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The IRS's bewildering rule about self-reporting income from crimes has caused some Twitter users to mock the federal agency.

According to IRS Publication 525, taxpayers are legally required to report the value of whatever property they stole during the tax year.

"If you steal property, you must report its FMV (Fair Market Value) in your income in the year you steal it, unless in the same year you return it to its rightful owner," the rule reads.

The same rule applies to bribery, drug deals and other income-earning crimes.

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A blank 1040 tax return form from the IRS. (iStock / iStock)

The IRS purportedly uses the information solely for tax purposes and does not hand over any evidence to law enforcement. 

The only situation where law enforcement may have access to the information is through court orders. 

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"The IRS be like: Get money wherever you can, but I need my cut!" one Twitter user said.

"This is the best thing I've learned in a while," an amused commentator wrote.

"Don't forget to fill out a 1099 after a game of Monopoly," another said facetiously.

Unsurprisingly, many Twitter users humorously pretended to be criminals themselves.

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"Does anyone know if you can deduct costs for the getaway car, masks, etc?" one user said.

"In what section do you disclose that you are cheating on your tax return? Asking for a friend," another asked.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. The IRS is expanding its capacity to process tax returns following criticisms from members of Congress about taxpayers waiting months to get their re (Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Criminals who don't report their income from stolen goods may be penalized. There were 370 tax fraud offenders sentenced in the 2021 fiscal year.

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