Bonus Depreciation


When it comes to managing finances, businesses are always on the lookout for ways to maximize their profits and minimize their tax liabilities. One strategy that has gained popularity in recent years is bonus depreciation. This article will explore what bonus depreciation is, how it works, and the benefits it can offer to businesses.

What is Bonus Depreciation?

Bonus depreciation is a tax incentive that allows businesses to deduct a larger portion of the cost of qualifying assets in the year they are placed in service. It was first introduced as part of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and has since been expanded and extended multiple times.

Under normal depreciation rules, businesses can deduct a portion of the cost of an asset over its useful life. However, bonus depreciation allows businesses to deduct a larger percentage of the asset's cost in the first year, providing an immediate tax benefit.

How Does Bonus Depreciation Work?

To qualify for bonus depreciation, an asset must meet certain criteria. It must be new, meaning it cannot be used or refurbished, and it must have a recovery period of 20 years or less. Additionally, the asset must be placed in service between specific dates, which can vary depending on the legislation in effect at the time.

Once an asset meets the qualifying criteria, businesses can deduct up to 100% of its cost in the year it is placed in service. This immediate deduction can significantly reduce a business's taxable income and result in substantial tax savings.

Benefits of Bonus Depreciation

There are several benefits that bonus depreciation can offer to businesses:

  • Increased Cash Flow: By allowing businesses to deduct a larger portion of an asset's cost in the first year, bonus depreciation can free up cash that can be reinvested in the business.
  • Tax Savings: The immediate deduction provided by bonus depreciation can result in significant tax savings for businesses, reducing their overall tax liability.
  • Encourages Investment: Bonus depreciation incentivizes businesses to invest in new equipment and assets, stimulating economic growth and productivity.
  • Competitive Advantage: By taking advantage of bonus depreciation, businesses can lower their costs and potentially offer more competitive pricing to their customers.

Case Study: XYZ Manufacturing

To illustrate the benefits of bonus depreciation, let's consider a case study of XYZ Manufacturing, a company that specializes in producing industrial machinery. XYZ Manufacturing recently purchased a new state-of-the-art machine for $500,000.

Under normal depreciation rules, XYZ Manufacturing would have to deduct a portion of the machine's cost over its useful life, typically 5 to 10 years. However, with bonus depreciation, XYZ Manufacturing can deduct the entire $500,000 in the year the machine is placed in service.

Assuming a corporate tax rate of 21%, XYZ Manufacturing would save $105,000 in taxes ($500,000 x 21%). This significant tax savings can be reinvested in the business, used to hire additional employees, or allocated towards other growth initiatives.

Statistics on Bonus Depreciation

Statistics show the increasing popularity and impact of bonus depreciation:

  • In 2019, 70% of businesses took advantage of bonus depreciation, up from 40% in 2018.
  • According to the Tax Foundation, bonus depreciation is estimated to increase GDP by 0.1% and create 105,000 jobs over a 10-year period.
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 expanded bonus depreciation to allow businesses to deduct 100% of the cost of qualifying assets placed in service between September 27, 2017, and December 31, 2022.


Bonus depreciation is a valuable tax incentive that can provide significant benefits to businesses. By allowing for immediate deductions of qualifying asset costs, bonus depreciation increases cash flow, reduces tax liabilities, and encourages investment. Businesses should carefully consider the eligibility criteria and take advantage of this incentive to maximize their profits and drive economic growth.

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