In my last post on business deductions, I argued that the statutory language of §162 allows taxpayers to deduct a wide range of business expenditures. The Treasury Regulations support that analysis, largely due to a verb and preposition contained in the opening paragraph of the accompanying regulations.
“Include,” is a transitive verb that means, “to … comprise as a part of a whole or group.” The verb’s object is a member of a larger category of items. For example, “The complete list of Hall of Fame Baseball players incudes Joe DiMaggio.” The verb’s object (Joe DiMaggio) is a member of a larger group (all the members of the Baseball Hall of Fame). The opening paragraph of the §162 Treasury Regulations states, “Business expenses deductible from gross income include the ordinary and necessary expenditures directly connected with or pertaining to the taxpayer's trade or business…” This sentence is clear: the large number of deductions allowed thanks to the adjectives, “ordinary” and “necessary” are part of an even larger group of allowed expenses.
The preposition “among” means, “Being a member of members of a larger set.” The preposition’s object (which is usually the word, clause of phrase immediately after the preposition) is part of larger group. The opening paragraph of the accompanying regulations contain the following sentence:
Among the items included in business expenses are management expenses, commissions), … labor, supplies, incidental repairs, operating expenses of automobiles used in the trade or business, traveling expenses while away from home solely in the pursuit of a trade or business (see § 1.162-2), advertising and other selling expenses, together with insurance premiums against fire, storm, theft, accident, or other similar losses in the case of a business, and rental for the use of business property.
This is a fairly broad list of potential deductions, covering most of the major expenses taken by a business. The preposition “among” means that this list is non-exhaustive – it is part of a larger number of potential deductions.
Finally, the Treasury Regulations contain 35 specific entries that explain a number of specific deductions. This is the final piece of evidence supporting the contention that the tax laws grant the taxpayer broad discretion to deduction expenses incurred in the production of income.
 Merriam-Webster online dictionary, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/include, last visited on February 11, 2019.
 Treas. Reg. 1.162-1(a)
 The Concise Oxford English Dictionary, © 2004, p. 43
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