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Is Jury Duty Pay Reported to the IRS?

Is Jury Duty Pay Reported to the IRS?

Like most other types of compensation you receive for performing services, the payment you receive from the federal, state, or local government for serving as a juror is generally taxable. However, there are situations in which it is not necessary to declare the jury duty payment for taxes to the IRS. But your eligibility to do so depends on your state's laws and your employer's policy if you're employed.

If you are paid to serve on a jury in a civil or criminal proceeding, the Internal Revenue Service considers that payment to be income and must report it on your tax return. If you receive $600 and above, the court will report the jury payment to the IRS.


Types of Jury Payments

The remuneration you receive for your jury service is taxable income. However, reimbursements for meals, lodging, and parking are not considered income. For example, you are paid $40 a day to serve on a jury in the federal judiciary. It is income, and it is taxable. If you drive to and from the court, the government will pay you about 50 cents per kilometer. This is a refund, and you do not have to declare it to taxes or pay income tax.


Jury Pay Taxation

The general tax rule requires that you report all jury tax payments on the "other income" form of Form 1040. Note that the "other income" line requires the income type and amount. On the dotted line, just before entering full payment, write "Jury Duty."


Reporting Income

If you received jury pay, you would need to file your taxes using IRS Form 1040, the "long-form" return. Ensure to include the amount received as jury pay (but not reimbursement) on the line provided for "Other income," usually line 21. In the space provided on this line to explain income, write "Jury Pay."


Employer Pays Salary

Employers are not required by federal laws to pay an employee's wages for days off due to jury work. However, several states require it. In Massachusetts, for example, employers are required by law to pay for up to three days of jury service, whether the employee is full-time, part-time, or on contract. On the other hand, Connecticut requires payment for up to five days of jury duty, but the law covers only full-time employees. Therefore, if your employer does not withhold your wages or require payment of jury fees you earn, then the jury wages and wages you earn while on leave are fully taxable.


Reimbursement by the employer

If your employer continues to pay your wages for each day of jury duty, you may be required to repay the payments you receive for jury duty. In this case, you will only pay payroll taxes, but the jury fee payment must still be reported on your return as "other income." Instead of excluding income entirely, the IRS allows you to take a deduction as an income adjustment from the number of jury duty pay you give to your employer. On the second to last line of the "Adjusted Gross Income" section of 1040, which is the line where you calculate the number of your deductions before calculating the AGI, you write "Jury Pay," followed by the figure received on the dotted line and included in the deduction amount. Essentially, this method of reporting reduces the jury's taxable compensation to zero.


Other Related Topics

Federal government employees are subject to special rules and receive full pay when serving on a federal jury but are not compensated for their service on the jury. Accordingly, the tax returns of federal employees who do not receive jury compensation are not affected. When the payment of jury fees is taxable, the same rates used to calculate salary and payroll tax apply to jury pay.


1099-MISC

If you receive jury compensation of at least $600, the court must send a copy of IRS Form 1099-MISC, showing the total compensation paid. Reimbursement money is not included in 1099. Please note that the court may also file a 1099-MISC for amounts less than $600. The court will also send a copy of this form to the IRS, so if you receive one, you can be sure the IRS knows how much you got from the jury duty pay. If you don't get one, you will still have to report and pay taxes on the jury pay.


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