What is the difference between a distribution and a dividend?

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A distribution is paid by a partnership to its partners, which is generally tax-deferred. A dividend is paid by a corporation to its stockholders and is generally taxable in the year it is received. The taxable income you are allocated as a unitholder may not be equal to the cash distributions that you receive because your share of taxable income as a unitholder includes noncash expenses such as depreciation and depletion, while the cash distributions you receive reflect the cash flow generating ability of the partnership's assets. more
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