Can recently enhanced Sec. 179 expensing reduce your 2012 taxes?

Section 179 expensing allows businesses a 100% deduction for the cost of qualifying asset purchases. Its 2012 benefits were recently enhanced by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA).

Sec. 179 expensing is subject to an annual limit, which is phased out if purchases exceed a designated threshold. So if total purchases are large enough, a business might not be eligible for any Sec. 179 expensing.

Before ATRA, the expensing limit for 2012 was $139,000, with a $560,000 phaseout threshold. The act increases these amounts to $500,000 and $2 million, respectively (the same amounts that applied in 2010 and 2011).

These increases mean not only that many smaller businesses can enjoy a larger tax benefit, but also that some larger businesses that previously wouldn’t have been eligible because their asset purchases were too high may now qualify.

The limits had been scheduled to drop to $25,000 and $200,000, respectively, in 2013, but ATRA also extends the higher amounts through 2013.

Many rules apply, so please contact us to learn if you qualify on your 2012 return — or discuss whether you should plan purchases this year to benefit from the break on your 2013 return.