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Year-end ’08 tax strategy: Ramp up business purchases

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

The economic stimulus bill passed at the beginning of the year provided one-time rebates of up to $600 apiece for individual taxpayers (more for those with kids). But that’s small potatoes compared to the boost for business owners.

Load up on new equipment before Jan. 1. Under the new law, you can cash in a bigger Section 179 deduction for 2008, plus a 50% “bonus depreciation” deduction. So there’s extra tax incentive to acquire qualified business assets this year.

Prior to the law change, the maximum Section 179 deduction for 2008 was $128,000 (inflation-indexed from $125,000). This deduction had to be phased out on a dollar-for-dollar basis for purchases costing more than $510,000 (inflation-indexed from $500,000).

The new law almost doubles the maximum deduction to $250,000 while hiking the phaseout threshold to $800,000. After this year, the figures revert to lower levels for 2009.

Icing on the cake: You can also claim bonus depreciation for qualified assets. This deduction may be claimed along with Section 179 and regular depreciation.

Tax payoff: You can currently deduct most, if not all, equipment you purchase and place in service by Dec. 31.

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