely the tax regulation that is the least obeyed in the book.

6. Scholarships and Work Study

If you get a scholarship that does not cover tuition, fees, or books, you must pay taxes on it. Work-study earnings will be taxed as well, albeit not necessarily at the state level.

Scholarship and work-study income may be taxed if the beneficiary earns the reporting level of $12,550 or less in 2021.

7. Unemployment Income

The amount of tax you must pay on your unemployment income is determined by the state in which you reside. Although the federal government considers unemployment income to be taxable, not all states do. You may have taxes deducted every time you get an unemployment check instead of having to pay them all at once to alleviate the burden of tax season.

8. Airbnb

You must pay taxes on any revenue earned from renting out your room or property for more than 15 days. Expect this restriction to be severely enforced as the personal rental business grows and gains notoriety.

9. Presents From Your Boss

If your company pays you a $500 bonus, it will be taxed automatically. But what about other types of gifts? An engraved name badge does not qualify, however a season pass to your local basketball team can.

10. Selling Gametes

You must pay taxes on the amount you got for your eggs if you give them to an infertile individual. Sperm donors must also record any revenue earned from giving their sperm.

  Taxpayer Definition

How Much Is the Gift Tax?

The gift tax is only levied on yearly donations over a specified threshold—$16,000 in 2022. The gift tax rate is determined by the quantity of the taxable gift and varies from 18% to 40%.

Is Unemployment Income Taxed?

Yes. The federal government considers unemployment payments to be regular income. Furthermore, only 5 jurisdictions that pay an income tax exclude unemployed from state income taxes as of 2022. (California, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia).Furthermore, nine states do not have an income tax at all, and hence do not tax unemployment at the state level (Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming).

Is Alimony Tax Deductible?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) repealed the alimony tax deduction. This is applicable to divorce agreements signed on or after January 1, 2019.

The Bottom Line

Most of these scenarios are unlikely to have occurred to you. But you’ve undoubtedly encountered at least one, and you never know which tax blunder may result in a full-fledged audit. “I didn’t know” is seldom a valid excuse, and this is particularly true during tax season. Don’t put your financial future at risk simply to save a few dollars. Follow the regulations to avoid getting in trouble with the IRS.

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