Earned income can be defined as income from salaries and self employed income. In other words, someone pays income to you for services and you report it either in the form of a W-2 for salary on a schedule C or partnership return for self-employed individuals. This can be distinguished from investment income which may come from dividends, interest, capital gains etc. reported on Schedule C, or rental income which comes from the rental of real estate and is reported on schedule E. I hope this helps and good luck.
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