Chipping In

Today TaxMama hears from Lara in WI, who was wondering. “If I receive money from a family member for the food and utilities for she uses, is this considered rent?

Do I have to claim this on my tax return?

Dear Lara,

That’s an excellent question.

Often, you have family members living with you.
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Generally, they mooch off you. In fact, I was just listening to someone this week complaining about an adult family member who makes a really decent living. He not only lives rent free, but borrows money for things like shiny new cars, or expensive toys – and never pays back the loans – and always keeps his place messy, to boot.

And doesn’t understand why his family is upset. (Hey, you don’t want to be nagged? Be a man and move into your own place an pay your bils! Oops, sorry..I got carried away.)

It is so refreshing to hear about a relationship where someone is mensch!

In those fortunate instances where your family members are willing to chip in for their own support – no, you don’t need to pick up their contributions towards the share of the groceries or utilities they consume.
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Now, if they were paying rent…that’s another matter.

Enjoy the rare and healthy relationship!

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about sharing costs and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At

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