Is the correct usage of the non-taxable or nontaxable? I'm not sure what the correct use is. I want to say that it is with the hyphen however it ha become a debate that this could be incorrect.

  • Do have some reason to think that one of those is “correct usage” and one of those is “not correct usage”?
    – tchrist
    Aug 1 '18 at 15:21
  • @tchrist I guess, there is a correct way to use them. Check this link.
    – Ubi hatt
    Aug 1 '18 at 15:44
  • "Non" is one of a very few prefixes that expresses negation. "Non-taxable" is a single word, a compound adjective, so the hyphen is required. It is normal to express it as "non-taxable".
    – BillJ
    Aug 1 '18 at 16:05
  • 1
    @sumelic If there's a space, it's not a compound word but a syntactic construction, as "colour scheme" is. Compare "blackbird" (compound noun) vs "black bird" (syntactic construction).
    – BillJ
    Aug 1 '18 at 16:29

The US Government uses nontaxable on their website.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, The Free Dictionary, and other dictionaries, also use nontaxable.

Therefore, I would recommend using nontaxable, without the hyphen.

There might be other dictionaries out there that include the hyphen however. If you find a notable dictionary that does this and get points off on a paper for using a hyphen, be sure to show the professor. I might add that the use of a hyphen in many words, as you pointed out, is widely debated.

For example, many people omit the hyphen unless a hyphen would separate doubling a letter (non-native vs nonnative, pre-exist vs preexist) Chicago Manual of Style.

  • But you would use non-taxable is if you are in a country whose regional dictionaries do not include it as a closed-form word. Notably, Oxford doesn't show nontaxable as a word. Therefore, if you are in the UK, you would likely spell it non-taxable. Aug 1 '18 at 16:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.