Phantom Income

Filed Under:
Dictionary Says

Definition of 'Phantom Income'


Income paid to a taxpayer during the tax year that is not constructively received at the taxpayer's end. Phantom income is not terribly common, but does manifest itself in such investments as limited partnerships, where the earnings are taxed but not received, and zero-coupon bonds, which are issued at a discount and mature at par. The interest payments for zeros are credited to the taxpayer but no check is actually cut for them. The bondholder effectively receives the payments at maturity, when the bond is redeemed at the higher par value.

Investopedia Says

Investopedia explains 'Phantom Income'


Loan forgiveness is another form of Phantom Income. The creditor essentially "pays" the delinquent borrower the amount of debt forgiven, which is why creditors send Form 1099-C to the borrow showing the amount of "income" that he or she received as forgiven debt. For obvious reasons, Phantom Income is something most taxpayers generally tend to eschew if at all possible. Unfortunately, Phantom Income is unavoidable in some cases.

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Chicago Mercantile Exchange - CME

    The world's second-largest exchange for futures and options on futures and the largest in the U.S. Trading involves mostly futures on interest rates, currency, equities, stock indices and agricultural products.
  2. Private Equity

    Equity capital that is not quoted on a public exchange. Private equity consists of investors and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies that result in a delisting of public equity.
  3. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  4. Valuation

    The process of determining the current worth of an asset or company. There are many techniques that can be used to determine value, some are subjective and others are objective.
  5. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
  6. Tech Street

    A term used in the financial markets and the press to refer to the technology sector. Companies like Intel, Microsoft, Apple and Dell are all considered to be part of Tech Street.
Trading Center