IRS wants thieves, drug dealers to report their income

Steal any property or deal any drugs this year? Well, the IRS wants it reported as taxable income.

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding Americans that they must report all of their hard-earned income to be taxed, even if it is the result of criminal activity, according to the bureau’s updated Publication 17 for the 2021 tax season, which offers general guidelines for filing taxes.

“If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless you return it to its rightful owner in the same year,” the IRS told sticky-fingered Americans.

The agency also reminded those who’ve pocketed any by cash selling narcotics —  or through any number of unspecified “illegal activities” — to report their earnings.

“Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 8z, or on Schedule C (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity,” the bureau said.

The IRS cited in its records how and why thieves should pay taxes on illegal items.
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The IRS did not say whether career thieves could deduct work expenses such as ski masks, crowbars and getaway vans on their tax forms.