allowance al‧low‧ance [əˈlaʊəns] noun
1. [countable] an amount of money that someone is given regularly or for a special reason:

• She earns a package worth $1 million, including a $15,000 clothing allowance.

ˌcost of ˈliving alˌlowance [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES
money some people receive in addition to their normal pay to cover increases in the cost of living. The amount is related to changes in the cost-of-living index
enterˈtainment alˌlowance [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES
an amount of money given regularly to an employee to pay for meals, hotels, drinks etc for company business clients:

• He had an entertainment allowance of around £20,000 a year.

ˈfamily alˌlowance [uncountable]
the old name for child benefit benefit1
ˈjob-seeker's alˌlowance [countable]
money that the British government pays to people who do not have a job but who are looking for one. The job-seeker's allowance replaced unemployment benefit
subˈsistence alˌlowance [countable] HUMAN RESOURCES
money that you are given to pay for food and other small costs, for example when you have to travel somewhere for your employer:

• You can claim a £29 a day subsistence allowance to cover meals, taxis, and other incidental expenses.

2. [countable] ACCOUNTING an amount that a company thinks it may lose in the future, and includes in its accounts as a provision:
subsistence allowance for

• The company has made an increase in its allowance for bad debt.

ˌloan-ˈloss alˌlowance [countable] BANKING
an amount that a bank thinks it may lose in the future because loans it has made will probably not be repaid:

• Worsening economic conditions could force it to increase its loan-loss allowances.

3. [countable] TAX an amount of money that a person can earn without paying tax on it
ˈincome tax alˌlowance [countable] TAX
a part of someone's income that is not taxed, for example because it comes from a particular source, or because they have children; = income tax deduction AmE
ˈpersonal alˌlowance [countable] TAX
the amount of income that each person can earn each year without paying tax on it; = personal exemption
4. [countable] TAX a maximum amount of goods that you can buy without paying tax on them when taking them into another country:

• They may introduce higher sales taxes on purchases above the duty-free allowance.

5. [countable] TAX an amount that can be taken off a business's profit figure when calculating tax. Allowances are often used to encourage particular business decisions, such as spending on new machinery
ˈauto-expense alˌlowance , ˈcar alˌlowance [countable] TAX
an amount that can be taken off a business's profit figure when calculating tax, to allow for the cost of using cars for business purposes:

• a big increase in taxes on company cars and a cut in the auto-expense allowance

ˈcapital alˌlowance [countable]
TAX a particular amount of a business's profit that is not taxed if it is invested in equipment etc:

• Small and medium businesses will benefit from a doubling of capital allowances on machinery and plant.

depreciˈation alˌlowance [countable] TAX
an amount that can be taken off a business's profit figure when calculating tax, to allow for the fact that an asset has lost part of its value during a particular period of time:

• The finance minister should increase business depreciation allowances to encourage investment.

ˌwriting-ˈdown alˌlowance [countable] TAX
in Britain, an amount allowed for depreciation (= fall in value) of an asset that is not taxed:

• Only 25 per cent writing-down allowance is given in the first year.

6. [countable] MARKETING a reduction in price given to retailers by manufacturers or wholesaler S:

• The company had to give retailers special allowances so they could lower the price.

— see also oversubscription allowance

* * *

allowance UK US /əˈlaʊəns/ noun [C]
money that someone is given regularly by their employer or by the government to pay for a particular thing: »

an accommodation/car/mileage allowance

an allowance for sth/to do sth »

Some companies will even give their telecommuting executives an allowance to buy office furniture for their home.


Employees relocating to London receive a maximum allowance of £1000 a year.

an amount of something that someone is allowed to have, use, produce, etc.: baggage/luggage allowance »

Baggage allowance is 2 free bags per passenger, and $80 per additional bag.


In Europe nearly all of the valuable emission allowances - permits that each allow one ton of emissions - were given away to power companies.

TAX an amount of goods that you are allowed to buy and take into another country before you have to start paying tax: »

The Australian Customs Service will not charge you duty or tax on goods you bring in if they are within the duty-free allowance guidelines.

mainly UK TAX an amount of money that can be taken off your income before the tax owed is calculated: »

a tax allowance


a personal/married couple's/single person's allowance


an annual allowance

ACCOUNTING, TAX an amount of money that can be taken off a company's profits before the tax owed is calculated: »

The purchaser of assets can claim allowances on certain items such as plant and machinery.

the fact of planning or paying now for a possible future change in a situation or a possible future cost, or the amount that is planned for: make an allowance for sth »

It is unlikely that the regulator will make any allowance for falls in customer service caused by a strike.


They made a 10% allowance for bad debt.


The company will extend existing health-plan contracts and their pricing for eight years, with allowances for inflation.

Compare PROVISION(Cf. ↑provision) noun
COMMERCE a special arrangement, such as a lower price, that manufacturers offer to stores which are going to sell their products: »

When selling a new product, manufacturers sometimes give retailers an allowance, for example a sale or return agreement.

See also CAPITAL ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑capital allowance), COST OF LIVING ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑cost of living allowance), DISPLAY ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑display allowance), ENTERTAINMENT ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑entertainment allowance), HARDSHIP ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑hardship allowance), INVESTMENT ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑investment allowance), JOBSEEKER'S ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑Jobseeker's Allowance), LOAN-LOSS ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑loan-loss allowance), PERSONAL ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑personal allowance), SUBSIDIARY(Cf. ↑subsidiary) noun, SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑subsistence allowance), WRITING-DOWN ALLOWANCE(Cf. ↑writing-down allowance)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Allowance — may refer to: *Allowance (money) *Allowances in accounting, see Accounts receivable *Personal allowance in the United Kingdom s taxing system * Jobseeker s Allowance, a term for unemployment benefit in the United Kingdom * EU Allowances… …   Wikipedia

  • allowance — al·low·ance /ə lau̇ əns/ n 1: an allotted share: as a: a sum granted as a reimbursement or payment for expenses an allowance to support the deceased s family deduction for a moving allowance b: a sum granted as a reduction or increase …   Law dictionary

  • allowance — 1 *ration, dole, pittance Analogous words: allotment, apportionment, assignment (see corresponding verbs at ALLOT): share (see corresponding verb SHARE): grant, *appropriation, subsidy 2 Allowance, concession both signify a change made by way of… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • allowance — [ə lou′əns] n. 1. the act of allowing, permitting, admitting, etc. [the allowance of a claim] 2. something allowed as a share; specif., an amount of money, food, etc. given regularly to a child, dependent, etc. or to military personnel for a… …   English World dictionary

  • Allowance — Al*low ance, n. [OF. alouance.] 1. Approval; approbation. [Obs.] Crabbe. [1913 Webster] 2. The act of allowing, granting, conceding, or admitting; authorization; permission; sanction; tolerance. [1913 Webster] Without the king s will or the state …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Allowance — Al*low ance, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Allowancing}.] [See {Allowance}, n.] To put upon a fixed allowance (esp. of provisions and drink); to supply in a fixed and limited quantity; as, the captain was obliged to allowance his crew; our provisions were …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • allowance — (n.) late 14c., praise (a sense now obsolete), from O.Fr. aloance allowance, granting, allocation, from alouer (see ALLOW (Cf. allow)). Sense of a sum alloted to meet expenses is from c.1400. In accounts, meaning a sum placed to one s credit is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • allowance — [n1] amount of money or other supply aid, alimony, allocation, allotment, annuity, apportionment, bequest, bite*, bounty, commission, contribution, cut, endowment, fee, fellowship, gift, grant, honorarium, inheritance, interest, legacy, lot,… …   New thesaurus

  • Allowance — Allowance. См. Припуск. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Allowance — (engl., spr. ällaūens, »Erlaubnis«), s. Armenwesen (Abschnitt »England«) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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