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Depreciation’s “bonus” write-off

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So-called “bonus” depreciation has long been used by lawmakers as an economic stimulus. The tax law currently allows 50 percent bonus depreciation write-off for equipment and property placed in service through the 2013 tax year. Some transportation and longer-lived property is even eligible for bonus depreciation through 2014.

With bonus depreciation, unlike the Section 179 write-off, which can be either used or new, the taxpayer must be the “first to use.” Also, to be eligible for bonus depreciation, property must be depreciable under the standard MACRS system, and have a recovery period of less than 20 years.

Mark E. Battersby, based in Ardmore, Pa., writes extensively on business, financial and tax-related topics. Email him directly at

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