I was just reading about how Uber was ordered to pay $1.1M for denying rides to a blind person. No doubt the litigant will only get a portion of that, with the rest going to lawyer fees, but, anyway, my question is... will the litigant be getting a 1099 next year? If so what would it be? And if they don't get a 1099 then do they have to pay taxes on the proceeds at all?

1 Answer 1


Yes, damages received in a lawsuit settlement or award are taxable except if (or to the extent) they compensate for physical injury or sickness (and are not punitive), or for being a crime victim (IRC104). Like all taxable income it doesn't matter if you receive a 1099-series form or other form like W-2, taxability depends only on the facts of what you received and the concept of having civilization is that you are supposed to obey the law even if someone isn't monitoring you every second.

In this type of case the plaintiff can however deduct attorney fees and court costs from this income under IRC62(a)(20) and (e)(16).

FWIW my own experience as member affected by several class actions (for laughably small amounts per person) is that the claims administrator appointed by the court requests a W-9 -- which is required to be provided to IRS if they request it -- but doesn't issue a 1099.

I'm not sure this qualifies as based on actual problems that you (or a typical user) face.


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