Derived from the Latin, "ad" and "creso," to grow to.
In past tense, in sense of due and payable; vested. It means to increase; to augment; to come to by way of increase; to be added as an increase, profit, or damage. Acquired; falling due; made or executed; matured; occurred; received; vested; was created; was incurred. H. Liebes & Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, C.C.A.9, 90 F.2d 932, 936.
To attach itself to, as a subordinate or accessory claim or demand arises out of, and is joined to, its principal. Lifson v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, C.C.A.8, 98 F.2d 508.
The term is also used of independent or original demands, meaning to arise, to happen, to come into force or existence; to vest, as in the phrase, "The right of action did not accrue within six years." Amy v. Dubuque, 98 U.S. 470, 476, 25 L.Ed. 228.
To become a present right or demand; to come to pass.
See also vested.
Cause of action.
A cause of action "accrues" when a suit may be maintained thereon, and the law in this regard differs from state-to-state and by nature of action (e.g. type of breach of contract, tort, etc.). Dillon v. Board of Pension Com'rs of City of Los Angeles, 18 Cal.2d 427, 116 P.2d 37, 39.
For example, cause of action might "accrue" on date that damage is sustained and not date when causes are set in motion which ultimately produce injury, City of Philadelphia v. Lieberman, C.C.A.Pa., 112 F.2d 424, 428; on date of injury, Fredericks v. Town of Dover, 125 N.J.L. 288, 15 A.2d 784, 787;
when actual damage has resulted, National Lead Co. v. City of New York, C.C.A.N.Y., 43 F.2d 914, 916;
as soon as contract is breached, Wichita Nat. Bank v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co., Tex.Civ.App., 147 S.W.2d 295, 297;
in legal malpractice action, when the client knows or should know of attorneys error, Hendrickson v. Sears, 365 Mass. 83, 310 N.E.2d 131.
The point in time at which a cause of action "accrues" is important for purposes of running of statute of limitations.
Income "accrues" to taxpayer when there arises to him a fixed or unconditional right to receive it. Franklin County Distilling Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, C.C.A.6, 125 F.2d 800, 804, 805.
But not unless there is a reasonable expectancy that the right will be converted into money or its equivalent. Swastika Oil & Gas Co. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, C.C.A.6, 123 F.2d 382, 384.
Where taxpayer makes returns on accrual basis, item "accrues" when all events occur which fix amount payable and determine liability of taxpayer. Hudson Motor Car Co. v. U. S., Ct.Cl., 3 F.Supp. 834, 847. Tax "accrues" for deduction when all events have occurred which fix amount of tax and determine liability of taxpayer for it, although there has not yet been assessment or maturity. Elmhirst v. Duggan, D.C.N.Y., 14 F.Supp. 782, 784
- accrued expense
- accrued income
- accrued interest
- accrued liability

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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