For assets with a useful life of more than one year, businesses generally must depreciate the cost over a period of years. Special breaks are available in some circumstances, but uncertainty currently surrounds them:
Section 179 expensing. This allows you to deduct, rather than depreciate, the cost of purchasing eligible assets. Currently the expensing limit for 2014 is $25,000, and the break begins to phase out when total asset acquisitions for the year exceed $200,000. These amounts have dropped significantly from their 2013 levels. And the break allowing up to $250,000 of Sec. 179 expensing for qualified leasehold-improvement, restaurant and retail-improvement property expired Dec. 31, 2013.
50% bonus depreciation. This additional first-year depreciation allowance expired Dec. 31, 2013, with a few exceptions.
Accelerated depreciation. This break allowing a shortened recovery period of 15 — rather than 39 — years for qualified leasehold-improvement, restaurant and retail-improvement property expired Dec. 31, 2013.
Many expect Congress to revive some, if not all, of the expired enhancements and breaks after the midterm election in November. So keep an eye on the news. In the meantime, contact us for ideas on how you can maximize your 2014 depreciation deductions.