The tax treatment of unemployment benefits you receive depends on the type of program paying the benefits.
You must include in your income all unemployment compensation you receive. You should receive a Form 1099-G, Certain Government
Payments, showing the amount paid to you. Generally, 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 6 for more information.)
- Trade readjustment allowances under the Trade Act of 1974.
- Benefits under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978.
- Unemployment assistance under the Disaster Relief Act Amendments of 1974.
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.
Repayment of unemployment compensation.
If you repaid in 2002 unemployment compensation you received in 2002, 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 write Repaid and
the amount you repaid. If you repaid unemployment compensation in 2002 that you included in income in an earlier year, you can deduct the amount
repaid on Schedule A (Form 1040) if you itemize deductions. For more information, see Repayments, earlier.
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. For more information on
estimated tax, see chapter 5.
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 line 34 of Form 1040, and write Sub-Pay TRA and the amount on the dotted line next to line 34. 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 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 line 21 of Form 1040.
Payments by a union.
Benefits paid to you as an unemployed member of a union from regular union dues are included in your gross income on line 21 of Form 1040.
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.
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 line 21 of Form
Welfare and Other Public Assistance Benefits
Do not include in your income benefit payments from a public welfare fund, such as payments due to blindness. 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 obtained fraudulently.
Payments the state of Alaska makes to its citizens who meet certain age and residency tests that are not based on need are not welfare benefits.
Include them in income on line 21 of Form 1040.
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 mentally retarded persons do their work.
Disaster relief grants.
Grants made under the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 to help victims of natural disasters are not included in income. Do not deduct casualty losses or
medical expenses that are specifically reimbursed by these disaster relief grants. Unemployment assistance payments under the Act are taxable
unemployment compensation. See Unemployment compensation, earlier.
Mortgage assistance payments.
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.
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.
The following brief discussions are arranged in alphabetical order. Income items that are discussed in greater detail in another publication
include a reference to that publication.
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 line 21 of Form 1040. 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 income.
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 is also reported to IRS.
Include in your income on line 11 of Form 1040 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 20.
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 line 21 of Form 1040 in the year transferred.
A cash rebate you receive from a dealer or manufacturer of an item you buy is not income.
You buy a new car for $9,000 cash and receive a $400 rebate check from the manufacturer. The $400 is not income to you. Your cost is $8,600. This
is your 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. Get Publication 547,
Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts, for more information.
Child support payments.
You should not report these payments on your return. Get Publication 504, Divorced or Separated Individuals,
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. Include the following as ordinary income.
- Interest on any award.
- Compensation for lost wages or lost profits in most cases.
- Punitive damages. It does not matter if they relate to a physical injury or physical sickness.
- Amounts received in settlement of pension rights (if you did not contribute to the plan).
- Damages for:
- Patent or copyright infringement,
- Breach of contract, or
- Interference with business operations.
- Back pay and damages for emotional distress received to satisfy a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Do not include in your income compensatory damages for personal physical injury or physical sickness (whether received in a lump sum or
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
unrelated 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.
Credit card insurance.
Generally, 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 line 21 of Form 1040 the amount of benefits you received during the year that is more than the amount
of the premiums you paid during the year.
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.
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 of Form
Current income required to be distributed.
If you are the beneficiary of a 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
- 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 of estates and trusts generally are not deductible by the beneficiaries.
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.
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 or administrator
of an estate,
- A notary public, or
- An election precinct official.
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 fees are self-employment income. Report these payments on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040).
Executor or administrator of 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 line 21 of Form 1040. If you provide the services as a trade or business, report them as self-employment income on Schedule C or Schedule
C-EZ (Form 1040).
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 C (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.
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:
- Is living in a foster family home, and
- Was placed there by:
- An agency of a state or one of its political subdivisions, or
- A qualified foster care placement agency.
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). Get Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Day-Care Providers),
to help you determine the amount you can deduct for the use of your home.
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 line 21 of Form 1040 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).
You must include your gambling winnings in income on line 21 of Form 1040. 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. See chapter 30 for information on recordkeeping.
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.
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 the Other Income line of Form 1040. Include the amount shown in box 2 on your Form 1040 as federal
income tax withheld.
Gifts and inheritances.
Generally, 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 11 if you inherited a pension. See chapter 18 if you inherited an IRA.
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 17.) However, if you sell items from your collection at a loss, you cannot deduct the loss.
Holocaust victims restitution.
Restitution payments you receive as a Holocaust victim (or the heir of a Holocaust victim) after December 31, 1999 (and interest earned on the
payments, including interest earned on amounts held in certain escrow accounts or funds) are not taxable. You also do not include them in any
computations in which you would ordinarily add excludable income to your adjusted gross income, such as the computation to determine the taxable part
of social security benefits. If the payments are made in property, your basis in the property is its fair market value when you receive it.
Excludable restitution payments are payments or distributions made by any country or any other entity because of persecution of an individual on
the basis of race, religion, physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation by Nazi Germany, any other Axis regime, or any other Nazi-controlled
or Nazi-allied country, whether the payments are made under a law or as a result of a legal action. They include compensation or reparation for
property losses resulting from Nazi persecution, including proceeds under insurance policies issued before and during World War II by European
Amending your 2000 and 2001 returns.
If your treatment of restitution payments received in 2000 and 2001 was different from the treatment described above and caused you to pay more
tax, you should file an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. To claim a refund of tax, you generally
should file the amended return by April 15, 2004, for your 2000 return and April 15, 2005, for your 2001 return. See the form instructions for more
Illegal income, such as stolen or embezzled funds, must be included in your income on line 21 of Form 1040, 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
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
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 pay you receive must be included in your income on line 21 of Form 1040. 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.
Include the amount you repay your employer on line 34 of Form 1040. Write Jury Pay and the amount on the dotted line next to line 34.
You must include kickbacks, side commissions, push money, or similar payments you receive in your income on line 21 of Form 1040, or on Schedule C
or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040), if from your self-employment activity.
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).
You generally do not include in income amounts you withdraw from your Archer MSA or Medicare+Choice 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 23. For more information about Archer MSAs or Medicare+Choice MSAs, see Publication 969,
Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs).
You cannot buy health insurance with distributions from your MSA unless you are receiving unemployment benefits, buying continuation coverage
required by federal law, or buying long-term care insurance.
Taxable distributions and penalty.
If you use the money from your MSA for any purpose besides qualified medical expenses, it will be taxable income that you must report on your tax
return. In addition to the tax, you will be charged a 15% penalty for an early distribution. The penalty will not be charged if you are disabled, age
65, or die during the year.
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 line 21 of Form 1040. 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 6.
Pulitzer, Nobel, and similar prizes.
If you were awarded a prize in recognition of past 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
See Publication 525 for more information about the conditions that apply to the transfer.
Qualified tuition programs.
A qualified tuition program (also known as a 529 plan or 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. Prior to 2002, a
program could only be established and maintained by a state or an agency or instrumentality of the state. Beginning in 2002, QTPs (formerly called
QSTPs) can also be established and maintained by eligible educational institutions.
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
Beginning in 2002, the beneficiary generally does not include in income any earnings distributed from a QTP established and maintained by a state
(or an agency or instrumentality of the state) if the total distribution is less than or equal to adjusted qualified higher education expenses.
However, until 2004, the beneficiary must include in income any earnings distributed from a QTP established and maintained by an eligible educational
institution. See Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education, 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 chapter 12.
- Tier 1 railroad retirement benefits that are more than the social security equivalent benefit.
- Tier 2 benefits.
- Vested dual benefits.
Sale of home.
You may be able to exclude from income all or part of any gain from the sale or exchange of a personal residence. See chapter 16.
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 on 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.
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. Get Publication 520 for more information on qualified scholarships and fellowship
Payment for services.
Generally, 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 520.
Allowances paid by the Department of Veterans Affairs are not included in your income. These allowances are not considered scholarship or
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 line 21 of Form 1040, whether or not you use the amounts for educational purposes.
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