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T – Z


Tangible assets

Assets with physical substance controlled by an entity which provide expected future economic benefits either by use on a continuing basis in the company’s activities, e.g. plant and machinery, or for use within the trade of the company, e.g. stock.

Tax codes

Supplied by HM Revenue & Customs for employees and used by employers to determine how much tax to deduct from salaries or wages for remittance to the tax authorities.

Tax shelter

Method of reducing taxable income and thereby reducing tax liabilities.

Total return

Calculation that examines the combination of capital growth with income, such as dividends or interest.

Time deposits

Deposits that require notification before a withdrawal can be made in order to avoid incurring a penalty.

Tied agent

A financial advisor who has an agreement with a company to recommend their products to others. Tied agents cannot be assumed to give impartial advice. They are regulated by the FSA.

Tax year

12 month period commencing 6th April and ending 5th April the following year. Also known as the fiscal year.

Tax allowances

Tax allowances are concessions given by the tax authorities available to be used to reduce a person’s or company’s taxable income.

Tax avoidance

The minimising of individual or company tax liabilities using legal methods.

Tax evasion

The minimising of individual or company tax liabilities by failing to declare or understating taxable income or taxable capital gains to the tax authorities. This is a criminal offence with potentially severe penalties.

Trade creditor

An amount owed to a supplier as a result of trading with them on credit terms.

Taxable gain

The portion of a sale that is liable to taxation.

Taxable earnings

The portion of an individual’s annual income subject to taxation. Generally calculated as gross income less reliefs and allowances.

Time value of money

Represents the interest potentially earned on a payment received today if held until a future date, hence £1 received today is worth more than £1 received in a years time.


Arrangement empowering an individual or organisation (the trustee) to safeguard and administer the assets within the trust, e.g. land and property, on behalf of another (the beneficiary).

Trade debtor

An amount owed from a customer as a result of having supplied them with goods or services on credit terms.

Trial balance

A listing of all debit and credit nominal account balances of a business as taken from the nominal ledger, sales ledger and purchase ledger over a specified period.


A person’s or company’s total net sales recorded over a specific period.


UK GAAP – UK generally accepted accounting principles

Rules, conventions and standards that set out accounting practices for UK companies, established by the Accounting Standards Board.


A guarantee by a financial institution to buy any shares not subscribed for in a new share issue or Rights Issue.

Unlimited liability

A business in which the liabilities of the owners are not restricted to the capital they have invested in the business.

Undistributed profits

Earnings from a company not distributed to its shareholders, but instead retained within the company.

Unqualified opinion

Used in reference to audit opinion that is not qualified for material scope restrictions and departures from accepted accounting principle (GAAP).

Unlisted securities

Shares that are not listed on a recognised stock exchange.

Useful economic life

The period of time an asset is expected to provide economic benefits to a business.


VAT – value added tax

An indirect tax levied on most business-business and business-consumer transactions in the UK and a number of other countries. There are three types of VAT: standard, reduced and zero. Business registered for VAT must charge VAT on their supplies and can reclaim any VAT on purchases.

Variable interest rate

Based on an underlying interest rate index, such as the Bank of England base rate.


Average deviation of figures from their mean. In accounting this term is used in reference to the difference between a projected number and its actual number.

Venture capital

Capital which has been invested in small companies in their infancy, generally considered to be higher risk investments than a publicly listed company. Venture capitalists will usually receive an equity share in the company in return.

VCT – venture capital trust

VCTs are companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and are vehicles set up as part of a scheme designed to encourage individuals to invest indirectly in a range of small higher-risk trading companies whose shares and securities are not listed on a recognised stock exchange. Individuals investing in VCTs may be entitled to various income tax and capital gains tax reliefs. VCTs are exempt from corporation tax on any gains arising on the disposal of their investments.


Wear and tear allowance

An allowance that is tax deductible for the cost of furniture and fittings provided in dwelling houses which are let out furnished.

Windfall profits

A large profit resulting from an unusual or unexpected event.


Economic theory stating stock market prices behave unpredictably due to the efficiency of the market.

Wasting asset

An asset which has a limited economic lifespan.

White Knight

A company which comes to the aid of another facing a hostile takeover.

Working capital

Capital used by an individual or company to fund the general day to day running of the business. Calculated as current assets (e.g. stock, debtors, cash) less current liabilities (e.g. trade creditors, bank overdraft).

Withholding tax

Tax deducted at source from earnings, such as dividends and interest. The purpose being to facilitate or accelerate collection.

Written down value

The cost of an asset, such as a car, after deducting amounts written off. For tax purposes it is the cost less capital allowances given to date.

Working life

Defined as the start of the tax year in which an individual reaches 16 years to the end of the tax year before reaching the prevailing state pension entitlement age.

Writing down allowance

See ‘capital allowances’.


Zero rated (VAT)

Goods and services that are taxable for VAT, but the VAT rate is 0 per cent. If you sell zero-rated items, you can generally reclaim VAT on your purchases.

Zero-coupon bond

A bond issued at a discount to its maturity value which pays no interest over its life.

Professional Consultation

We help our clients determine the right strategic priorities to grow profitably and maximise value, and offer support and practical solutions to achieve these objectives. We are happy to provide no-obligation advice.