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  1. This answer was edited.

    In the business world, the terms "Debt" and "Liability" are used interchangeably and are understood to be the same. But in reality, they differ. Debt Debt is the money borrowed by a business entity which is to be repaid to the moneylenders at a future specified date. For Example, Term loans acceptedRead more

    In the business world, the terms “Debt” and “Liability” are used interchangeably and are understood to be the same. But in reality, they differ.

    Debt

    Debt is the money borrowed by a business entity which is to be repaid to the moneylenders at a future specified date.

    For Example,

    • Term loans accepted from a bank or financial institutions for business expansion
    • Car loan, Home loan, Education loan

    Liability

    Liability is an obligation to render goods or services or an economic obligation to be discharged off at a future date.

    For Example,

    • Outstanding payment to suppliers of raw materials
    • Outstanding Expenses – accrued rent, outstanding professional fees, outstanding electricity expenses, unpaid salary, etc
    • Income received in advance – rent received in advance, commission received in advance, etc
    • Bills payable
    • Debts accepted by an entity

    Key differences between Debt and Liability

    Now, let me help you understand the differences between the two terms discussed above, debt and liability.

    Particulars

    Debt

    Liability

    1. Narrow/Broad aspectDebt is an integral part of liability. It is a type of liability.Liability is a broader term and it includes debt and other payables.
    2. Repayment modeDebt can be repaid back only in cash.Liabilities other than debt can be settled by rendering goods or services or by paying cash.
    3. OccurrenceDebt does not arise on a daily basis. It results only when an entity borrows money from another party.Other liabilities arise during the course of the day to day operations of the business.
    4. Formal agreementDebt involves a formal agreement between the borrower and the lender.Liabilities apart from debt may not involve such a formal agreement between the parties.
    5. UtilizationDebt helps entities for business expansion and diversification.Liabilities help entities conduct their daily business functions and processes.
    6. Interest paymentThe repayment of debt involves payment of interest along with the principal amount.Discharge of other liabilities may not involve payment of interest along with the actual amount of liability.
    7. Option of installmentsDebt repayment usually provides an option of payment in installments.Liabilities settlement may not provide such an option to the borrower.

    Conclusion

    All debts are liabilities, but not all liabilities are debts.

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  1. This answer was edited.

    Meaning of Non-Current Liabilities Non-current liabilities are obligations of an entity which becomes due at a future date and such future date falls beyond 12 months. Whereas current liabilities are those obligations wherein an entity is liable to honour such obligations within 12 months. Meaning oRead more

    Meaning of Non-Current Liabilities

    Non-current liabilities are obligations of an entity which becomes due at a future date and such future date falls beyond 12 months. Whereas current liabilities are those obligations wherein an entity is liable to honour such obligations within 12 months.

    Meaning of Debt

    Debt is any sum of money borrowed by an entity or a person from another entity or a person. Debt is borrowed generally when such an entity has a cash crunch or liquidity crunch or if it has an urgency of making a payment or any other purpose. It can be a long term or a short term debt.

    The amount borrowed can be said to be a debt only if such a contract specifies the intention to repay at a future date the amount so borrowed. The borrower might have to pay interest if it’s agreed earlier in the agreement.

    Is Non-Current Liability a Debt?

    The answer to the above question is that it depends. When we take a bank loan it’s a debt but in case of a deferred tax liability or a long term provision even though it’s a part of non-current liability but it can not be called as a debt.

    I will give you an example of when it shall be called a debt-

    You have a business of manufacturing bottles and there is a huge demand for such bottles in the market recently so you decide to increase the production but your plant has a limited capacity hence you decide to purchase a new plant with higher capacity but your entity is facing a shortage of funds hence you apply to the bank for a loan of such amount.

    The bank sanctions such loan and transfers the amount so required. Now, The agreement states that the amount borrowed is repayable by you after 5 years.

    The loan mentioned in the above case qualifies to be a non-current liability since the obligation to repay arises after 5 years i.e > 12 months. And it’s also an amount borrowed by a person or an entity from another person or an entity. Hence, it’s a perfect example of debt.

    You will be able to understand from the below balance sheet that even though deferred tax liability is included under the head of non-current liabilities it does not signify to be a debt. And a bank loan having obligation to pay after a year is covered under long term debt.

    Presentation of non current liabilities in balance sheet

    Conclusion

    All the non-current liabilities are not long term debts but all the long term debts are non-current liabilities.


    Aastha.

     

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