What is Capital Income?Definition, Difference, Example

Capital income refers to the money that you make from assets. If you have any capital assets, then you are making capital income. These assets include real estate, personal property, stock, bonds, and so on. Continue reading to learn all you need to know.

What is Capital Income?

Capital income is revenue that is derived from capital, or wealth itself, as opposed to particular output or direct labor.What is Capital Income?  Examples include stock dividends and any type of capital gains, as well as income derived from a firm that is unrelated to the owner’s labor. This term can also be used to refer to any revenue utilized for capital expenditures, but this usage is less prevalent.


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States classifies income as either a capital gain or capital loss, depending on whether there is a net gain or loss.

What is Capital Income?

For instance, if a parcel of land is acquired for $500,000 USD and sold for $600,000 USD one year later, the seller has a capital gain of $100,000 USD, which is included in his or her capital income for the year. Alternatively, if the land was sold for $400,000 USD, a capital loss of $100,000 USD has happened.

Form of Capital Income

In the United States, this type of income is taxed much less than regular income, which includes wages and salaries. It is expected that this will encourage capitalists to invest more significantly. In fact, there are regular proposals to repeal capital gains taxes entirely and replace them with a consumption tax.

What is Capital Income?

Under a consumption tax, only the purchase of goods and services would be taxed, thus individuals would be charged on how much they consume as opposed to how much wealth they produce.

The difference between capital income and regular income

Historically, the gap between capital income and regular income was referred to as the distinction between unearned and earned income. The idea behind this statement was that income from capital, which was simply generated from asset ownership, was not earned in the strictest meaning of the word.

What is Capital Income?

On the other hand, labor was viewed as earned revenue. Particularly in the nineteenth century, there was a tremendous pushback against unearned wealth, which found expression in several anti-capitalist ideologies of the time.

History of Capital Income

Historically, in the United States, non-earned income was expected to be taxed at a considerably higher rate than earned or regular income. In the late 19th century, the initial plan for the federal income tax contained a tax on unearned income that was larger than the tax on earned income.

What is Capital Income?

When the current income tax was enacted in 1913, a provision was proposed to tax earned income at a lower rate than capital income, but it was rejected. A similar law was subsequently enacted, but it was removed a year later.

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One argument against permitting the expansion of capital income is that it tends to compound, resulting in a more unequal distribution of wealth.

Since capital may generate more capital, any block of initial capital, such as that received by inheritance, will generate additional capital over time, causing it to grow exponentially. However, since salaries and the number of hours a person may work limit earned income, it will rise at a far slower rate.

What is Capital Income?


Capital Income is the most common type of income, it is also referred as profits or gains. In some countries it is called dividends.Capital Income is one of the most important sources of income in a company and it is earned by its owners or shareholders through the company’s profits.

If you are an owner of a company, then capital income is a part of the company’s revenue. You receive dividends from the company, after it pays its debts, taxes, and other costs.

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