Bonus Depreciation: A Simple Guide for Businesses

Bonus Depreciation: A Simple Guide for Businesses

Deskera Content Team
Deskera Content Team
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

As a company owner, you should understand what are your significant investments? In case you are not aware of it, read the article to get an overview, along with a deep understanding of what “bonus depreciation” is? How it can help you in acquiring other assets for your company?

In simple terms, if you own a company, you understand that acquiring equipment and assets is a significant investment. Costs may rapidly mount, so you don't want to lose out on any opportunities to save money by deducting company expenditures.

Bonus depreciation can help offset the expenses of qualified company asset acquisitions by allowing you to deduct them more quickly on your taxes. In other words, rather than gradually depreciating your assets, you may be able to claim a significant deduction straight away.

In order to understand “bonus depreciation” in-depth, first, let’s have a quick look at what is depreciation?

What is Depreciation?

Depreciation is an accounting word that refers to a way of allocating the cost of a tangible or physical asset throughout its useful life. Depreciation is a word that refers to how much of the value of an asset has been spent. It lets businesses generate money from the assets they possess by paying for them over time.

Depreciation allows (or mandates) enterprises to spread the expense of long-term assets throughout the asset's lifetime. The option is to use the asset's cost in the first year after it is bought by the company, however, this is not recommended. As a result, faster depreciation, including bonus depreciation, has been implemented.

The straight-line method of depreciation is the most popular method of depreciating a company asset by spreading out the expense evenly across the item's life.

However, during the last few years, Congress has repeatedly provided extra incentives to businesses to encourage them to acquire capital assets for their firms. Bonus depreciation is one such incentive.

What is Bonus Depreciation?

Bonus depreciation is a type of depreciation. However, instead of deducting a substantial portion of the cost of your bought company assets over time, it allows you to deduct a large portion of the cost in the first year of usage. Businesses can use this as a tax incentive to buy qualified assets.

Rather than deducting the cost of an item over time, you might claim a big deduction nearly immediately. Because the bonus depreciation rate is temporarily fixed at 100%, you can use the complete cost of the item as a first-year bonus depreciation deduction for a limited period.

A Brief History About Bonus Depreciation

In 2002, Congress passed the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act, which included bonus depreciation. Its goal was to help firms recoup the costs of capital purchases faster in order to boost the economy. Companies can deduct 30% of the cost of qualified assets before using the conventional depreciation method with bonus depreciation. Assets were required to be bought between September 10, 2001, and September 11, 2004, to be eligible for bonus depreciation.

The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (JGTRRA) raised the bonus depreciation rate to 50% for property placed in operation after May 3, 2003, but before January 1, 2005. When an asset is placed in service, it is effectively used in a company's activities. The 2008 Economic Stimulus Act reinstated the 50% depreciation incentive for property purchased after December 31, 2007.

The 2015 Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act prolonged the bonus depreciation rate to company owners until 2019, however it was phased down after 2017. For 2015, 2016, and 2017, companies were able to deduct 50% of their capital costs under PATH. After that, the rate was expected to decline to 40% in 2018 and 30% in 2019.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased the rate to 100% and made other adjustments to the legislation, as previously mentioned.

Qualifying Criteria for Bonus Depreciation

While every business owner is legally eligible for bonus depreciation, only specific types of property qualify. Let's take a look at how you may get additional depreciation.

Qualifications of Bonus Depreciation

Your company must have a business property that fits at least one of the following conditions to be eligible for bonus depreciation:

  • It has a useful life of no more than 20 years. Land and buildings, for example, are not included because they might be used for much longer than 20 years.
  • It's a qualified improvement property, which means it improves the interiors of non-residential real estate or commercial structures.
  • It is appropriate for certified film, television, and live theatrical productions.
  • It is suitable for both professional and personal use (e.g., cameras and vehicles).

There are several limitations on how bonus depreciation can be applied to cars. Because the IRS has distinct bonus depreciation limitations for automobiles, business owners cannot claim big tax deductions on cars that are largely used for personal purposes.

In the end, bonus depreciation may only be applied on property that your company owns, that is employed for income-producing activities, and that has a predetermined useful life. The IRS maintains a comprehensive list of all property kinds that qualify for normal and bonus depreciation.

Limitations of Bonus Depreciation

When claiming bonus depreciation, there are various limitations to bear in mind. You cannot use the whole bonus depreciation amount if you also take the Section 179 expenditure deduction, which allows your corporation to write off the cost of a particular eligible property straight immediately. It has a similar purpose to bonus depreciation, although it isn't identical.

You can't claim Section 179 until you have a taxable profit to report, for example. Let's say your company only has $10,000 in taxable income before the Section 179 deduction. Following that, you decide to spend $20,000 on machinery or equipment. Only $10,000 can be deducted under Section 179. The leftover $10,000 can either be claimed as standard depreciation or carried forward until the next tax year.

People often confuse bonus depreciation with Section 179. Let’s understand the difference between the two.

Difference Between Bonus Depreciation & Section 179

Section 179 deductions are sometimes mistaken with bonus depreciation. This is understandable, given that the two have comparable functions. There are, nevertheless, some significant distinctions between them.

The cost of some company assets can be written down using both bonus depreciation and Section 179. Both deductions can now be used to deduct the complete cost of an asset acquisition in the first year of usage.

One important difference is that you may only claim Section 179 if your company has made a taxable profit for the year. Bonus depreciation does not need that your company make a profit.

As long as your firm makes a taxable profit, you can deduct both Section 179 and bonus depreciation. If your company spends $20,000 in new gear but only makes $10,000 in profit at the end of the year, you may deduct $10,000 in Section 179 expenses and the remaining $10,000 in bonus depreciation expenses. Both can be used together as long as Section 179 is used first, followed by bonus depreciation deductions.

How to Record Bonus Depreciation on Your Tax Return?

It's simple and clear to record or claim bonus depreciation for an asset on your tax return. Simply fill out IRS Form 4562 to track and examine any bonus depreciation your company has taken.

Other kinds of depreciation, such as the Section 179 deduction, will be claimed using the same form. Review the whole Form 4562 instructions to ensure you don't miss anything and that your bonus depreciation is calculated correctly.

Bonus depreciation allows business owners to reduce their taxable revenue on their tax returns. Bonus depreciation might help you get the most out of a new item sooner rather than later.

However, always utilise bonus depreciation sparingly and only when it makes financial sense. Before utilising bonus depreciation, you should consult an accountant, especially if you have many assets.

Reasons to Opt-Out of Bonus Depreciation

Although bonus depreciation might be beneficial, some companies may want to avoid it. You may want to opt out of bonus depreciation for the following reasons:

  • You want your tax returns to be more predictable and stable.
  • You missed the opportunity to deduct the expense in its entirety.
  • You should not accept a bonus depreciation, according to your accountant.

Bonus depreciation for assets is never required, and you can opt-out by attaching a declaration to your business tax filings.

Every owner, however, must opt-out of bonus depreciation on their own. You can alternatively utilise MACRS depreciation methodologies or other tactics in these situations.

How Does Bonus Depreciation Work?

To take advantage of bonus depreciation, you'll need to complete these procedures.

Invest in a company asset that qualifies

The first stage is to buy a company asset that qualifies. You can't depreciate something you haven't bought yet, after all. In business accounting, an asset is a property or resource that your company owns and may be used to create cash flow. Not all company assets, however, are eligible for bonus depreciation.

The IRS has specified some guidelines about which assets qualify for bonus depreciation which have been mentioned in the above section.

Put the asset you just purchased to good use

Bonus depreciation is available for bought assets in the year they are placed in service rather than the year they were purchased. When you put a property into service, it signifies you've begun utilising it for your business. For example, if you purchased something in December 2021 but did not use it for business until January 2022, you would be eligible for bonus depreciation in 2022.

When an asset is "first placed in a condition of preparedness and availability for a specific given purpose," according to the IRS, it is considered "placed in service." This implies that in order for a piece of machinery to be considered "put in service," it must be completely set up and ready to operate. It can't be sitting on the floor of your warehouse unassembled or not ready to use right away if you need it.

Estimate the amount of bonus depreciation

The bonus depreciation amount is determined using the year's bonus depreciation rate. Calculations for 2022 will be simple because the bonus depreciation rate is 100%.

Fill out Form 4562 to report bonus depreciation

Bonus depreciation must be reported on IRS Form 4562. On line 14 of the form, enter the total amount of bonus depreciation you're claiming. If you're reporting bonus depreciation on multiple assets, add up the bonus depreciation amounts for all qualified asset acquisitions and report the total on line 14.

Submit your tax return for your firm

You may now file your business's tax return. To prepare for tax season, keep detailed records of all purchases, income, and spending. You'll get the finest results if you use top-rated accounting software.

Calculating Bonus Depreciation

The cost of the eligible asset is multiplied by the relevant bonus depreciation rate to compute bonus depreciation. The bonus depreciation rates for the following five years are shown in the chart below:

Year Assets Placed in Service

Rate of Bonus Depreciation













For example, if you invest $10,000 on new equipment in 2022, you will get the whole $10,000 bonus depreciation. If you buy the identical $10,000 piece of equipment in 2023, the extra depreciation will be $8,000 instead (10,000 times 0.8).

Impact of Bonus Depreciation on Business Tax

  • It has a good impact on a country's business tax. With its assistance, entrepreneurs pay less tax at the start of their businesses. It's a tax-cutting measure used by the government to attract new business owners without imposing a high tax load.
  • To qualify for the deduction rapidly, an asset must meet a number of conditions. The asset should be used in the company. Depreciation may only be claimed on assets that have been used. As a result, the item should be utilised first.
  • The item must be owned, and it cannot be leased. If the asset is not owned, the person will not be able to claim the deduction. With our corporate tax return, we may claim a 100% deduction for the asset value.
  • It is a basic fact that if a firm receives a 100% tax cut in its first year of operation, it will be compelled to pay relatively little tax. As a result, the tax is saved. It is quite common among new business owners who strive to take advantage of a deduction like this.

How Deskera Can Assist You?

Whether you are a sales manager or running your own business, there are tons of duties and responsibilities that you have to fulfill. Using the Deskera CRM system, you can manage your contacts, leads and sales deals. You can use the CRM system to manage all customer data and manage your leads, sales negotiations and deals.

Doing so will help you to save the time taken in transferring customer data between the different systems. Having a good CRM system will help you manage your financial and sales reports and be prepared to kick-off your meetings.

Deskera can also assist you with real-time updates about your business like cash flow status, customer satisfaction, inventory management, sales, purchases, purchase orders, customer tickets, customer satisfaction, managing leads, revenues, profit, and loss statements, and balance sheets.

Moreover, it would also help in integrating sales methodology across different platforms onto one system so that you have a consolidated list for email campaigns, leads management, and sales pipeline to mention a few.

It will also help you to sync between your orders, payments, taxes, refunds, product variants, sending out invoices and reminders, facilitating invoice management, and even undertaking follow-ups and advertisement campaigns.

Such a consolidated platform will help you to improve your sales through building effective sales compensation plans and also facilitate faster and well-informed decision-making. It will help you in strengthening your opportunities and being braced for the threats.

Deskera books and Deskera CRM will also be able to ensure the highest customer satisfaction and thereby an increase in net revenues and net profits.

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Key Takeaways

  • Depreciation is an accounting word that refers to a way of allocating the cost of a tangible asset throughout its useful life.
  • Bonus depreciation is a type of depreciation.
  • In Bonus Depreciation, rather than gradually depreciating your assets, you may be able to claim a significant deduction straight away.
  • While every business owner is legally eligible for bonus depreciation, only specific types of property qualify. The qualifying criteria and limitations have been mentioned in the above section.
  • Section 179 deductions are sometimes mistaken with bonus depreciation. One important difference is that you may only claim Section 179 if your company has made a taxable profit for the year. Bonus depreciation does not need that your company make a profit.
  • It's simple and clear to record or claim bonus depreciation for an asset on your tax return. Simply fill out IRS Form 4562 to track and examine any bonus depreciation your company has taken.
  • Bonus depreciation for assets is never required, and you can opt-out by attaching a declaration to your business tax filings.
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