Why are expenses debited and income credited

Inflow and outflow of operating income and expenses: How to account correctly!

Above all, freelancers, but also small businesses and farms, use the income surplus calculation to determine their profits. In the case of the income excess calculation, it is important that operating income and expenses are accounted for correctly. The point in time at which the payment is made is decisive. There are also small differences between different payment methods.

The operating income and expenses are treated slightly differently depending on the payment method. But there are also differences within the payment methods, whether it is income or expenditure. That applies to:

  • Transfers
  • the direct debit procedure
  • Checks and
  • when paying by credit card


The money for transfers is considered to have been outflowed when the transfer accepted by the bank becomes. For example, if a payment is made on December 31st submitted by transfer form to the bank, the payment is still valid for this year. This is also the case if the bank does not debit the account until the new year. This can be useful if you still want to claim operating expenses in the old year.

The amount will therefore be paid out at the time the transfer is submitted. This also applies to the use of online banking or transfers at a machine. So it counts as an outflow when the bank has accepted the transfer. You should get a confirmation. At the Online banking or on Vending machines you can simply print them out.

With receipts Of course, the day on which the customer specifies the transfer does not apply, but the day on which the money is credited to the account becomes. It often happens that the credit does not match the value date. However, the day of the crediting always applies, the day of the value date is irrelevant.

Direct debit

More and more direct debit is being used as this saves time for companies and customers. Even in many online casinos, this variant is used for making deposits. If you want to find out more about direct debit at online casinos, you can find some useful information on this specific area behind the link. It is important to post the direct debit correctly. This is done in a similar way to receiving a transfer. The day of the direct debit must be noted.


The following applies to a check or crossed check the day of delivery. In such a case, it is advisable to record the date. It does not matter whether the check is thrown in the mailbox or handed over personally.

Credit card

If the entrepreneur makes a payment with a credit card, the moment the credit card is used applies. Here it makes sense to keep payment receipts, as the invoice from the credit card company does not come until the following month.

This also applies to business expenses, for example for office supplies. This is particularly important at the turn of the year. Because here all expenses can still be deducted from taxes, even if the credit card company does not debit the amounts due until the next month and thus not until the next year. For some tax-reducing expenses, receipts are not even required, as these are flat-rate expenses.

If customers pay by credit card, the inflow of payment applies for the day on which the credit card company transfers the amount.

Shifting profits is worthwhile depending on the type of tax

If income fluctuates sharply year-on-year, it may be worth shifting profits in order to achieve an even tax burden (see overview of types of taxes). In return, income and expenses will be postponed. Income will only be booked in the next year and expenses will be brought forward.

Even if entrepreneurs in principle six months have to bill their services, you should only postpone income to the next year that is due shortly before the turn of the year. This is the only way to be sure that you will receive your money on time.

Photo credits: Receipts and receipts for tax returns: © pure-life-pictures - Fotolia.com, man and woman check invoice: © ivanko80 - Fotolia.com