Tax Planning Advice: Using the Section 179 Deduction—Bernard Kiely

For business-owning clients—and advisors themselves—use this deduction rather than depreciating business equipment

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This is the 11th in a series of 23 tax tips that AdvisorOne is publishing on each business day in March as part of our Tax Planning Special Report (see our Special Report calendar for a more complete list of topics to be covered and experts who will deliver their insights).

Today’s tip comes from Bernard Kiely of Kiely Capital Management in Morristown, N.J. Mr. Kiely is a CFP and CPA and has been a fee-only financial planner and provider of income tax services for individuals for more than 25 years. He is a long-time member of NAPFA, where he serves as the dean of NAPFA University’s School of Taxation, and holds a BA in Accounting from Upsala College and an MBA from Rutgers University.

The Tip: Use the Section 179 Deduction

For clients who are business owners—and for advisory firm owners themselves—Kiely (left) reminds us to take advantage of the increased Section 179 deduction, under which a taxpayer can treat the cost of certain business property as an expense and deduct that expense in the year during which the property is placed into service rather than depreciating it over several years.

The  2010 Small Business Jobs Act (SBJA) increased the Section 179 limitations and expanded the definition of qualified property for the 2010 and 2011 tax years. The IRS notes that under SBJA, qualifying businesses can now expense up to $500,000 of section 179 property for tax years beginning in 2010 and 2011. Absent SBJA, the section 179 property limit would have been $250,000 for 2010 and $25,000 for 2011, according to the IRS.

If there’s equipment the business needs, Section 179 will allow qualified purchases to be deducted immediately instead of depreciated. Kiely cautions, however, to be sure that whatever is purchased is actually needed, rather than bought just to gain the deduction—otherwise, it saves nothing.

See our Tax Planning Special Report calendar for a list of future topics to be covered.

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