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Why are credit card rebates not taxed as income?

Why are credit card rebates not taxed as income?

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If interest income from banks is taxable income, why aren’t the rebates or rewards paid by credit cards taxable income?

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Posted by (Questions: 6, Answers: 6)
Asked on October 25, 2023 9:35 am
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Taxable Interest Income vs. Non-Taxable Credit Card Rewards

Many people wonder why the interest income earned from banks is considered taxable income while the rebates or rewards provided by credit cards are typically not subject to taxation. Let's explore the key reasons:

Interest Income from Banks:

Interest income from banks is taxable because it represents money earned on savings or investments. When you deposit money in a savings account or invest in a certificate of deposit (CD), the bank pays you interest, which is considered a form of income that must be reported to tax authorities. This interest income is subject to income tax because it's a direct return on your investment.

Credit Card Rewards:

Credit card rewards, on the other hand, are typically not considered taxable income for several reasons:

  • Return of Purchase Price: Credit card rewards often function as a return of a portion of the purchase price for using the card, essentially serving as discounts or incentives to promote card usage.
  • Excluded from Taxation: In many countries, tax codes explicitly exclude certain rebates, rewards, and discounts from being treated as taxable income, as they are seen as marketing expenses for credit card companies.
  • Personal Use: Credit card rewards are typically associated with personal expenditures and are considered incentives to use a specific payment method. They are not categorized as income, and, therefore, they are not subject to taxation.
  • Complexity and Administration: Taxing small rewards on a large scale could be administratively burdensome. It would also be challenging to account for various types of rewards across different credit cards and programs.

However, there can be exceptions and nuances in taxation, especially when it comes to business expenses, tax deductions, and specific reward types. It's advisable to consult with a tax professional or review your country's tax regulations to understand any potential tax implications related to credit card rewards in your specific circumstances.

While credit card rewards are generally not taxable, it's essential to remember that interest earned on balances in savings accounts or investments is subject to income tax because it represents income generated from money you have set aside for savings or investment purposes.

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Posted by (Questions: 6, Answers: 6)
Answered on October 25, 2023 9:38 am