What do I Have to Claim As "Other Income"?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 29 August 2019
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Claiming income may seem easy and straightforward when all a person has to list is income from employment. However, people may have other types of income they must disclose to the Internal Revenue Service on line 21 of their federal income tax returns. Depending on the unique set of circumstances, these forms of income may be taxable. However, even certain income that could escape taxes must often be reported to the IRS. If a person, fails to do so, he could face penalties.

One type of other income is taxable distributions from a Coverdell Education Savings Account. Taxable distributions from a qualified tuition program, health savings account, and Archer MSA also fall in this category. However, these distributions are not always taxable. They are usually only taxable if the beneficiary's expenses were less than the distribution amount and they were not included in a roll over. Other income from a health savings account may fall into the other-income category as well.

Prizes and awards can also count as other income. This includes merchandise prizes won on game shows and cash prizes. As far as gambling is concerned, winnings are considered as other income and are taxable. Lottery and raffle winnings both fit in this category.


Jury duty payments are also classified as other income. Alaska Permanent Fund dividend amounts, alternative trade adjustment payments, reimbursements for certain expenses, and income from certain things a person does without seeking a profit. Income from the rental of person property counts as well, as long as the taxpayer does not rent the property as a business. Some types of dividends may also fall under this heading.

Sometimes people are tempted to list self-employment income as other income, but it should be included on a Schedule C. A person is self-employed if he owns his own business and does work or provides service in exchange for money. He may also be classified as self-employed if he works for a company but is classified as an independent contractor. In both cases, the person is responsible for keeping track of his own income and reporting it. However, companies usually provide 1099s for independent contractors to whom they’ve paid at least $600 US Dollars (USD) in a tax year.

A taxpayer may become confused when trying to figure out where to include each type of income on his tax return. Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service offers free publications that explain where and how to list each type of income. They can be found online on the IRS website.


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Post 4

@DylanB – It can be upsetting to learn that your income doesn't qualify as extra at the last minute like that. I'm glad I already had some savings that I was able to use to pay the taxes on my self-employment income, or I would have been in trouble. That was the first I'd heard of the self-employment tax.

Post 3

Last year, I worked six months at a job where my taxes were withheld and the other six months as an independent contractor. I thought I could list my work-at-home income as “other,” but I wound up having to list it as regular income.

I used tax software, and when I entered in my self-employed income, the software asked me if it was related to my regular line of work. Since I intended to do this kind of work for the foreseeable future, I had to list it as regular income, and I had to pay Social Security and Medicare as well as federal and state taxes on it.

Post 2

I was bummed out when I learned that the money I won at a casino was considered “other income” and could be taxed. I'm glad that a worker at the casino mentioned this to me, because otherwise, I would have spent it all.

Post 1

I go online for income tax information. The IRS website has helped me a lot with figuring out how to do my taxes and how to report other income.

It's nice to be able to do a keyword search on the site to find what I need to know. There is a vast amount of information, and reading through all of it would take far too long.

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