Small Business Financial Article
Rich Best has spent 28 years in the financial services industry, as an advisor, a managing partner, directors of training and marketing, and now as a consultant to the industry. Rich has written extensively on a broad range of personal finance topics and is published on several top financial sites. Recent books include The American Family Survival Bible and Annuity Facts Revealed: What You MUST Know Before You Invest.

Now is the Time to Think About Capital Expenditures

Now is the Time to Think About Capital Expenditures

Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), small businesses have more incentives to invest in the growth of their businesses. In addition to increasing the deduction limits for Section 179 and doubling the bonus depreciation, the TCJA also adds new categories of expenditures that qualify for immediate expensing. With the proper planning, the tax savings from accelerated expensing and depreciation can be used to fund capital expenditures the following year and beyond. However, to optimize your capital expenditures for tax savings and growth, it would be essential to plan well ahead.

Expanded Deduction Limits for Section 179

The new tax law expands the opportunity to immediately expense the full price of qualifying new and used equipment and property. The deduction limit has been increased from $520,000 to $1 million per purchase with a larger total spending cap of $2.5 million. The Section 179 deduction is phased out on purchases over the spending cap.

Section 179 expensing is available for most types of equipment and property (not including real estate) placed into service in the year the deduction is taken. The TCJA expanded the qualifying property to include certain depreciable tangible property used in connection with lodging and improvements to nonresidential real property. That includes including roofing, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and alarm systems.

Double Bonus Depreciation

Bonus depreciation is a form of accelerated depreciation that allows a significant portion of the expense to be immediately deducted in the year in which it is placed into service instead of spreading it out over several years. The TCJA not only extended the provision through 2026 but also doubled the immediate first-year deduction from 50% to 100% on qualifying equipment or property. The other significant change to the provision is the deduction is now available on used purchases.

Qualifying property includes most types of tangible property with a depreciable recovery period of 20 years or less. Property classified as "listed property" under the tax code can consist of personal property, but it must be used for business over 50% of the time. With the new tax law, computers are no longer considered listed property, which means they can be used less than 50% of the time for business. Computer software is now eligible for bonus depreciation.

Unlike Section 179, which was made permanent, bonus depreciation is scheduled to expire at the end of 2026. The 100% deduction is only available until January 1, 2023, after which it is phased out over the next four years as follows: 80% in 2023, 60% in 2024, 40% in 2025, and 20% in 2026.

Putting Your Tax Breaks into Action

Not only do these changes enhance the tax savings your business can realize on capital expenditures, but they also bring more clarity and certainty to your business’s tax situation, allowing you to do more long-range planning. Here are some of the ways these enhanced tax strategies can benefit your business.

Plan your purchases: Businesses can now count on the same tax break every year for purchases planned well into the future. It would be important for the business to incorporate its equipment needs into its long-range planning to maximize the deduction each year.

Use it to offset profits: As part of their long-range planning and forecasting, businesses can project the use of the deductions to offset profits. For example, if the business is not expecting a big profit in the current year, it could delay the purchase until the following year if profits are expected to be bigger.

Use it to reinvest in your business: In most years, a well-planned Section 179 or bonus depreciation deduction will enable the business to retain cash that can be used to invest in the business. The tax savings can be applied to planned purchases, which could qualify for another deduction the following year.

Increase your cash flow further through leasing: Many business owners are surprised to learn that the Section 179 and bonus depreciation tax breaks also apply to equipment leasing. When properly structured using an Equipment Lease or Equipment Finance Agreement, the amount you deduct may exceed your cash outlay for the year for an immediate, positive impact on your cash flow and profits.

If you have been considering a capital expenditure for your business, now would be the time to sit down with your business banker to discuss your financing options.

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