DEFINITION of 'Nominee Distribution'
Interest income reported on IRS Form 1099-INT that a taxpayer designates as being the interest income of a different individual. A taxpayer may choose to make a nominee distribution if s/he jointly owns an account with someone who is not his/her spouse and the financial institution where the account is located reports all the interest earned on that account as being earned by only one of the account holders.
BREAKING DOWN 'Nominee Distribution'
The taxpayer who received the 1099-INT from the financial institution uses Schedule B, Interest and Ordinary Dividends, to report the entire amount. Below that the taxpayer writes "nominee distribution" and enters the amount of interest that really belongs to the other account holder. By subtracting the nominee distribution, the taxpayer avoids paying tax on interest income that isn't really his/hers. The rightful owner pays the tax instead.