For most small business owners, the year 2010 was a continuation of hard economic times felt during the past two years. The economic indicators now state that there are signs that the economy is starting to recover, however many small business owners are still waiting to feel the effects of the recovery. In an effort to assist the small business owners, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 on December 17. The multi-billion dollar tax package includes a great deal of modifications to current tax law affecting small business owners and extends many tax provisions that expired at the end of 2009.
Small Businesses Modifications
The 2010 Tax Relief Act provides businesses with better incentives for investing in property that will help them run their businesses more efficiently. The Act increases the bonus depreciation limit from 50-percent to 100-percent for property purchased during periods September 8, 2010 thru December 31, 2011. The Act also extends 50-percent bonus depreciation on property purchased from December 31, 2011 thru December 31, 2012. Small business owners that have certain long lived property or transportation property may be eligible for 100-percent expensing for property placed in service before January 1, 2013.
The depreciation incentives for small business owners do not stop there, in addition to bonus depreciation; Code Sec. 179 Expensing (named after the IRS Code) has been modified. The investment limits were increased under previous legislation and the 2010 Tax Relief Act grants a $125,000 limit and a $500,000 limit on investment for tax years beginning in 2012. Depreciation allows small business owners to expense property purchased against their taxable income. The modifications to the tax law allow small business owners to recover the cost of property used in the businesses fast than traditional depreciation methods.
Small Business Extensions
There were quite a few extensions of previous tax law that were set to expire or expired in 2009. Among those extensions includes:
• 100 percent exclusion of gain from qualified small business stock
• Transit benefits parity
• Work Opportunity Tax Credit (with modifications)
• New Markets Tax Credit (with modifications)
• Differential wage credit
• Brownfields remediation
• Active financing exception/look-through treatment for CFCs
• Tax incentives for empowerment zones
• Special rules for charitable deductions by corporations and other businesses
Keep in mind that many of the 2010 Tax Relief Act’s provisions are temporary. It is important to plan early to maximize your tax savings. Be sure to speak with your tax professional to get all the details regarding the tax law changes.
The Tech Accountant