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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



expense n

: financial burden or outlay
: an item of business outlay chargeable against revenue for a specific period

busi·ness expense
: an expense made in furtherance of one's business esp. as part of the cost of operating a business in the taxable year in which the expense is incurred compare capital expense and personal expense in this entry NOTE: Business expenses are generally tax deductible in the year the expense is incurred.

capital expense
: an expense made in a business that will provide a long-term benefit
: capital expenditure NOTE: Capital expenses are not tax deductible as business expenses but may be used for depreciation or amortization.

mov·ing expense
: an expense incurred in changing one's residence that is tax deductible if incurred for business reasons (as when one's job requires relocation)

or·di·nary and nec·es·sary expense
: an expense that is normal or customary and helpful and appropriate for the operation of a particular business or trade and that is made during the taxable year called also ordinary and necessary business expense NOTE: Ordinary and necessary expenses are tax deductible.

per·son·al expense
: an expense incurred in the course of one's personal affairs as distinguished from the course of one's employment or the operation of a business compare business expense in this entry NOTE: Personal expenses are usually not tax deductible.
vt ex·pensed
1 : to charge with expenses
2 : to write off as an expense

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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