While our businesses have been able to maintain or increase profits there has been an unwritten acceptance that we will pay for current taxes out of future cash resources.
For example, if you are self-employed, payments on account for self-assessment taxes on current income are made two months before the end of each tax year and four months after the end of each tax year. And if payments on account are not enough to cover what is due, any balance owing to HMRC is payable some months after the end of the tax year.
In the not to distant past business managers were prone to “empire building”. Increasing head count was more important than increasing productivity.
This bygone-age tendency has long slipped away but productivity is likely to remain as a leading consideration when businesses organise their use of human assets to run their businesses in the post-COVID economy.
Dictionary definitions of the word profit tend to include such synonyms as “advantage”, “financial gain” and “financial advantage”.
Longer explanations might say: the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something.
All true to some degree.