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I wasn't sure I should ask this under Law or Personal Finance & Money. I was wondering what the rules are regarding non-cash tips in the United States. By non-cash tips, I do not mean using a credit card, but rather giving a tip using something of value other than USD: movie tickets, silver coins, etc.

Additionally, how is that treated in terms of reporting and taxes?

  • If you need an answer to the second question, I'd recommend including it in your title if not straight up replacing your title to reflect the second question. – Sam I am Oct 24 '17 at 16:48
  • Hopefully that's better. – Daniel Goldman Oct 24 '17 at 17:49
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https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p531.pdf

Page 2:

The value of noncash tips, such as tickets, passes, or other items of value, is also income and subject to tax

Page 5:

What tips to report. Generally, you must report all tips you received in 2016 on your tax return, including both cash tips and noncash tips. Any tips you reported to your employer as required in 2016 are included in the wages shown in box 1 of your Form W-2. Add to the amount in box 1 only the tips you did not report to your employer

  • And, noncash tips are legal assuming that they are transferrable (e.g., some tickets or passes or an identification card, are not) and that they are not contraband (e.g. it isn't legal to tip someone with cocaine). – ohwilleke Oct 25 '17 at 5:32

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