Gain and Profit

As per Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word “gain” means something wanted or valued that is gotten; something that is gained; especially money gotten through some activity or process, something that is helpful: advantage or benefit; an increase in amount, size or number.
In Words and Phrases, Permanent Edition, Vol. 18, the word “gain” has been given the following meanings:
“Gain” means increase or addition to what one has of that which of profit, advantage or benefit; resources or advantage acquired, profit; opposed to laws; act of gaining something ; specially, the obtaining or amassing of profit or valuable possessions; acquisition, accumulation, Breuer’s Income Tax, In Re , 190 SW 2d 248 : 354 Mo 578 (1945).
Gain, benefit or advantage:
Under the Retail Sales Tax Act, defining “retailer” as every person engaged in business of making sales at retail, and defining “business” as any activity engaged in with the object of “gain, benefit or advantage”, social club which furnished, without profit food and drink to its members and their guests was subject to tax, since, although club realized no “profit” from furnishing of food and drink, it did realise “gain, benefit or advantage”. Gen. Laws 1937, Act 8493, Section 2(c-e). “Profit” may be said to be “gain, benefit or advantage”, but “gain, benefit or advantage” does not necessarily mean only “profit”. Union League Club v. Johnson, 115 P 2d 425 : 18 Cal 2d 275 (1941).
A “vendor engaged in the business of selling tangible personal property”, so as to be liable for sales tax, is one who commences, conducts or commences, conducts or continues in the activity of selling tangible personal property, with the object of gain, benefit or advantage, wither direct or indirect, irrespective of whether sales are made for “profit”, since one may engage in a business activity with an object of “gain, benefit or advantage” and not necessarily for “profit”. Gen. Code, Section 5546-1 et seq., 116 Ohio Laws, Pt. 2, p. 323. “Profit” may be “gain, benefit, or advantage” but “gain, benefit or advantage” does not necessarily mean only “profit”. State v. Zellner, 13 NE 2d 235 : 133 Ohio St 263 (1938).
In Arthur Average Association for British, Foreign and Colonial Ships, In re ex p Hargrove and Company, (1875) LR 10 Ch App 542 (DC), it was held that “gain” is not restricted to pecuniary or commercial profits, it includes other considerations of value obtained.
From the above dictionary meanings and judgment of 1875, it becomes clear that the word “gain” is not synonymous with the word “profit”, It is not restricted to pecuniary or commercial profits and includes other considerations of value gained. Any advantage or benefit acquired or value addition made by some activities would amount to “gain”. Brihan Mumbai Mahangarpalika v. Willingdon Sports Club, (2013) 16 SCC 260.


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