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As income generally means the amount that remains when the income the expenses withdraws. A distinction is often made between different types of income or sources of income.

Income tax law

Income Income Income zvE.png

In income tax law, income is an increase in wealth generated on the market. Asset increases in the private sector, e.g. B. inheritances , gifts , lottery winnings , expense allowances for blood donors or finder's wages are conceptually not included in income. Likewise, unprofitable increases in the value of capital investments of all kinds (for example also art collections , precious metals , old cars, land) do not count as income. The net principle applies to income . Income is the difference between the income and the expenses caused by the income generation . The amount of the income reflects the objective performance of the taxpayer . The taxable income is derived from the income .

German and Austrian tax law divides income into seven types of income according to Section 2 (1 ) EStG . These types of income belong either to excess income or to profit income . The determination of the surplus income is based on the source theory . According to it, the tax object is the income from the source of income. With regard to earnings, the net worth access theory is used. The tax object here is the taxpayer's asset growth in the assessment period .

Profit income / excess income

The Income Tax Act differentiates between profit income and surplus income .

Extraordinary income

Extraordinary income within the meaning of the Income Tax Act is income that has been generated over several years, but is realized and taxed in a single year. According to Section 34 (2) EStG, only the following income is eligible:

  1. Capital gains on the sale of businesses and sub-businesses (agriculture and forestry, trade, self-employed work within the meaning of § 14 , § 14a , § 16 and § 18 EStG) with the exception of the taxable part of the sales profits that are subject to the partial income procedure ( § 3 No. 40 letter b in conjunction with Section 3c (2) EStG);
  2. Compensation within the meaning of Section 24 No. 1 EStG;
  3. post-paid usage fees and interest for the use of land for public purposes ( Section 24 No. 3 EStG), provided that they are paid for more than three years;
  4. Remuneration for activities lasting several years (more than twelve months).

For this extraordinary income, taxation according to the fifth rule comes into consideration; it is so-called "collectively favored income". According to § 34b EStG, a special tax rate also applies to income from "extraordinary use of wood", but not the one- fifth rule .

Negative income

Losses are negative income.


Income is the amount that remains after deducting expenses from income.


Income is therefore the positive or negative result of the individual business cases . They are calculated as the difference between income and operating expenses or advertising expenses and thus represent a net figure.

A special form is income without benefits such as B. an inheritance .

Individual evidence

  1. Zenthöfer / Schulz zur Wiesche: income tax , p. 25.


  • Zenthöfer / Schulz zur Wiesche: Income tax (blue series), Schäffer-Poeschel-Verlag, Stuttgart, 10th edition, ISBN 978-3-7910-2826-2

Web links

Wiktionary: income  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations