You may have heard the news report that a women in Omaha, battling cancer, received about $50,000 from strangers after she set up an account with GoFundMe. It was also reported that the IRS is seeking $19,000 of income taxes from her on this amount. [See ABC8, 4/27/15 story and KETV.]
The power of the Internet to easily reach many people throughout the world enables vendors to have a larger market, writers to have more readers, and people seeking funds to potentially raise a lot. Crowdfunding websites can generate funds for many purposes and many of these purposes result in taxable income to the recipient. However, not always. What the woman in Omaha received is a gift under the income tax law.