JSON omitempty With time.Time Field

The omitempty tag option does not work with time.Time as it is a struct. There is a “zero” value for structs, but that is a struct value where all fields have their zero values. This is a “valid” value, so it is not treated as “empty”.

But by simply changing it to a pointer: *time.Time, it will work (nil pointers are treated as “empty” for json marshaling/unmarshaling). So no need to write custom Marshaler in this case:

type MyStruct struct {
    Timestamp *time.Time `json:",omitempty"`
    Date      *time.Time `json:",omitempty"`
    Field     string     `json:",omitempty"`

Using it:

ts := time.Date(2015, 9, 18, 0, 0, 0, 0, time.UTC)
ms := MyStruct{
    Timestamp: &ts,
    Field:     "",

Output (as desired):


Try it on the Go Playground.

If you can’t or don’t want to change it to a pointer, you can still achieve what you want by implementing a custom Marshaler and Unmarshaler. If you do so, you can use the Time.IsZero() method to decide if a time.Time value is the zero value.

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