For Persons 14 Years of Age and Over:
31. Income received by this person in 1949:
31a. Last year (1949), how much money did he earn working as an employee for wages or salary?
(Enter amount before deductions for taxes, etc. or None)
Item 31a. Wages or salary
229. Item 31a. Entry for each sample person 14 years old or over.-There must be an entry of an amount or a check in the "None" box for each person 14 years of age or over who is on a sample line. The amount must be entered to the nearest whole dollar, not in dollars and cents. Enter " 10,000 + " if amount received was more than $10,000. Accept the respondent's best estimate if he does not know the exact amount.
230. Time period covered by item 31a.-January 1, 1949, through December 31, 1949.
231. General definition of wages or salary.-The total amount of money earned by a person for all work done as an employee. This may have been earned on more than one job during the year. X age and salary income includes "take-home" pay plus all deductions and contributions such as deductions for withholding tax, Social Security, etc. It also includes receipts from the following sources-tips, piece-rate payments, nonmilitary cash bonuses, a share of the profits if received by an employee in addition to wages or salary, armed forces pay. National Guard pay, and cash pay received by a farm laborer or manager.
232. "Take-home" pay is not total wages or salary.-The respondent may often report the "take-home" pay, that is, wages or salary minus deductions for withholding tax, retirement pay, union dues, war bonds, etc. If "take-home" pay is reported, the deductions should be added to it and the total counted as wage or salary income. If the respondent knows only the amount of "take-home" pay, it may be necessary to itemize the deductions in order to get an estimate of the total before deductions.
233. Some specific types of wages and salaries:
a. Piece-rate payments.-Money received for work done at a specified amount per piece In many jobs in manufacturing, piece-rate payments are very important.
b. Commissions.-Money received by a person for transacting business for another person. In some occupations such as salesmen, milk truck drivers, laundrymen, etc., commissions may constitute a large proportion of the wage or salary.
c. Tips.-Payments received as supplements to wages for services rendered to the tipper. In some occupations such as waitresses, car hops, barbers, and taxicab drivers, tips may constitute an important part of wages or salary.
d. Bonuses other than military bonuses.-Payments made by employers to employees as supplements to wages and salaries, for example bonuses for services on the basis of a percentage of the profits and "Christmas gifts" of employers to employees.
Military bonuses are "other income," not wages and salary, and should be entered in item 31c.
.-Gifts from employers are to be counted as wages or salary. Occasional gifts from friends or relatives are not to be included in any of the income items. Periodic gifts or contributions for support from a person outside the household are "other income," and should be entered in item 31c.
f. Salaries of corporation officials.- The salary received by an official of a corporation is wage or salary income, just as are the wages of a laborer who works for the same corporation. The official's salary is not "Income from own business" even though he may own stock in the corporation.
g. Armed forces pay.-Money received as payment for service in the armed forces. This includes base pay plus rental and subsistence allowances, longevity pay, flight pay, etc. Bond purchases or voluntary dependency contributions should not be deducted in computing pay; however, standard dependency allotments ($22 or $27 per month) should be deducted.
h. National Guard training pay.- Pay received for training periods in the National Guard.
234. Receipts not counted as wages or salary:
a. So-called "salaries" which some owners of businesses pay themselves. Such "salaries" are to be included as "Income from own business" in item 31b.
b. Reimbursement for travel and other expenses. Such receipts are merely repayment for expenses incurred in connection with the job; they are not income.
c. Pay "in kind" (food, lodging, etc. given to an employee) even though received as payment for work performed and considered work for purposes of items 15 and 16. Pay "in kind" is not counted as income; items 31 and 32 refer only to money income.
235. Use of Federal income tax form.-The tax form may contain the combined wages or salaries of husband and wife. If so find out what share was received by each. Wages and salaries are reported on income tax forms as follows:
Form 1040 (Long form)
Form 1040A (Short form)
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You should not ask the respondent to refer to income tax forms, but if he does so voluntarily, make use of the information.