DEFINITION of 'Section 179'

An immediate expense deduction that business owners can take for purchases of depreciable business equipment instead of capitalizing and depreciating the asset. The Section 179 expensing method is offered as an incentive for small business owners to grow their businesses with the purchase of new equipment.

BREAKING DOWN 'Section 179'

The Section 179 expense deduction is limited to such items as cars, office equipment, business machinery and computers. This speedy deduction can provide substantial tax relief for business owners who are purchasing startup equipment - even costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. For example, in the 2007 tax year, the Section 179 expense can provide a deduction of at least $125,000, or $225,000 for equipment that is used inside the Gulf Opportunity Zone, and at least $3,060 for vehicles.

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