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Time is Running Out!

Year-end deals and low-rate financing offer you a chance at tax savings too.

Heck they're screaming through my television about two-day sales, excellent chances to buy and "now's the time" offers. Of course they're mostly talking appliances, clothing and TVs, but I live in a big city where ag advertising is a little scarce.

But at this time of year there are plenty of great offers from machinery makers too. Low- and no-rate financing (depending on the machine) can cut your interest cost. And that's a good thing.

If you're in the market for new equipment and you've been waiting a bit - given the uncertainty this year has brought - now might be a great time to talk with your local dealer. In addition to low-rate financing, you could see significant tax savings from the purchase too.

The Section 179 deduction - which has been a great tool for rapid depreciation of business-only items from office equipment to pickup trucks - is now a serious tool. We talked about it in a blog a few weeks ago and recommended you talk to your tax adviser. See Working Toward Year End.

Visiting some equipment websites I came across a super quick tool for figuring your potential cost savings. The folks at Case IH have developed a quick Tax Saving Calculator where you can plug in those 2010 purchases and get an idea of your tax savings.

It's pretty handy. I plugged in $345,000 in purchases this year - not unrealistic if I buy a new larger tractor and a supporting implement or two - and found I could save over $120,000 in taxes (in the 35% bracket).

That's a rough estimate and no one should be managing equipment purchases to save on taxes, but if you're already looking and the dealer has the machine available, combined with low-rate financing. Well, add it up and buying time has arrived.

Just something to consider as we wind up 2010. Of course, talk to your tax adviser to determine the value of that deduction for your business. If you don't have the "tax appetite" for the depreciation you could consider leasing equipment too. That can be a straight business expense deduction and might make more sense for your operation.

But with new technology hitting the market and the need to boost your efficiency on farm, talking with your equipment supplier(s) might make sense, because of course "time is running out."

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