Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail
Investing Answers Building and Protecting Your Wealth through Education Publisher of The Next Banks That Could Fail

Loophole

What it is:

A loophole is an exception that allows a system to be circumvented or avoided.  It usually refers to legal, taxation, or security strategies that are exploited for personal gain.

How it works (Example):

Loopholes are failures of a system to account for all conditions, variables, or exceptions.   To illustrate a legal loophole, consider a local development law that requires even an unoccupied building to pay real estate taxes so long as it receives a certificate of completion.  In order to avoid paying taxes, a builder may exploit this loophole and choose not to "complete" the building.

An example of a tax loophole is the tax break for small businesses who invest in "heavy vehicles". The tax break applies if the vehicle is used at least 50% of the time for the business.   Business owners may exploit this loophole by upgrading their own vehicles to SUVs, which are considered "heavy" under the tax law, and thereby gain a personal financial advantage.

In most instances, loopholes that lead to excessive abuse are corrected by subsequent regulations and laws.

Why it Matters:

While loopholes may save money or allow a purchase that would otherwise not be economical, the use of loopholes is considered questionable. Exploiting loopholes may lead to intensive scrutiny and audits, or even just a feeling of bad faith.  For example, a tax payer should be aware when a tax consultant advises of specific tax advantage of whether the advantage is claimed on the basis of an allowable deduction or a loophole.

Related Terms View All
  • Z
    On the Nasdaq market, for example, the letter Z after the ticker (an XYZ Company security...
  • Per Capita
    For example, per capita GDP is a country’s gross domestic product (GDP) per person. The...
  • Minor Downtrend
    The minor trend is the last of the three trend types in Dow Theory -- the other two types...
  • Vagit Y. Alekperov
    Born in 1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Alekperov is the youngest of five children. He went...
  • Minimum Margin
    When a trader engages in trading on margin, the margin account must contain at least $2,...