Tax-free income

Yes, that’s correct, there are some forms of income you receive that may be tax-free. Here is a list of eight common sources of tax-free income.

  1. Gifts. Gifts you receive are not taxable income to you. In fact, they are not subject to gift tax to the person giving the gift as long as the gifts made in one year by one person do not exceed $14,000.
  2. Rental income. If you rent your home or vacation cottage for up to 14 days, that rental income does not need to be reported. Homeowners often can earn some tax-free income by renting out a home while a large sporting event (Superbowl or golf event) is in town.
  3. Child’s income. Up to the standard deduction amount ($6,350 in 2017) in earned income (wages) and $1,050 in unearned income (interest, dividends and capital gains) for children is not taxed. Excess earnings above these amounts could be taxed and unearned income in excess of $2,100 is taxed at the parent’s higher tax rate.
  4. Roth IRA earnings. As long as you meet this retirement account type’s rules, earnings in a Roth IRA are not taxed.
  5. Child support revenue. Income you receive as child support is not deemed to be taxable income. On the other hand alimony received is taxable income.
  6. Home sales gains. Up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married filing jointly) in gains on the sale of a qualified principal residence is not taxable.
  7. Scholarships/fellowships. Money received to cover tuition, fees, and books for degree candidates is generally not taxable.
  8. Refunds. Federal refunds (technically you’ve already accounted for this income) and most state refunds for non-itemizers are also tax-free.

This is by no means a complete list of tax-free income, but it’s nice to know that some areas of tax law still benefit taxpayers.