ExpenseFinancial Dictionary -> General Finance -> Expense
Expenses are divided into financing expenses, investing or capital expenses, and operating expenses in statements of cash flow. Financing expenses involve interest costs for bonds and loans. Capital expenses refer to purchasing equipment and other material facilities, while operating expenses are salary payments. Not all 'expenses', however, are considered as such. For example, expenses subject to depreciation are considered such only if the business entity employs accrual accounting. Most big companies and corporations make use of it. This system records items when they are gained. Deductions are made when expenditures are incurred.
How does one determine when income is earned? There are two ways, known as the earlier-of test and the all-events test. With the former, the taxpayer gains income when payment is due, payment is made (depending on which one occurs earlier), and when the required performance has occurred. With the latter, income is included for the tax year when its amount of income can be accurately determined.
To find out the costs of goods sold, businesses have to value their inventory at the beginning and the end date of every tax year. The cost of goods sold should be deducted from the company's gross receipts to come up with its annual gross profit. Some expenses included in figuring the cost include: direct labor costs (e.g. contributions to annuity plans and pensions) for workers involved in the production process; the cost of raw materials or products, together with freight; storage; and factory overhead. In compliance with the uniform capitalization rules, direct costs and some of the indirect costs for resale activities and production must be capitalized. Indirect costs include: purchasing, storage, taxes, interest, rent, processing, handling, repacking, and administrative costs. This rule does not hold for personal property that is acquired for the purpose of resale if one's gross receipts per annum, for 3 consecutive tax years, are less than $10 million.
Under the US tax code, buying gas to fuel assets, such as a business car, is considered an expense whereas the actual car is not. This is because it is a business-related asset and as such, it also represents a capital expense. Costs that prolong or improve the life of such assets are not considered expenses and are not tax-deductible. Gas will only allow the car to run. Expenses also include costs that reduce taxable income.