Tax Glossary

Tax Glossary

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There are currently 19 names in this directory beginning with the letter H.
Hardship Clause
Discretionary power of the tax authorities to mitigate any harsh results of the tax law.

Head Office Expenses
Where an enterprise with its head office in one country operates through a branch or other permanent establishment in another country, some expenses incurred by the head office, e.g. for general management and administrative expenses or the cost of specific services provided to the permanent establishment, may be deducted in computing the taxable profits of the permanent establishment.

Hedging Transaction
A Transaction where a person tries to protect himself against price, interest rate or foreign exchange rate fluctuations, for example, by buying or selling commodities or currencies using derivative contracts such as forwards, futures, options and swaps.

Hidden Reserves
Reserves which are not disclosed on the balance sheet of an enterprise, either by overvaluing debts or undervaluing assets.

Hidden Tax
Indirect tax paid by the consumer without his or her knowledge.

Highly Compensated Individual
An individual who meets one of the following criteria: (1) owned more than 5% of the capital or profits in a business at any time during the current or prior year, or (2) received compensation during the prior year that was more than an annual predetermined amount and in the top 20% compared to other employees' compensation.

Historical Cost
Amount expended in obtaining an asset at the time of acquisition, i.e. the purchase price and associated costs.

An activity that is carried on for personal pleasure or recreation and is not entered into with the intention of making a profit.

Holding Company
Company whose main purpose is to hold substantial shares of other companies.

Holding Period
The length of time investment property has been held. Generally, the time between the date of purchase (or acquisition) and the date of sale (or disposition). The holding period for stocks and securities begins the day after the trade date and ends the day of sale.

Home Mortgage Interest
Any interest an individual pays on a loan secured by their home (either their main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage to buy their home, a second mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan.

A house and surrounding land owned and used as a dwelling.

Horizontal Equity
Doctrine which holds that similarly situated taxpayers should receive similar tax treatment, e.g. taxpayers who earn the same amount of income or capital should be accorded equal treatment.

House Ways And Means Committee
The committee of the US House of Representatives that introduces most tax provisions.

Household Services
Ordinary and usual services done in and around the taxpayer's home that are necessary to run their home, including the services of a housekeeper, maid, or cook, but not including the services of a chauffer, bartender, or gardener.

Hut Tax
The type of poll tax levied on inhabited dwellings or huts at an early stage in the development of an economy when it is not feasible to introduce an income tax.

Hybrid Accounting Methods
Term which refers to the situation where a taxpayer used a combination of accounting methods (such as accruals basis accounting or cash basis accounting) for different items of income.

Hybrid Derivative
A financial instrument which has the characteristics of more than one type of instrument, i.e. a swap plus an option.

Hybrid Entity
An entity that is characterized differently in two or more jurisdictions, for example, an entity that is treated as a partnership in one jurisdiction and as a corporation in another.