• Glossary

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    Click the first letter of the term you're searching for to get an easy-to-understand explanation.


  • Partner -

    An individual who shares ownership of an unincorporated trade or business with one or more persons.

    Partnership -

    An unincorporated organization with two or more parties who join together to carry on a trade or business, with each party contributing money, property, labor, or skills and expecting to share in the profits and losses of the business.

    Passenger Automobile -

    Any four-wheeled vehicle made primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways and rated at 6,000 pounds or less of unloaded gross vehicle weight (6,000 pounds or less of gross vehicle weight for trucks and vans).

    Passive Activity -

    Generally, a trade or business activity in which a taxpayer did not materially participate and any rental activity (except a rental activity for those who qualify as real estate professionals).

    Passive Income -

    Income from a trade or business activity in which a taxpayer did not materially participate and income from all real estate activities, regardless of their participation (except rental activities for those who qualify as real estate professionals).

    Patent -

    The exclusive right granted to an owner or inventor to manufacture, use, or sell an invention for a limited period of time.

    Pension -

    Generally, a series of regular definitely determinable payments made to the individual after they retire from work.

    Per Diem -

    Daily or per day.

    Per Diem Payments -

    Payments made on a periodic basis without regard to actual expenses incurred.

    Periodic Payment or Distribution -

    A payment or distribution from a retirement plan that recurs on a regular basis, such as monthly or yearly.

    Period of Limitations -

    The period of time after which a taxpayer can bring no legal action against the IRS regarding their tax return or vice versa.

    Permanently and Totally Disabled -

    A condition that indicates an individual cannot engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental condition. A physician must certify that the condition has lasted or can be expected to last continually for at least 12 months or that the condition can be expected to result in death.

    Personal Representative -

    A court-appointed executor or administrator of an estate or anyone who is in charge of a deceased individual's property.

    Personal Service Activity -

    An activity that involves the performance of personal services in the fields of health (including veterinary services), law, engineering, architecture, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, or any other trade or business in which capital is not a material income-producing factor.

    Personal Service Corporation -

    A corporation for which the main work is the performance of personal service activities and for which these activities are substantially performed by employees who are also owners of the corporation.

    Phaseout -

    The gradual reduction in the amount allowed as a deduction, a credit, or an expense.

    Placed in Service -

    Ready and available for a specific use whether in a trade or business, the production of income, a tax-exempt activity, or a personal activity.

    Placed-in-Service Date -

    The date property is ready and available for a specific use.

    Points -

    Mortgage interest fees paid to reduce the initial interest rate on a loan. Points may also be called loan origination fees, maximum loan charges, loan discount, or discount points.

    Policyholder -

    A person who owns the proceeds of an insurance contract. The policyholder may also be the insured.

    Portfolio Income -

    Interest, dividends, annuities, and royalties not derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business; a gain or loss from the disposition of property that produces these types of income or that is held for investment.

    Postsecondary Education -

    Education beyond high school at a college, university, or vocational school.

    Preferred Stock -

    A type of share in the ownership of a company that usually does not provide voting rights, but the preferred stock shareholders' claim to dividends comes before shareholders owning common stock.

    Premium Tax Credit -

    New tax credit available to help offset the cost of health insurance for taxpayers whose household income is between 100% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

    Presidentially Declared Disaster Area -

    An area declared by the president of the United States to be eligible for federal assistance under the Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

    Pre-Tax Contribution -

    The voluntary contribution an employer deducts from an employee's pay that is not subject to income tax. Also known as deferred compensation or elective deferral.

    Prior-Year Unallowed Losses -

    Losses not allowed in prior years due to basis limitations, at-risk limitations, or passive activity loss limitations that are carried forward to the current tax year.

    Private Activity Bond -

    A tax-exempt bond issued by a state or locality to finance the private development of public projects for the benefit of the general public.

    Progressive Deterioration -

    Damage resulting from a steadily ongoing operation or a normal process, rather than from a sudden event.

    Property Class -

    A category for property under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) that generally determines the depreciation method, recovery period, and convention.

    Publicly Traded Partnership -

    A partnership in which the partnership's interests are traded on an established securities market or are readily tradable on a secondary market (or its substantial equivalent).

    Put Option -

    A contract granting the owner of a security the right to sell the security at a predetermined price during a specified period of time.