Is Money Tangible or Intangible Property?

Money is tangible property. Tangible property refers to any physical possession that can be held and managed, including real and personal property. On a balance sheet, cash assets are classified as tangible property and are booked accordingly, generally under current assets.

Tangible property is the most common form of asset. The category of tangible property covers a wide range, from cash to cars to heavy machinery. If an object can be physically handled, it is considered a tangible asset.

Defining an intangible asset is slightly more difficult. Intangible assets are business assets that can be valued by a company but are not able to be physically handled. Intangible assets generally serve a vital role in a business and are recorded in company books, but do not share an entry with tangible assets.

Common intangible assets include intellectual property, such as copyrights and patents, brand recognition and goodwill. Goodwill is a business term used to refer to any cash paid in a transaction over the value of a sale or acquisition. Goodwill is included on a balance sheet as well, despite in largely theoretical terms. Unlike tangible property, intangible assets do not have apparent value but can be bought and sold like any business asset.

For example, the company Coca Cola values its plants and machinery and considers them assets, but also sees a high value in the patent covering its secret recipes and brand recognition in the marketplace.