tax shelter


Definition of tax shelter

: a strategy, investment, or tax code provision that reduces tax liability

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from tax shelter

tax-sheltered \ ˈtaks-​ˌshel-​tərd How to pronounce tax-sheltered (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tax shelter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

First, combining a low tax rate on capital gains with a high tax rate on interest payments is central to many tax shelters. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, "Index Capital Gains, but Not Without Congress’s Consent," 1 Aug. 2018 Instead of stashing money in tax shelters, people invested in the private economy, producing more taxable income for the federal government to spend. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, "Democrats Contend With the ‘Anger Translator’," 8 Jan. 2019 We were originally involved in B movies (Billy Jack movies, etc.) as these were more or less tax shelters. Jane Wooldridge, miamiherald, "This Miami man created the Florida prepaid college plan. He also owned Studio 54.," 2 July 2018 Around the same time, as a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump began attacking Amazon, writing on Twitter that Mr. Bezos was using the Washington Post as a tax shelter. John D. Mckinnon, WSJ, "How Amazon Became One of Washington’s Most Powerful Players," 20 June 2018 Does this go over well with fans in the true home countries, who don't have the luxury of a tax shelter, or is the desire to see a compatriot champion enough for forgiveness? Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Serena Williams Should Absolutely Be Seeded at the French Open," 23 May 2018 In reality, lawmakers from both parties supported House Bill 4007, which also created tax sheltered savings accounts for first-time homebuyers, a priority for the real estate industry. Hillary Borrud,, "Grocers pour $2 million into effort to ban taxes on food," 15 May 2018 The year is 2002 and former lobbyist Soussan (an earnest Theo James) is searching for something more meaningful than tax shelters, sweatshops and ozone holes. Michael Rechtshaffen,, "U.N. intrigue and corruption in 'Backstabbing for Beginners'," 26 Apr. 2018 JPMorgan employs nearly 10,000 people in the Philadelphia area, mostly at its credit card, consumer lending, information technology, tax shelter and other offices in northern Delaware. Joseph N. Distefano,, "JPMorgan Chase plans new branches in Philly and beyond," 11 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tax shelter.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of tax shelter

1952, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tax shelter

Dictionary Entries near tax shelter


tax refund

tax selling

tax shelter

tax stamp



Statistics for tax shelter

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tax shelter

The first known use of tax shelter was in 1952

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tax shelter

tax shelter


Financial Definition of tax shelter

What It Is

A tax shelter is a means of minimizing one's tax liability. Tax shelters can be both legal and illegal.

How It Works

The most widely used tax shelter in the United States is the 401(k) employer sponsored plan. It is generally available to an employee to both reduce the amount of taxes paid on his income as well as to save for his future retirement.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) investment vehicles such as 401(k)s and IRAs as legal tax avoidance mechanisms.

Limited partnerships are also considered legal tax shelters. They can avoid taxes because the business -- for example mining companies --require several years and heavy capital investment before a real income is realized. Taxes are levied as soon as the company starts to make income.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: The Most Important Tax Changes to Know Before Filing Your Tax Return]

Why It Matters

While retirement plans and limited partnerships are legal, many investment vehicles are illegal. A series of tax laws have been implemented to put a stop to abusive tax shelters.

The IRS will attach a fee if one places money into an "abusive" shelter. Abusive shelters are those that "exist primarily to reduce taxes unreasonably for tax avoidance or evasion... A legitimate investment produces income or capital appreciation and involves a risk of loss proportionate to the investment."

Illegal tax shelters include offshore companies which beguile the tax system.

More information on tax shelters may be found at the IRS website.

[InvestingAnswers Feature: How to Avoid an IRS Audit]

Source: Investing Answers

tax shelter


English Language Learners Definition of tax shelter

: a way of investing money that reduces the amount of tax that has to be paid

tax shelter


Legal Definition of tax shelter

: an entity (as a partnership) or investment plan or arrangement whose principal purpose is the avoidance or evasion of income tax also : an interest offered or purchased on the premise that it will provide favorable tax consequences

More from Merriam-Webster on tax shelter Encyclopedia article about tax shelter

Comments on tax shelter

What made you want to look up tax shelter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


food or victuals

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!