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The IRS is acting like Oprah, and small businesses across the U.S. are benefiting. Thanks to Section 179, the IRS is handing out a $1,000,000 deduction to every small business that puts qualifying equipment and/or software into use before the end of the year. Rather than depreciating equipment over the course of several years, Section 179 allows businesses to deduct the full price of equipment in Year 1, up to $1,000,000. That’s an enormous tax benefit.

And it gets better: Even if you finance the equipment rather than paying for it up front, you still qualify for the deduction. Leases as well as purchases are included in this rule. You don’t have to hand over a pile of cash in order to reap the Sec. 179 benefit.

Almost any tangible business-related product qualifies for the deduction, including:

  • Equipment purchased for business use
  • Computers and off-the-shelf software
  • Data hardware (essential for imaged-document storage and access)
  • Office furnishings and fixtures, including high density mobile storage and lockers
  • Office equipment
  • Certain business vehicles, including fork lifts and 9-passenger vans
  • Property attached to your building that is not part of the building structure (casework and industrial shelving, for example)
  • Tangible personal property used in the business, or equipment with a partial business use
  • Some improvements to existing business-only buildings, including security systems, HVAC, and roofing

There’s one small but essential thing to remember: The new equipment must be placed into service by December 31.

With only a few weeks left in the year, that deadline may seem like an insurmountable scheduling problem. Luckily, many business-equipment vendors offer quick-ship programs for their clients who want to take advantage of the Sec. 179 deduction. If you’re planning an equipment acquisition in the first quarter of next year, why not buy it now, put it into use before the end of this year, and get the money the IRS put under your seat?

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