Question re: Taxes - Gift Cards

Hi Everyone

Sorry if this has already been addressed...if so, I wasn't able to find info.

For companies that pay you with a gift card (for example the Cheesecake Factory shops) do you register these payments when doing your taxes?

Is the gift card considered cash income?

For these shops, they require you to make a minimum purchase and they pay you with a flat amount gift card.

Not sure how to handle these on my taxes.

If anyone knows, I'd really appreciate your help.


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I would treat these as a reimbursement. You put out your money, they reimbursed you with a gift card.

IF your required purchases exceeded the value of the gift card I would claim the excess as 'unreimbursed business expense'.

If the gift card exceeds what you spent I would still just count it all as a non-taxable reimbursement because on a reasonably regular basis I can purchase restaurant gift cards at a 20-25% discount so would not consider them to have the same value as the cash you put out. (And they cannot be converted into cash)
Thanks, Flash. That makes sense to me. That is what I will do.

I bet there are 1,000 different weird scenarios that are tricky as far as taxes are concerned.
If we stick to a understanding that reimbursements are NOT taxable and fees and bonuses ARE taxable then we can generally logic out what we should be paying tax on. I am always perfectly content (I won't say 'happy') about paying the taxes I am required to pay, but that certainly does not keep me from arranging my life so that there is as little of that as possible. Where IRS has provided a loophole, it is perfectly legal, ethical and moral to use it even if it was originally created thanks to lobbyists pushing for someone else's special interest!
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