Equipment Expensing for Tax Purposes

Will the existing 2014 rules be altered?


On December 31, 2012, the Congress allowed a number of provisions which were favorable to taxpayers to expire. On January 2, 2013, our national legislators passed an extension of many of those laws. Among them was the restoration to the 2011 levels for Section 179 Depreciation and the reinstating of Bonus Depreciation. Both of these rules allow a business to expense (write off) for tax purposes the cost of equipment purchased in the year placed in service, rather than using normal depreciation rules, writing it off over, usually 2 to 7 years, depending on the type of equipment.

Most businesses will need to purchase equipment at some time or another.

Most businesses will need to purchase equipment at some time or another.

These provisions were enacted to encourage businesses to make investments in equipment, which they perhaps might not otherwise make, thereby creating jobs and otherwise improving both the business and the local, state and national economies.

A Bad Day

It doesn’t take an earthquake or a tornado to ruin a person’s day. Sometimes things just go wrong.

A client called the office today in a bad mood. He was trying to prepare an invoice to send a customer but was having “computer trouble.” He uses QuickBooks for his bookkeeping software but today his QuickBooks was behaving in an uncooperative way. Every time he tried to enter the area of the software needed to prepare his customer an invoice, the program would crash.

Potts & Company has two of the best QuickBooks consultants in the area. One of the two, Terra, set what she was doing aside and immediately went to this client’s business location to see if she could sort out the trouble.

Terra quickly diagnosed the problem as a corrupt data file. She tried several basic maintenance type operations and decided it would be best just to restore yesterday’s backup of the data file. When she asked for the most recent file backup, the client looked back at her with a blank stare. He had no idea when or where the last backup could be found. What could have been an easy problem to fix just became much more difficult and costly.

The Science of Bookkeeping

I have a confession to make. I have tendencies. Bibliophilia is one of my tendencies. While many people watch sports over the weekend, you might find me watching Book TV. Just so we are clear, bibliophilia is not perverted, it’s just the love of books.

Once in a while I surf the web to and search on a keyword or term to see what books will rise to the surface. I was looking for a definition of bookkeeping and discovered the book Bookkeeping by Gerard Van de Linde, a Fellow and Joint Auditor of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Since his book was published in 1891, I presume Mr. Van de Linde has passed and moved forward to where his debits were measured against his credits. I hope they balanced. However, it is not Mr. Van de Linde’s life I want to draw your attention to, but his definition of bookkeeping.

“Bookkeeping is a science, perfect in itself, simple and intelligible to those who take the trouble to master it from its foundation, and then to carry out in their strict integrity the fundamental principles which form the keystone to the whole structure.”

Now compare the above definition to the following contemporary definition which I found with a Google search.