2000 Tax Help Archives  

Publication 531 2000 Tax Year

Allocated Tips

This is archived information that pertains only to the 2000 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

If your employer allocated tips to you, they are shown separately in box 8 of your Form W-2. They are not included in box 1 with your wages and reported tips. If box 8 is blank, this discussion does not apply to you.

What are allocated tips? These are tips that your employer assigned to you in addition to the tips you reported to your employer for the year. Your employer will have done this only if:

  • You worked in a restaurant, cocktail lounge, or similar business that must allocate tips to employees, and
  • The tips you reported to your employer were less than your share of 8% of food and drink sales.

How were your allocated tips figured? The tips allocated to you are your share of an amount figured by subtracting the reported tips of all employees from 8% (or an approved lower rate) of food and drink sales (other than carryout sales and sales with a service charge of 10% or more). Your share of that amount was figured using either a method provided by an employer-employee agreement or a method provided by IRS regulations based on employees' sales or hours worked. For information about the exact allocation method used, ask your employer.

Must you report your allocated tips on your tax return? You must report allocated tips on your tax return unless either of the following exceptions applies.

  1. You kept a daily tip record, or other evidence that is as credible and as reliable as a daily tip record, as required under rules explained earlier.
  2. Your tip record is incomplete, but it shows that your actual tips were more than the tips you reported to your employer plus the allocated tips.

If either exception applies, report your actual tips on your return. Do not report the allocated tips. See What tips to report under Reporting Tips on Your Tax Return, earlier.

How to report allocated tips. If you must report allocated tips on your return, add the amount in box 8 of your Form W-2 to the amount in box 1. Report the total as wages on line 7 of Form 1040. (You cannot file Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A.)

Because social security and Medicare taxes were not withheld from the allocated tips, you must report those taxes as additional tax on your return. Complete Form 4137, and include the allocated tips on line 1 of the form. See Reporting social security and Medicare taxes on tips not reported to your employer under Reporting Tips on Your Tax Return, earlier.

How to request an approved lower rate. Your employer can use a tip rate lower than 8% (but not lower than 2%) to figure allocated tips only if the IRS approves the lower rate. Either the employer or the employees can request approval of a lower rate by filing a petition with the IRS. The petition must include specific information about the business that will justify the lower rate. A user fee must be paid with the petition.

An employee petition can be filed only with the consent of a majority of the directly-tipped employees (waiters, bartenders, and others who receive tips directly from customers). The petition must state the total number of directly-tipped employees and the number of employees consenting to the petition. Employees filing the petition must promptly notify the employer, and the employer must promptly give the IRS a copy of any Form 8027, Employer's Annual Information Return of Tip Income and Allocated Tips, filed by the employer for the previous 3 years.

For more information about how to file a petition and what information to include, see the instructions for Form 8027.

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