Passive Income

Definition of 'Passive Income'


Earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not actively involved. As with non-passive income, passive income is usually taxable; however it is often treated differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Investopedia explains 'Passive Income'


There are three main categories of income: active income, passive income and portfolio income. Passive income does not include earnings from wages or active business participation, nor does it include income from dividends, interest or capital gains. For tax purposes, it is important to note that losses in passive income generally cannot offset active or portfolio income.

It is important to note that, by some, portfolio income is considered passive income; in which case dividends and interest would be considered passive. The important definition is the one the IRS uses, and to be sure your taxes are filed correctly, it would be prudent to check with the IRS or a tax professional on this matter if you have a blend of active, passive, and portfolio income.


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