ABOVE THE LINE Definition

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ABOVE THE LINE, a. in accounting, denotes revenue and expense items that enter fully and directly into the calculation of periodic net income, in contrast to below the line items that affect capital accounts directly and net income only indirectly; and, b. for the individual, is a term derived from a solid bold line on Form 1040 and 1040A above the line for adjusted gross income. Items above the line prior to coming to adjusted gross income, for example, can include: IRA contributions, half of the self-employment tax, self-employed health insurance deduction, Keogh retirement plan and self-employed SEP deduction, penalty on early withdrawal of savings, and alimony paid. A taxpayer can take deductions above the line and still claim the standard deduction.

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OPERATING EXPENSE TO SALES reports the operating expenses as a percent of Net Revenues. This then is a measure of the total overhead employed in the firm per Net Sales Revenue Dollar; thereby giving an indication of the efficiency of the cost structure of the company. It gives an indication of the ability of a business to convert income into profit. Generally, businesses with low ratios will generate more profit than others. In general business operations with larger and more stable cash flows can sustain higher ratios than smaller and less stable operations. Scale and income stability are important considerations though it is up to the management of a business to monitor costs in an appropriate manner whatever its size. Formula: Total Overhead Cash Expense / Net Revenues

TRADING SECURITIES is investment in securities with the intention of selling them in the short term for a profit. These are reported at market value. Unrealized gains or losses on these investments appear in the Net Income for the period.

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