Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tax Court Approves the IRS's Taxation of Frequent Flyer Miles

CitiBank LogoThe Tax Court yesterday required the taxpayer to include $668 in income as reported by Citibank on Form 1099-MISC as the value of an airline ticket received by the taxpayer upon redemption of 50,000 "Thank You Points" from opening a Citibank account. Shankar v. Commissioner, 143 T.C. No. 5 (Aug. 26, 2014).

(Hat Tip: Phil Hackney.)

Update:  Sam Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), Tax Court: Frequent Flier Miles Are Income

IRS News, Tax | Permalink


I think that it would be helpful if your post clarified that the Tax Court made the assumption that the Thank You points were awarded as interest on a deposit account, not a credit card.

"We proceed on the assumption that we are dealing here with a premium
for making a deposit into, or maintaining a balance in, a bank account. In other
words, something given in exchange for the use (deposit) of Mr. Shankar's money;
i.e., something in the nature of interest."

Posted by: Frequent Traveler | Aug 28, 2014 3:51:48 AM

Too bad the taxpayer wasn't aware third party informational returns such as 1099's and W-2's can't be used as evidence of income in Tax Court. You can bet the Tax Court "judge" knows it.

Posted by: Geraldo Van Noy | Aug 27, 2014 2:37:59 PM