Mutual fund distributions are payments of income and capital gains that financial companies such as Fidelity pay out to mutual fund shareholders. Fidelity offers a wide variety of mutual funds, including the Fidelity Contrafund, which trades under the name FCNTX, according to Forbes. Fidelity pays distributions to investors on a per-share basis that varies depending on the performance of each individual fund.
Yearly distributions from Fidelity's mutual funds pay out at the end of the calendar year; in 2014, most of these year-end distributions were paid in the first half of December, with a few exceptions, as reported by Fidelity's Year-End Distributions chart. Fidelity's customers can opt to have their distributions paid into a separate bank account. If this option is not taken, Fidelity automatically reinvests the distribution amount, leaving the account holder with more shares at the end of the year than they had at the beginning.
Distributions from Fidelity mutual funds are subject to taxation. Investors and their tax professionals should gather data on the fund's performance and distribution payments and report this information to the IRS. Fidelity provides its customers with tax documents that are specially designed for reporting this information. The company distributes this paperwork in January or February to give customers enough time to fill out the forms before the tax due date in April.