Capital receipts

Capital receipts refer to incoming cash flows (receipts) originating from one of the following three sources:

  • Cash from the sale of fixed assets (either tangible or intangible)
    • Can also include a payment associated with an insurance claim from a damaged fixed asset
    • Cash from the sale of shares in the business
      • Can include common stock and preferred stock
      • Cash from the issuance of a debt instrument
        • Can include bonds and loans

All of these receipts are recorded on the balance sheet, not the income statement. For example:

  • Sell a fixed asset. Debit cash (asset) account and credit fixed asset (credit) account.
  • Sell shares in a business. Debit cash (asset) account and credit equity account.
  • Issue debt. Debit cash (asset) account and credit loan (liability) account.

A capital receipt tends to be of a non-continuing nature. Thus, the sale of a fixed asset or shares in a business arises on only an occasional basis. One exception is when shares are sold on an ongoing subscription basis.

Another way of looking at capital receipts is that they are not generated by the sales of goods or services in the ordinary course of business. Thus, they do not arise from the operating activities of a business.