Higher rate tax

The highest rate of income tax in the UK which in the 2008/09 tax year is 40%.

Hire purchase

A transaction in which the purchaser of an asset pays an initial deposit and takes possession, and then pays subsequent instalments over a specified time after which ownership passes to the purchaser.

HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs)

The government department responsible for collecting the majority of UK tax revenue, as well as paying tax credits and child benefits.

Holding company

A company controlling one or more other subsidiary companies often by holding the majority of the shares.

Holdover relief

Deferral of a capital gains tax liability on a gift by transferring the liability to the recipient. When the recipient sells the gift the full CGT bill will normally fall due and the recipient will have to pay it.

Hostile takeover

A takeover bid for one company by another which is opposed by the directors of the target company.

Human resource accounting

A method of accounting that recognises human resources and presents them on a company’s balance sheet. These can include experience, education and the future earning power of a company.


A condition in which prices increase extremely rapidly as a currency loses its value.