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Income is the money you or a business earns by providing goods or services, or through investments.

Think of income as the wages or salary you’re paid for doing a job, or the profits you receive from a business you own. Income can also come in the form of returns from investments in things like securities or real estate. Or it can be rent paid to you on land you own.

Many retirees receive the bulk of their income from investments, pensions and Social Security. A business’ income is its revenue after it has paid taxes and expenses.

Unfortunately for your bank account, most income is taxable. But tax-exempt income can come from U.S. Treasury securities, interest on municipal bonds and capital gains after they’ve been offset by capital losses. Qualified dividends and long-term capital gains may be taxed at lower rates. Countries tax income before it’s received to finance their governments.

Disposable income is what you have left after paying your taxes. Unearned income is money from investments. Earned income comes from your job.

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