A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
C corporation
Common business slang to distinguish a corporation whose profits are taxed separate from its owners under subchapter C of the Internal Revenue Code, from an S corporation, whose profits are passed through to shareholders and taxed on their personal returns under subchapter S of the Internal Revenue Code.
capital case
A prosecution for murder in which the jury is also asked to decide if the defendant is guilty and, if he is, whether he should be put to death. When a prosecutor brings a capital case (also called a death penalty case), she must charge one or more "special circumstances" that the jury must find to be true in order to sentence the defendant to death. Each state (and the federal government) has its own list of special circumstances, but common ones include multiple murders, use of a bomb or a finding that the murder was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.
capital gains
The profit on the sale of a capital asset, such as stock or real estate. If you sell your primary residence, you can exclude $250,000 in profit from capital gains tax. A couple can exclude $500,000.
capital punishment
The decision by a jury, in the second phase of a captital case, that the convicted defendant should be put to death.
capitalized interest
The accrued interest that is added to the principal balance of a loan while you are not making payments or your payments are insufficient to cover both the principal and interest due. When this happens, you end up paying interest on interest, sometimes called "negative amortization."
caption
A heading on all pleadings submitted to the court. It states basic information such as the parties names, court and case number.
carryover basis
The tax basis of someone who receives a gift. The recipient's basis is the same as the giver's; it simply "carries over" when the gift is made.
case
A term that most often refers to a lawsuit -- for example, "I filed my small claims case." "Case" also refers to a written decision by a judge -- or for an appellate case, a panel of judges. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision legalizing abortion is commonly referred to as the Roe v. Wade case. Finally, the term also describes the evidence a party submits in support of her position -- for example, "I have made my case" or "'My case-in-chief' has been completed."
cash surrender value
The amount of cash available upon voluntary termination of an insurance policy before the insurance benefits become payable.
cause of action
A specific legal claim -- such as for negligence, breach of contract or medical malpractice -- for which a plaintiff seeks compensation. Each cause of action is divided into discrete elements, all of which must be proved to present a winning case.
CC&R
See covenants, conditions & restrictions.
CCCS
See Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
census
An official count of the number of people living in a certain area, such as a district, city, county, state, or nation. The United States Constitution requires the federal government to perform a national census every ten years. The census includes information about the respondents' sex, age, family, and social and economic status.
certification mark
A name, symbol, or other device used by an organization to vouch for the quality of products and services provided by others, for example, the "AAA Approved" sign found at hotels.
certification of trust
See abstract of trust.