Desperate? IRS tells Americans to report money earned from stolen goods, illicit activities

As the United States goes further into debt — more than $29.4 trillion as of this writing — it appears as though the government is getting increasingly desperate to collect taxes on all income means, including money Americans earn by engaging in illegal activities.

A screengrab presumably from the IRS website posted by Twitter user @litquidity indicates the tax agency wants Americans who steal for a living or engage in other illegal activities are required by law to report that income.

‘Tax szn [sic] is around the corner. Remember to report your income from illegal activities and stolen property to the IRS,” the user wrote.

According to the IRS’ 2021 Publication 17: “If you steal property, you must report its fair market value in your income in the year you steal it unless you return it to its rightful owner in the same year.”

DailyMail.com reported that the rule dates to a U.S. Supreme Court case from 1927 in which justices ruled that the government is entitled to tax ill-gotten income. Mobster Al Capone was convicted under the law on a charge of tax evasion.

“Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Schedule 1 (Form 1040), line 8z, or on Schedule C (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity,” the IRS rule states.

Twitter users were shocked at the revelation.


Even one law enforcement agency made a comment regarding the IRS rule.

“Attention all car thieves. The stuff you stole from people’s vehicles in 2021 must be claimed on your income taxes,” the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in New York noted on Facebook.

“If you need an itemized list of property call us at [phone number] & a Deputy or Detective will be happy to meet you with the list. It would be our pleasure,” the department added.

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