I give you a glimpse of my reading for the day*:
Sec. 61. Gross Income Defined.
a. general definition. - Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, gross income means all income from whatever source derived, including (but not limited to) the following items:
1. Compensation for services, including fees, commissions, fringe benefits, and similar items;
2. Gross income derived from business;
3. Gains derived from dealings in property;
8. Alimony and separate maintenance payments;
10. Income from life insurance and endowment contracts;
12. Income from discharge of indebtedness;
13. Distributive share of partnership gross income;
14. Income in respect of a decedent; and
15. Income from an interest in an estate or trust.
That's right. Income means income. Woohoo! I'm so glad I came to law school to learn that!
* The following supplied by Selected Federal Taxation, Statutes and Regulations, Selected and Edited by Daniel J. Lathrope, 2006 Edition.