On March 1, 2023, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published a reminder to taxpayers that all income must be reported. This will include income from the gig economy, service industry income tips, any purchase, sale or exchange of digital assets, income from foreign sources or investments in foreign financial accounts.
1. Gig Economy Earnings — Income earned in the gig economy is generally taxable and must be reported on a tax return. This could include income earned from driving a car, renting property, providing on-demand services or through an app or website. Gig work frequently is part-time or temporary. It could be paid in cash, but also may have been produced as compensation through property, goods or digital assets. The IRS.gov website has a Gig Economy Tax Center with additional information.
2. Service Industry Tips — Many individuals work for restaurants, salons or hotels in the service industry and receive tips. These tips are taxable income. Employers are required to report the cash tips received from customers. They are included on an employee's IRS Form W-2, Income, Wage and Tax Statement. However, employees also may receive noncash items such as tickets or other goods from a customer. The value of these items must be reported on a tax return. It may be helpful to use IRS Form 4137, Social Security and Medicare Tax on Unreported Tip Income to make sure that the appropriate employee share of Social Security and Medicare tax is paid. There is an exception for tip reporting if less than $20 per month is received.
3. Digital Assets Reporting — IRS Form 1040 includes a question that asks about digital asset transactions. Taxpayers must check either a "Yes" or "No" box. If any digital assets held as a capital asset were sold, the check box must be selected as "Yes" and the sale must be reported on IRS Form 8949, Sales and Other Dispositions of Capital Assets. If digital assets are given to a friend or family member IRS Form 709, United States Gift Tax Return, may be required. Digital assets could generate income through sales, through receiving payment for services, through mining and staking activities, as the result of a hard fork or as a digital payment for property, goods or services. Digital asset compensation for services is reportable income in the same manner as your W-2 wages. For additional information, go to IRS.gov on the IRS Digital Assets Page.
4. Foreign Source Income — American citizens are generally subject to U.S. income tax on income, even if living overseas. Taxpayers should report earned income, such as interest, dividends, and pensions from overseas sources. Some income may qualify for the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion or the Foreign Tax Credit and reduce the tax obligation. If taxpayers have both a tax home and residence outside the United States, there is a two-month extension until June 15 to file. Active duty military serving overseas also may file by June 15.
5. Foreign Accounts and Assets — Taxpayers must report income from foreign trusts and foreign banks. Schedule B of IRS Form 1040 asks whether a taxpayer owns foreign accounts and requires reporting of the current income on each account. Generally, taxpayers are required to file IRS Form 8938, Statement of Foreign Financial Assets if exceeding certain thresholds. If the foreign account value is more than $10,000 during 2022, taxpayers also must go to BSA e-filing on the Department of Treasury website and file Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). The deadline for the FBAR report is April 15, 2023.