IRS Section 179


Section179.Org Reports on Section 179 Changes Contained in the The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010

www.Section179.Org, a leading resource of Section 179 information, reports substantial changes to Section 179 tax deduction are imminent with the recent passage of H.R. 5279, The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) September 28, 2010

In what has come as a welcome surprise to many business owners, H.R. 5279 (aka The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010) which was signed into law yesterday contains several substantial changes to Section 179, the ever-popular business equipment tax deduction.

“Section 179 was given a nice boost in the past few years, but those boosts were set to expire at the end of 2010” reported Chris Fletcher, Section179.Org’s spokesperson. “But now, not only were the prior higher limits extended for 2010 and beyond, they were made even bigger”.

Indeed, an advanced reading of the bill suggests the following Section 179 changes:

  •     An increase of the total amount available for deduction to $500,000 (up from $250,000)
  •     An increase to the total amount of equipment purchased to $2 million (up from $800,000).
  •     The above numbers are to be in effect for 2010 and 2011.
  •     In addition, the bill also extended the “50% bonus depreciation” to tax year 2010 (it was rescinded earlier this year, but has been restored.)

This is definitely very welcome news to small businesses everywhere. Section 179 has always been extremely popular, and there was real fear that it would be reduced after 2010. This is because for months, there was no indication any changes were coming. But now with the passage of HR 5279, The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, Section 179 has not only been extended, it’s been substantially increased.

Fletcher says he is ready for the deluge of questions and inquiries that www.Section179.Org will receive: “We’ve always been one of the web’s most popular resources for Section 179 news. This is because we’re free for anyone to use, and we explain what’s going on with Section 179 in very plain language. In other words, nobody needs to be a tax expert to get something out of the site. We also have free Section 179 tools, like an updated Section 179 calculator, so business owners can see how much they can save from Section 179” he added.

And while Section 179 will be around for a couple more years, Fletcher thinks 2010 will now be an especially important year for many companies. “It’s been a rough two years for many businesses, and now with these new increases in tax deductions for equipment, software, and vehicles – all of a sudden, 2010 can look a whole lot brighter in terms of net profit from the Section 179 tax deduction combined with equipment financing” said Fletcher. “This is because if a company finances or leases the equipment, they can take the entire deduction this year, while only paying out a small portion. So Section 179 can literally result in net positive dollars deposited in a company’s bank account – giving a substantial boost to a company’s bottom line this year” he added.    

About Section179.Org

www.Section179.Org is a website sponsored by finance and tax professionals providing a comprehensive resource for their clients (and anyone else looking for Section 179 information). With comprehensive Section 179 information written in “plain English” and tools like an
updated Section 179 calculator, the site has proven to be successful in answering almost any Section 179 question a businessperson could have. It is also continually updated, bringing businesspeople the latest information on this important tax deduction for vehicles, software, and equipment.

Thinking about construction equipment purchases for 2008?
The government has created tax incentives that you can use now to save money on your ’08 tax bill.

On Feb. 13, 2008 President Bush signed the
Economic Stimulus Act (ESA). In addition
to providing tax rebate checks to lower- and
middle-income families and making it easier
to refi nance mortgages, the ESA temporarily
reinstates the depreciation bonus and increases
Sec. 179 expensing limits. This can mean
potentially big tax savings for you.
The new law extends the 50% first-year bonus depreciation that was allowed under the 2008 Economic Stimulus Act through Dec. 31, 2009. 

The new law retains the 2008 Section 179 expensing amounts of $250,000 and $800,000 for the cost threshold on purchases

This information is intended to help companies
considering buying equipment in 2008 understand
the basics of the ESA and answer
common questions.

More information is available at Also be sure
to consult with your tax professional.


What exactly does the Economic Stimulus
Act (ESA) mean for my business?

By lowering your taxable income, the depreciation bonus
and Sec. 179 can dramatically cut your 2008 tax bill, thereby
freeing up cash in the near term.

That sounds too good to be true.
What’s the catch?
The more you depreciate now, the less you will be able to
depreciate later. In other words, your tax bill in future years
will be higher because you’ll have less to deduct. But ask yourself
this: Would you rather have the tax savings in your pocket now
to invest in your company or would you rather have Uncle Sam
hold onto your money for a couple additional years?

How does the depreciation bonus work?
Companies that buy new equipment in 2009 can depreciate 50
percent of the cost in the fi rst year, plus the percentage of the
remaining basis in the equipment that would ordinarily be depreciable
under the Modifi ed Accelerated Cost Recovery System
(MACRS). For a $100,000 piece of equipment with a fi ve-year
MACRS life, the fi rst year depreciation under the ESA would be
$60,000: $50,000 depreciation bonus, plus 20 percent of the
remaining $50,000 in basis.

What type of equipment is eligible? To be eligible for the depreciation bonus, the following
requirements must be met:

  • The equipment must be depreciable under MACRS and have
    a depreciation recovery period of 20 years or less. The ESA also
    allows the use of the depreciation bonus for certain types of water
    utility property, software and leasehold improvements. Check with
    your tax professional.
  • The original use of the equipment must commence with the
    taxpayer claiming the depreciation bonus after Dec. 31, 2007.
  • The equipment must be purchased between Dec. 31, 2008 and
    Jan. 1, 2010. Equipment for which a binding purchase contract
    was in effect before Jan. 1, 2010 is not eligible.
  • The equipment must be placed in service between Dec. 31, 2008
    and Jan. 1, 2010. Certain equipment with a recovery period of 10
    years or more and certain transportation property can be placed
    in service by Jan. 1, 2011 and still qualify for the depreciation bonus.
    Check with your tax professional.

Does the equipment have to be new? Yes. To be eligible for bonus depreciation, the “original use”
of the equipment must commence with the taxpayer claiming
the depreciation bonus after Dec. 31, 2008.

Do the ESA capital investment incentives
apply only to construction equipment?
No. A broad range of tangible personal property (but not
real estate) is eligible for special tax treatment this year.

Download a printer friendly brochure of this information (PDF) by clicking here!

Buy now and save a bundle in taxes thanks to
IRS Section 179!

Most businesses do everything they can to pay as little in taxes as possible. The Section 179 tax deduction is in place to encourage businesses to buy equipment. This deduction can take a company that owes thousands in taxes down to owing nothing. The best part is that, in some cases, they can take this deduction even while using our lease financing programs. Imagine being able to close a sale, give the customer an inexpensive way to make the purchase, and potentially save them a bundle in taxes.

It’s a no-brainer…

Small businesses benefit from Section 179 tax deduction

Typically, if property for business has a useful life of more than one year, the cost must be spread across several tax years as depreciation with a portion of the cost deducted each year.
But there is a way to immediately receive these income tax benefits in one tax year. The provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 179 allow a sole proprietor, partnership or corporation to fully expense tangible property in the year it is purchased. And tax-law changes over the past few years have made this option much more appealing by dramatically increasing the amount that can be written off immediately. Changes first made in 2003 and then extended in 2006, mean that businesses can write off more of their capital expenditures through 2009. Enhanced section 179 expensing now is at the base level of $100,000 with that level indexed for inflation for the last several years. This is four times more than the previous-law limit of $25,000. In addition, the investment limitation also has been increased to more than $400,000 and it, too, is indexed for inflation. These changes mean that in 2006, a business can expense $108,000 in capital expenditures up to an overall investment limit of $430,000.

Eligible property
Property that may be written off in the tax year of purchase, rather than depreciated over the asset’s useful life, includes:

  • Machinery and equipment
  • Furniture and fixtures
  • Most storage facilities
  • Single-purpose agricultural or horticultural structures

Also, the definition of eligible section 179 property was expanded by the 2003 legislative changes to include off-the-shelf computer software. Previously, it had to be written off over three years.

The IRS says ineligible property includes:

  • Buildings and their structural components
  • Income-producing property (investment or rental property)
  • Property held by an estate or trust
  • Property acquired by gift or inheritance
  • Property used in a passive activity
  • Property purchased from related parties
  • Property used outside of the United States

How, when to use deduction

The Section 179 election is made on an item-by-item basis for eligible property. You don’t have to use it on all eligible property bought in that year. The election must be made in the tax year the property is first placed in service.

The Section 179 deduction isn’t automatic. Taxpayers who want to take the deduction must elect to do so. You make the election by taking your deduction on Form 4562. When you file this form, attach it to either of the following:

  • Your original tax return filed for the tax year the property was placed in service, regardless of whether you file it timely.
  • An amended return filed by the due date, including extensions, for your return for the tax year the property was placed in service.

Make sure you make the election when you file your original income tax return for that year. You can’t later amend your return to elect Section 179. The only exception to this is if you amend your return before the actual due date, including extensions, of your original return.

For example, the maximum extended due date to file your return is Oct. 15. You file your return on Sept. 1 and then realize you didn’t utilize the Section 179 deduction. You still have until the Oct. 15 deadline to file an amended tax return to claim the deduction.

Laws tweaked to enhance Section 179 deduction

Congress periodically reviews the amount a taxpayer can claim as the annual Section 179 amount. As part of an economic stimulus and tax-reduction package signed into law in May 2003, the expense limit was temporarily hiked from $25,000 to $100,000. The Tax Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act (TIPRA), signed into law on May 17, 2006, expanded this increase through 2009. And an inflation adjustment component means that the $100,000 will increase while TIPRA is in effect. Lawmakers upped and subsequently extended the section 179 deduction amount in the hopes it would encourage businesses to invest in new equipment sooner. However, when it comes to vehicles purchased utilizing the Section 179 break, legislators took back some of the benefit as it related to large sport utility vehicles. When the limit was originally increased, business owners were allowed to select for company use one of several light-truck models (which included many luxury SUVs) weighing more than 6,000 pounds fully loaded and write off most, if not all, of the costs on their tax returns. That changed on Oct. 22, 2004, when the American Jobs Creation Act became law; now only company vehicles weighing 14,000 or more are eligible for the larger deduction amount. Any amount of property over the maximum deduction must be depreciated.

Limitation on annual amount of property purchased

There also is a limit on the annual total of deductible property. If the cost of qualifying Section 179 property you put into service in a single tax year now exceeds a statutory base of $400,000 then you can’t take the full deduction. This amount also is indexed for inflation and runs through 2009. For 2006, every dollar above $430,000 (the inflation-adjusted limitation) that a business owner spends on eligible property, he loses a dollar in deductions.

For example, a manufacturer completely re-equips his facility this year at a cost of $437,000. This is $7,000 more than allowed, so he must reduce his eligible deductible limit to $101,000: the current $108,000 expensing limit minus $7,000.

Deduction limited to taxable income

You have now determined the maximum deduction based on the amount of property purchased during the year. You now must pass the aggregate income hurdle. Your deduction is limited to your aggregate taxable income from the active conduct of any trade or business. Active trade or business includes employee and spouse’s wages, sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations. Basically, this means that unless you have other sources of business income, your Section 179 deduction can’t create a taxable loss for your business. More business owners are able to take advantage of the deduction when they combine their company earnings with those of a spouse or money earned in addition to (or before starting) their own company income.

For example, you are someone else’s employee for most of the year. Your wages exceed the Section 179 deduction. You start your own business at the end of the year and purchase equipment and furniture. Even if your new business doesn’t generate gross income that year, you can still take the Section 179 deduction on the new equipment and furniture. Why? Your wages exceed the Section 179 deduction. This aspect of inclusion also applies to a spouse. For example, you earn annual wages of $60,000 as an employee. Your spouse doesn’t work during the year but begins a new business at the end of the year. Your spouse purchases and places in service $15,000 of Section 179 property at the end of the year. Your spouse’s business doesn’t generate gross income at the end of the year. Even though your spouse hasn’t earned trade or business income for the year, the Section 179 deduction of $15,000 is still allowed in full since your wages count as trade or business income. Any amounts disallowed by the trade or business taxable income limit are carried over to the next year and added to the cost of any eligible property placed in service in that year. The same rules for maximum deduction, maximum annual investment and taxable income apply to the next tax year as well. .


The tax tip explains the process for using Section 179 to fully expense certain business expenses immediately instead of depreciating them across a period of several years. You should also be aware of less obvious advantages of the Section 179 deduction:

  • Lowers adjusted gross income, which could help you qualify for various deductions which are limited by AGI.
  • Lowers earned income, which can increase your earned income credit.
  • Is allowed in full even if the eligible property is placed in service on the last day of the year.

This tip also includes examples that demonstrate the three limits: the maximum dollar limit, the investment limit, and the taxable income limit. By including employment and spousal wages, many taxpayers find they are able to take advantage of this provision.

Year End Tax Savings Analysis
Equipment Value
IRS Section 179 Tax Savings
Tax Bracket
Average Owner Scenario
Equipment Value     Tax Savings  
    New Equipment
  Tax Bracket
  Amount Deducted Under Section 179
Equipment Value / Lease Amount
  Tax Cash Saved in 2006
Sept, Oct, Nov & Dec Lease Payments
  Less Lease Cost in 2006
Total Equipment Cost in 2006
  Positive Cash Flow in 2006 on Equipment Acquisition (without profit)

Note: This article is not intended to be used as tax advise. Please consult your accountant to confirm you qualify for any tax deductions.