Current Liability - Meaning and Types

Authored by
Team Espresso
November 12 2022
3 min read

A company's responsibility to a third party is known as its liability. There is a credit balance for liabilities – the account is credited when a liability grows, and the account is debited when it is settled. So, what is a current liability? A company's short-term financial commitments due in a year or within an operational cycle are known as its current liabilities. Current assets deplete within a year and are utilized to settle current liabilities. For example, the money a company owes to its suppliers in the form of accounts payable. Let’s understand the current liability meaning in detail. 

The current ratio is used by analysts and creditors. To assess a company's ability to settle its debts when they become due, it is crucial to look at its current asset-to-current liability ratio. It is calculated by dividing current assets by current liabilities. 

For creditors and investors alike, the examination of current liabilities is crucial. It reveals how effectively a business manages its balance sheet to settle its immediate liabilities and debts. Moreover, it demonstrates to investors and analysts whether a company has adequate liquid assets to cover current liabilities and other payables. Banks want to know whether a company is timely collecting—or getting paid—for its accounts receivables before issuing loans. 

Types of current liabilities and examples

Accounts payable:

When a business uses credit to buy products or services from its suppliers, accounts payable (AP) are created. It is anticipated that accounts payable will be settled within a year or one operating cycle. One of the most recent types of current liabilities on the balance sheet is AP. High accounts payable indicate that the company uses more of its available credit. Thus, accounts payable management is very important to the firm.

Interest payable:

The amount of interest expenditure accrued to date but not paid as of the balance sheet date is Interest Payable. In a nutshell, it shows how much interest a company owes to lenders.

Income and corporate taxes payable:

The term "income taxes payable" refers to the amount of taxes owed by a business entity to the jurisdiction in which it conducts business. This amount is determined based on its profitability during a specific period and the tax rates. Tax payments must be made within the next 12 months. Thus, it is regarded as a current duty rather than a long-term obligation. Levies levied by the federal and state governments that are incurred but not paid are included in tax liabilities. Since the corporation must pay these taxes within a year, they are recorded as a short-term liability. Moreover, they are listed on the balance sheet's liability side under current liabilities. Several of the typical tax-due accounts include the following: 

Others include Sales tax, tax on wages etc. 

Characteristics of current liabilities

Some of the characteristics of current liabilities are:

● It will be less than a year until current liabilities expire.

● Most notably, when it comes to bank loans, some contain interest payments.

● These current obligations are debts acquired through third parties that must be paid back within the specified time frame.

Also Know about Non-Current Liabilities.


Current liabilities are debts that must be repaid, settled, or discharged within a year of the reporting balance sheet date. They are very important in evaluating the company's short-term liquidity position. Many financial institutions evaluate current liabilities to authorize and disburse working capital loans to companies.


Q. How significant are current liabilities?

Banks and investors use current liabilities to make investment decisions. Financial ratios that assess a company's capacity to satisfy its near-term financial obligations are calculated using current liabilities.

Q. What distinguishes a current liability from future liability?

On a company's balance sheet, long-term obligations will remain for more than a year. However, current liabilities are settled within a year.

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