Acquiring consistent pay is a need in the event that you have plans to help yourself live independently and regularly requires exchanging your time for cash. Nonetheless, not all money comes to you through a paycheck. Instead, you might target some assets that make money to purchase, limiting your exertion to receive it. 

This type of money, often referred to as passive earnings or non-active income, can hold numerous favorable benefits. Truth be told, numerous financial specialists look for these revenue streams as a way to enhance their earnings and balance them against their living expenses. 

Doing so can likewise introduce an occasion to have Uncle Sam take less from you in taxes. That’s certainly a win for considering this type of earnings.

How Does the IRS Tax Income?

In the U.S., the country uses a progressive tax system overseen by the IRS. This system has numerous advantages baked in depending on how you derive your income, whether from active or passive sources.  Timing also matters in some instances.

Active income falls into a 7-tiered bracket system with progressively higher tax rates as you earn more income, hence a “progressive” tax system. The top rate comes to 37% while the lowest is 10%. Passive earnings, on the other hand, fall into three categories: 0%, 15% and 20%.

As you can see, passive income has a better potential for paying less in taxes. Aside from the type of income, the time involved with holding certain assets and receiving income plays a part as well. In other words, whether the gain constitutes “long-term” (held for 12 months or longer) or “short-term” (held for less than a year).

This post examines the tax advantages of qualified passive earnings sources and then reviews some common examples of those sources.

What are Passive Earnings?

When taking a gander at the term, the definition may act naturally clear. Passive earnings is any money source which doesn’t originate from active means (otherwise called ordinary). It is procured latently from different endeavors in which you don’t take a tangible interest. 

Such instances of this incorporate profits, a owned portion of a business as a limited partner, royalties, passive income apps, or even salary procured from different interests in which the speculator doesn’t actively participate

In practice, passive money has been alluded to as earnings you gain out of the customary compensation you get from work. 

At the end of the day, you don’t exchange your time or exertion to acquire passive revenue. For some, who look for financial autonomy, a brilliant methodology incorporates building a huge income from numerous sources. Whenever done astutely, this can prompt your exit from the workforce and present a budgetary opportunity to live how you want. 

Similarly as significant as creating passive revenue streams is building those which realize favorable circumstances through tax rules seen at long-term capital gains rates. In any case, not all passive revenue is dealt with similarly by the IRS. 

Along these lines, the following segment surveys some passive revenue examples and in whether they meet all requirements for desired tax treatment.

Passive Earnings Examples

In practice, the most common example cited when discussing passive earnings that enjoys long-term capital gains treatment is qualified dividend income. If you can manage to earn qualified passive earnings in the top tax brackets, the difference in tax percentage is almost half 13000(37% vs. 20%).

When you incorporate this across your entire portfolio, the savings can really add up. This makes it easier to reach your financial goals.

For those who are able, you can transition as much income as possible toward this more favorable category. In effect, this will dramatically lower your tax bill.

Another popular example of passive earnings is municipal bonds.  These bonds come from state, city or local governmental agencies and use the proceeds to fund public investments.  Further, these types of bonds can also be issued by public agencies to meet unique financing needs.

Higher income investors like municipal bonds because they cannot have federal income tax assessed on their interest payments. These bonds come with lower rates due to their financial security and must be evaluated on a tax-effective basis.

Another example of passive earnings comes from rental real estate, or rental income.Sadly, the IRS does not award such income the same passive tax rates. In fact, the IRS considers this income as no-active though only under the passive earnings/at-risk rules.  

While some benefit can come from this type of income, it mainly relates to losses you might experience from owning and operating rental real estate. Specifically, you may deduct losses tied to owning and leasing a rental property of up to $25,000 if you earn between $100,000 and $150,000 per year.


Based on the IRS rules in place, passive earnings from qualified sources serve as superior to active income. The tax-advantaged nature of these income sources make them superior and good for any person pursuing financial independence to consider. In fact, they represent some of the best investments to own and hold for the long-run.

In the long-run, having a diversified set of income sources will make you less reliant on any one source of income. This means you can experience ups and downs in the market and still earn easy money while you sleep and rest easy knowing your numerous income sources will be diversified and come to you in a tax-friendly manner.