Article Date:
December 2008

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20 Last-Minute Tax-Planning Tips for 2008

You have very little time left to impact your 2008 taxes. Here is a meat-and-potatoes list of last-minute opportunities.


1. Buy a New Car


As a calendar-year taxpayer, you or your corporation can claim up to $8,000 in bonus depreciation on a new (not used) car purchased and placed in service before midnight on December 31, 2008. Add this $8,000 to the $2,960 luxury limit, and you can deduct up to $10,960 in depreciation and expensing with 100 percent business use. If business use is 80 percent, then your limit is $8,768 (80 percent times $10,960).


2. Buy a New SUV or Crossover Vehicle with a GVWR of 6,001 Pounds or More


As a calendar-year taxpayer, you can qualify for three tax breaks on the purchase of a new SUV or crossover vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 6,000 pounds:



Expensing of up to $25,000


Fifty percent bonus depreciation on amounts not expensed


MACRS depreciation on the balance remaining after application of breaks 1 and 2 above


Example. You buy a $50,000 qualifying SUV for which you can claim 90 percent business use. Your business cost is $45,000 (90 percent times $50,000). With your 90 percent business use, you may write off $35,500, computed as follows:



$25,000 in Section 179 expensing


$10,000 in bonus depreciation


$500 (assuming mid-quarter MACRS applies, which is likely), computed as follows: $10,000 remaining basis times 5 percent


3. Buy a Used SUV or Crossover Vehicle with a GVWR of 6,001 Pounds or More


Section 179 expensing applies to both new and used qualifying assets. Thus, the used more-than-6,000-pound-GVWR SUV or crossover vehicle qualifies for expensing ... Log in to view full article.

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