IRS: Report stolen property as income, unless you return it the same year

By: April Carson



BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The IRS is now requiring people to report the value of any property they have stolen each year as income, according to a picture going around on social media.


The guideline is valid.


The Internal Revenue Service's Publication 17, accessible on its website, has a section on stolen property that may perplex readers.


“Unless you return it to its rightful owner in the same year, if you steal property and fail to report its fair market value on your tax returns for that year, you must disclose its fair market value as income in the year you stole it.



The issue of reporting illicit proceeds to the government has come under scrutiny before, even in the highest court in the country.


In the 1927 case United States v. Sullivan, the US Supreme Court grappled with whether charging criminals with tax evasion was a violation of the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination.


If that's the case, a South Carolina bootlegger has appealed his conviction on federal charges, claiming he can't be forced to incriminate himself by acknowledging unlawful income.


The argument that the First Amendment protects people's right to participate in whatever manner they choose was rejected by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. in a unanimous decision.


That court decision has stayed intact for almost a century. Many offenders have been convicted of tax evasion in the same manner since then, including Al Capone in 1931.





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About the Blogger:


April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com


To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav


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