Most people think the Section 179 deduction is some mysterious or complicated tax code. It really isn’t, as you will see below.
Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income. It’s an incentive created by the U.S. government to encourage businesses to buy equipment and invest in themselves.
Several years ago, Section 179 was often referred to as the “SUV Tax Loophole” or the “Hummer Deduction” because many businesses have used this tax code to write-off the purchase of qualifying vehicles at the time (like SUV’s and Hummers). But that particular benefit of Section 179 has been severely reduced in recent years (see ‘Vehicles & Section 179‘ for current limits on business vehicles.)
However, despite the SUV deduction lessened, Section 179 is more beneficial to small businesses than ever. Today, Section 179 is one of the few government incentives available to small businesses, and has been included in many of the recent Stimulus Acts and Congressional Tax Bills. Although large businesses also benefit from Section 179 or Bonus Depreciation, the original target of this legislation was much needed tax relief for small businesses – and millions of small businesses are actually taking action and getting real benefits.
2019 Deduction Limit = $1,000,000 (One million Dollars)
This deduction is good on new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software. To take the deduction for tax year 2019, the equipment must be financed or purchased and put into service between January 1, 2019 and the end of the day on December 31, 2019.
2019 Spending Cap on equipment purchases = $2,500,000
This is the maximum amount that can be spent on equipment before the Section 179 Deduction available to your company begins to be reduced on a dollar for dollar basis. This spending cap makes Section 179 a true “small business tax incentive” (because larger businesses that spend more than $3.5 million on equipment won’t get the deduction.)
Bonus Depreciation: 100% for 2019
Bonus Depreciation is generally taken after the Section 179 Spending Cap is reached. The Bonus Depreciation is available for both new and used equipment.