Any development is significant when it impacts small businesses, which account for 99.7% of U.S. employer firms.
The tax effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 was a universal development, and small businesses are, indeed affected. As such, it’s further felt by a lot of people: owners; employers; vendors; employees; families; and – anyone along the chain that touches small business.
Data released several years ago illustrates the power of U.S. small business and why the loss or gain of tax benefits has far-reaching effects:
- 7% of U.S. employer firms
- 64% of net new private-sector jobs
- 2% of private-sector employment
- 9% of private-sector payroll
- 46% of private-sector output
- 43% of high-tech employment
- 98% of firms exporting goods
- 33% of exporting value
The most well-known tax reform change is the lowering of the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. But what is out there for small businesses? Here are four:
1. Section 179 business equipment expensing: Businesses can now expense up to $1 million of the costs of business equipment qualifying under the Internal Revenue Code. As such, the purchase isn’t capitalized or depreciated; for accounting purposes it’s treated as an expense.
The previous amount eligible for the tax break was $500,000, with a phase-out starting at $2 million. The TCJA raised the phase-out limit to $2.5 million.
- Equipment (machines, etc.) purchased for business use
- Tangible personal property used in business
- Business Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 6,000 lbs (see Section 179 Vehicle Deductions)
- Computer “Off-the-Shelf” Software
- Office Furniture
- Office Equipment
- Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building (i.e.: a printing press, a 3-D printer, large manufacturing tools and equipment)
- Partial Business Use (equipment that is purchased for business use and personal use: generally, your deduction will be based on the percentage of time you use the equipment for business purposes).
- Certain improvements to existing non-residential buildings: fire suppression, alarms and security systems, HVAC, and roofing.
A suggestion: As each of these small business-related items has rules that apply to them, see a tax professional for advice on the best strategies and tactics for you and your business.