Provisional Income

Definition of 'Provisional Income'


The level of income that is used to determine whether a taxpayer is liable for tax on his or her Social Security benefits, and by how much. Provisional income is calculated by making certain adjustments to the taxpayer's gross income.

The formula for determining provisional income is as follows:

Provisional income = gross income + tax-free interest + 50% of Social Security benefits + any tax-free fringe benefits and exclusions - adjustments to income (except for the student loan deduction, tuition and fees deduction or domestic production-activities deduction)

Investopedia explains 'Provisional Income'


Provisional income is calculated on Worksheet 34-1, unless the taxpayer is an active participant in a qualified plan and also has made or intends to make deductible contributions to a Traditional IRA for the year.

If the taxpayer's provisional income exceeds a certain base amount, then part of the taxpayer's Social Security benefits may become taxable.


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. Joint Venture - JV

    A business arrangement in which two or more parties agree to pool their resources for the purpose of accomplishing a specific task. This task can be a new project or any other business activity. In a joint venture (JV), each of the participants is responsible for profits, losses and costs associated with it.
  2. Aggregate Risk

    The exposure of a bank, financial institution, or any type of major investor to foreign exchange contracts - both spot and forward - from a single counterparty or client. Aggregate risk in forex may also be defined as the total exposure of an entity to changes or fluctuations in currency rates.
  3. Organic Growth

    The growth rate that a company can achieve by increasing output and enhancing sales. This excludes any profits or growth acquired from takeovers, acquisitions or mergers. Takeovers, acquisitions and mergers do not bring about profits generated within the company, and are therefore not considered organic.
  4. Family Limited Partnership - FLP

    A type of partnership designed to centralize family business or investment accounts. FLPs pool together a family's assets into one single family-owned business partnership that family members own shares of. FLPs are frequently used as an estate tax minimization strategy, as shares in the FLP can be transferred between generations, at lower taxation rates than would be applied to the partnership's holdings.
  5. Yield Burning

    The illegal practice of underwriters marking up the prices on bonds for the purpose of reducing the yield on the bond. This practice, referred to as "burning the yield," is done after the bond is placed in escrow for an investor who is awaiting repayment.
  6. Marginal Analysis

    An examination of the additional benefits of an activity compared to the additional costs of that activity. Companies use marginal analysis as a decision-making tool to help them maximize their profits. Individuals unconsciously use marginal analysis to make a host of everyday decisions. Marginal analysis is also widely used in microeconomics when analyzing how a complex system is affected by marginal manipulation of its comprising variables.
Trading Center