Choose stocks with high dividends. Typically, the companies that pay the highest dividends are older, more established companies. These companies no longer need to reinvest their income into growing the company, so they are free to allocate the money to investors in the form of dividends. Telecommunication companies, Real Estate Investments Trusts (REITs), and utility companies, in particular, are known for having high dividend payouts.
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The United States Internal Revenue Service categorizes income as active income, passive income, or portfolio income. It defines passive income as only coming from two sources, or "passive activities": rental activity or "trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate." Other financial and government institutions also recognize it as an income obtained as a result of capital growth or in relation to negative gearing. Passive income is usually taxable.