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mmeador
New Member

I did contract work for an international com. I was supposed to receive equity but have not. Do I claim this as earned income in 2020 or wait until I have official docs?

I did contract work for an international company in 2020 and was supposed to receive equity in the company as payment.  I have not received official documentation stating ownership in the company.  They have not filed the required documents in their local county to begin distributing shares.  I could take ownership in the shares in the future if they become compliant. Do I claim these shares as income in 2020 or wait until I receive official documentation?
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Accepted Solutions
ErnieS0
Expert Alumni

I did contract work for an international com. I was supposed to receive equity but have not. Do I claim this as earned income in 2020 or wait until I have official docs?

The equity is not income to you until you have ownership. The IRS uses a doctrine called "constructive receipt":

 

Constructive receipt.

 

Income is constructively received when an amount is credited to your account or made available to you without restriction. You do not need to have possession of it. If you authorize someone to be your agent and receive income for you, you are considered to have received it when your agent receives it. Income is not constructively received if your control of its receipt is subject to substantial restrictions or limitations.

 

Publication 538 (01/2019), Accounting Periods and Methods

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1 Reply
ErnieS0
Expert Alumni

I did contract work for an international com. I was supposed to receive equity but have not. Do I claim this as earned income in 2020 or wait until I have official docs?

The equity is not income to you until you have ownership. The IRS uses a doctrine called "constructive receipt":

 

Constructive receipt.

 

Income is constructively received when an amount is credited to your account or made available to you without restriction. You do not need to have possession of it. If you authorize someone to be your agent and receive income for you, you are considered to have received it when your agent receives it. Income is not constructively received if your control of its receipt is subject to substantial restrictions or limitations.

 

Publication 538 (01/2019), Accounting Periods and Methods

View solution in original post

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