Generally, income is taxable unless it is specifically exempt (not taxed) by law. Your taxable income may include compensation for services, interest, dividends, rents, royalties, income from partnerships, estate or trust income, gain from sales or exchanges of property, and business income of all kinds.
Under special provisions of the law, certain items are partially or fully exempt from tax. Provisions that are of special interest to older taxpayers are discussed in this chapter.taxmap/pubs/p554-002.htm#en_us_publink100043532
Generally, you must include in gross income everything you receive in payment for personal services. In addition to wages, salaries, commissions, fees, and tips, this includes other forms of compensation such as fringe benefits and stock options.
You need not receive the compensation in cash for it to be taxable. Payments you receive in the form of goods or services generally must be included in gross income at their fair market value. taxmap/pubs/p554-002.htm#en_us_publink100043533
Do not include in your gross income amounts you receive for supportive services or reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses under any of the following volunteer programs.
- Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP).
- Foster Grandparent Program.
- Senior Companion Program.
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).
For 2009, you must include in income all unemployment compensation you received that is more than $2,400. If married filing jointly, include any unemployment compensation received by your spouse that is more than $2,400.taxmap/pubs/p554-002.htm#en_us_publink100043535
See Publication 525, Taxable and Nontaxable Income, for more detailed information on specific types of income.