TN 1 (04-94)
SI 00815.250 Rebates and Refunds
When an individual receives a rebate, refund, or other return of money he or she has already paid, the money returned is not income.
CAUTION: The key idea in applying this policy is a return of an individual's own money. Some “rebates” do not fit that category. For example, if a cooperative operating as a jointly-owned business pays a “rebate” as a return on a member's investment, this money is unearned income similar to a dividend. Developmental guidelines for interest and dividends are in SI 00830.500.
Unless you have reason to question the situation, obtain the individual's statement either signed or recorded on a DROC that a rebate or refund of money is a return of money already paid and do not count it as income.
2. Questionable Situation
In questionable situations, obtain any documents in the individual's possession, and contact the source of the payment, etc., to verify that the payment is a return of money already paid. Document the file per GN 00301.285 through GN 00301.289.
Rose Woods, an elderly SSI recipient, pays property taxes on the home she lives in. Because of her low income, the city government returns part of Mrs. Woods' property taxes in the form of a check. This return of money already paid by Mrs. Woods is not income.
See SI 00830.705 for rules on the exclusion of certain taxes.