Are Tips Taxable? Everything You Need to Know

Waiter standing beside woman illustrates blog "Are Tips Taxable? Everything You Need to Know"

Tipping culture is prevalent across different industries and services, from restaurants and cafes to hotels and salons. However, when it comes to taxes, things can get a bit confusing. Are tips taxable? Do you need to declare them on your tax return? In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of taxes and tips to answer all your questions.

Are Tips Taxable? 

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers tips as income, just like your regular salary or wages. 

If you receive tips as part of your job, you are required to:

  • Keep a daily tip record.
  • Report your tips to your employer unless the total is less than $20 per month per employer
  • Report all tips on an individual income tax return.

There’s no official form to report your tips to your employer. However, the document must include the following information:

  • Employee signature,
  • Employee’s name, address, and social security number,
  • Employer’s name and address (establishment name if different),
  • Month or period the report covers, and
  • Total of tips received during the month or period.

Taxes and Tips: Some Practical Advice

You are required to report your tips to your employer by the 10th of the month after the month the tips are received. If the 10th falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, an employee may give the report to the employer by the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

Now, you may be wondering, how do I keep track of my tips? It’s a good idea to keep a daily log of your tips, including the date, the amount, and the source (e.g., cash or credit card). You can use a notebook, a spreadsheet, or a tip-tracking app to make it easier. By keeping an accurate record of your tips, you can ensure that you’re reporting the correct amount on your tax return.

Remember that you also need to keep a record of the date and value of any noncash tips you receive. This includes things like tickets, passes, or other items of value. Although you are not required to report these noncash tips to your employer, you must report them on your tax return.

For more tax tips check out our previous blogs, “Filing Status: What Is It and Why It Matters” and “How To Organize Your Tax Records.”

JT Tax Services: Taxes Made Easy

When it comes to taxes, knowledge is power. That’s why at At JT Tax Services, we give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that you are working with experienced professionals with in-depth knowledge of all applicable tax laws and regulations.

We are located in Oxnard, California, contact us today by email (, telephone (805-984-8890), or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services.

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