The Internal Revenue Service uses a complex definition to identify capital expenditures (assets). A capital expenditure is not deductible as an expense in the tax year purchased; the taxpayer or entity must use depreciation, amortization or depletion to obtain deductible value on the entity’s return.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Definition of an Expense
The Internal Revenue Service defines a business expense as ‘ordinary’ and ‘necessary’. Ordinary expenses are those costs typically incurred in your industry. Necessary expenses are those costs you must incur to fulfill your mission or purpose as a business operation.