Under Reporting

Definition of 'Under Reporting'


The deliberate act of reporting less income or revenue than was actually received, usually for income tax purposes. Under-reporting income in order to avoid taxes is an illegal practice.

When people under report their incomes, the federal government loses tax revenue that could go towards social security, Medicare and other federal projects. Corporations are especially watched by auditors because of the large tax bills at stake each tax year.

Investopedia explains 'Under Reporting'


If caught under reporting, individuals and companies will be subject to penalties and, in extreme cases, criminal charges.

Another element of the term's use sometimes applies to public companies reporting lower revenues in a fiscal quarter than were actually recorded. If the company has already been reporting bad news and the stock is down, executives may try to take some revenue from the current quarter and push it into the next quarter. This way, the bad news can be "flushed out", and the company can report an upside surprise in the coming quarter, potentially boosting the stock price. This practice is also illegal!


Filed Under:

comments powered by Disqus
Hot Definitions
  1. National Best Bid and Offer - NBBO

    A term applying to the SEC requirement that brokers must guarantee customers the best available ask price when they buy securities and the best available bid price when they sell securities.
  2. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin account. In the context of the NYSE and FINRA, after an investor has bought securities on margin, the minimum required level of margin is 25% of the total market value of the securities in the margin account.
  3. Leased Bank Guarantee

    A bank guarantee that is leased to a third party for a specific fee. The issuing bank will conduct due diligence on the creditworthiness of the customer looking to secure a bank guarantee, then lease a guarantee to that customer for a set amount of money and over a set period of time, typically less than two years.
  4. Degree Of Financial Leverage - DFL

    A ratio that measures the sensitivity of a company’s earnings per share (EPS) to fluctuations in its operating income, as a result of changes in its capital structure. Degree of Financial Leverage (DFL) measures the percentage change in EPS for a unit change in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT).
  5. Jeff Bezos

    Self-made billionaire Jeff Bezos is famous for founding online retail giant Amazon.com.
  6. Re-fracking

    Re-fracking is the practice of returning to older wells that had been fracked in the recent past to capitalize on newer, more effective extraction technology. Re-fracking can be effective on especially tight oil deposits – where the shale products low yields – to extend their productivity.
Trading Center