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Income Tax SoftwareIncome tax software Car Expenses Table of Contents Introduction Depreciation of CarSpecial Depreciation Allowance Depreciation Limit Amended Return Election Not To Claim Special Allowance If you purchased a car after September 10, 2001, for use in your business (or as an employee) and figure your deductible expenses using the actual car expense method, new law contains provisions that may affect your depreciation deduction for that car. Income tax software Publication 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses, contains information on figuring depreciation on your car. Income tax software However, Publication 463 does not contain the new provisions because it was printed before the law was enacted. Income tax software The new provisions are in the Supplement to Publication 463, which is reprinted below. Income tax software Supplement to Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses Introduction This supplemental publication is for taxpayers who purchased a car for business purposes after September 10, 2001, and figure their deductible expenses, including a deduction for depreciation, using the actual car expense method. Income tax software After Publication 463 was printed, the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 was signed into law by the President. Income tax software Certain provisions of this new law may reduce your taxes for 2001. Income tax software The new law contains the following provisions. Income tax software A new depreciation deduction, the special depreciation allowance. Income tax software An increase in the limit on depreciation for any car for which you claim the new special depreciation allowance. Income tax software If you have already filed your 2001 return, you may wish to file an amended return to claim any of these benefits. Income tax software See Amended Return, later. Income tax software Depreciation of Car If you used the actual car expense method to figure your deduction for a car you own and use in your business (or as an employee), you generally can claim a depreciation deduction. Income tax software However, there is a limit on the depreciation deduction you can take for your car each year. Income tax software See Depreciation Limit later. Income tax software Special Depreciation Allowance The new law allows you to claim a special depreciation allowance. Income tax software This special allowance is a deduction equal to 30% of the depreciable basis of qualified property. Income tax software You figure the amount of the special depreciation allowance after any section 179 deduction you choose to claim, but before figuring your regular depreciation deduction under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS). Income tax software See Depreciation Deduction under Actual Car Expenses in chapter 4 of Publication 463 for information about MACRS. Income tax software You can claim the special depreciation allowance only for the year the qualified property is placed in service. Income tax software Qualified property. Income tax software Qualified property includes a car (any four-wheeled vehicle, including a truck or van not more than 6,000 pounds, that is made primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways) that meets all of the following requirements. Income tax software You bought it new. Income tax software You bought it after September 10, 2001. Income tax software (But a car is not qualified property if a binding written contract for you to buy the car was in effect before September 11, 2001. Income tax software ) You began using it for business after September 10, 2001, and used it more than 50% in a qualified business use. Income tax software Example. Income tax software Bob bought a new car on October 15, 2001, for $20,000 and placed it in service immediately, using it 75% for business. Income tax software Bob's car is qualified property. Income tax software Bob chooses not to take a section 179 deduction for the car. Income tax software He does claim the new special depreciation allowance. Income tax software Bob first must figure the car's depreciable basis, which is $15,000 ($20,000 × . Income tax software 75). Income tax software He then figures the special depreciation allowance of $4,500 ($15,000 × . Income tax software 30). Income tax software The remaining depreciable basis of $10,500 ($15,000 - $4,500) is depreciated using MACRS (200% declining balance method, half-year convention) and results in a deduction of $2,100 ($10,500 × . Income tax software 20), for a total depreciation deduction for 2001 of $6,600 ($4,500 + $2,100). Income tax software However, Bob's depreciation deduction is limited to $5,745 ($7,660 × . Income tax software 75), as discussed next. Income tax software Depreciation Limit The limit on your depreciation deduction for 2001 is increased to $7,660 for a car that is qualified property (defined above) and for which you claim the special depreciation allowance. Income tax software The limit is increased to $23,080 if the car is an electric car. Income tax software The section 179 deduction is treated as depreciation for purposes of this limit. Income tax software If you use a car less than 100% in your business or work, the limit is $7,660 (or $23,080 for an electric car) multiplied by the percentage of business and investment use during the year. Income tax software For cars that do not qualify for (or for which you choose not to claim) the special depreciation allowance, the limit remains $3,060 ($9,280 for electric cars). Income tax software Amended Return If you filed your 2001 calendar year return before June 1, 2002, and did not claim the new special depreciation allowance for a qualified car, you can claim it by filing an amended return on Form 1040X, Amended U. Income tax software S. Income tax software Individual Income Tax Return, by April 15, 2003. Income tax software At the top of the Form 1040X, print “Filed pursuant to Revenue Procedure 2002–33. Income tax software ” If you are an employee, attach Form 2106, Employee Business Expenses (revised March 2002). Income tax software If you are self-employed, attach Form 4562, Depreciation and Amortization (revised March 2002). Income tax software Or, you can claim the special depreciation allowance by filing Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method, with your 2002 return. Income tax software For details, see Revenue Procedure 2002–33. Income tax software (But, filing Form 1040X for 2001 enables you to claim the special allowance earlier than attaching Form 3115 to your 2002 return. Income tax software ) You cannot claim the special depreciation allowance on an amended return (or by using Form 3115) if you made, or are treated as having made, the election not to claim it described later. Income tax software Example. Income tax software The facts are the same as in the previous example except that Bob filed his original 2001 income tax return on April 15, 2002, and claimed a $3,000 ($20,000 x . Income tax software 75 x . Income tax software 20) depreciation deduction for his new car using MACRS. Income tax software Bob now wishes to claim the special depreciation allowance for his new car on an amended 2001 return. Income tax software Bob, who is an employee, files Form 1040X, by April 15, 2003, with an updated Form 2106 (revised March 2002) attached, increasing his total depreciation deduction to $5,745, as figured in the earlier example. Income tax software Bob's new filled-in Form 2106 is shown later. Income tax software Election Not To Claim Special Allowance You can elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance for a car by making a statement attached to, or written on, your return indicating that you are electing not to claim the special depreciation allowance for 5-year property. Income tax software As a general rule, you must make this election by the due date (including extensions) of your return. Income tax software You can have an automatic extension of 6 months from the due date of your return (excluding extensions) to make the election with an amended return. Income tax software To get this extension, you must have filed your original return by the due date (including extensions). Income tax software At the top of the statement, print “Filed pursuant to section 301. Income tax software 9100–2. Income tax software ” If you elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance for a car, you cannot claim it for any other 5-year property placed in service during the same year. Income tax software Unless you elect (or are treated as electing) not to claim the special depreciation allowance, you must reduce the car's adjusted basis by the amount of the allowance, even if the allowance was not claimed. Income tax software Deemed election for return filed before June 1, 2002. Income tax software If you did not make the election not to claim the special depreciation allowance in the time and manner described above, you will still be treated as electing not to claim it if all of the following apply. Income tax software You filed your 2001 return before June 1, 2002. Income tax software You claimed depreciation on your return but did not claim the special depreciation allowance. Income tax software You did not file an amended 2001 return by April 15, 2003, or a Form 3115 with your 2002 return, to claim the special depreciation allowance. Income tax software Form 2106, Page 1, for Bob Smith Form 2106, Page 2, for Bob Smith Prev Up Next Home More Online Publications
Beware of Investment Fraud
Deceptive pitches for investments often misrepresent or leave out facts in order to promote fantastic profits with little risk. No investment is risk-free and a high rate of return means greater risk. Before investing, get written information such as a prospectus or annual report. Beware if a salesperson:
- Encourages you to borrow money or cash in retirement funds to invest;
- Pressures you to invest immediately;
- Promises quick profits;
- Says that the disclosure documents required by Federal law are just a formality;
- Tells you to write false information on your account form;
- Sends material with typos or misspellings or not printed on letterhead;
- Does not send your money promptly;
- Offers to share inside information; or
- Uses words like "guarantee","high return","limited offer", or "as safe as a CD".
- Uses the phrase, "this investment is IRA-approved."
- Claims that "off-shore investments are tax-free and confidential."
Investing in Gold
Many financial experts recommend buying gold as part of a balanced portfolio. Some suggest buying only a small amount because values can fluctuate; others recommend heavier investments.
There are a number of ways to invest in gold; common ones include bullion, certificates, and coins. Most people depend on an investment advisor or company to help them choose. Make sure the person or company you choose is licensed with your state securities administrator.
Also, be aware that the U.S. Mint's American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins are the only gold coins guaranteed by the U.S. government in terms of purity, weight, and content. They're available from precious metal or collectible coin dealers, certain banks, and brokerage houses. If you're considering investing in gold, do your homework first. Check with the U.S. Mint.
The Federal Trade Commission is another useful source for information on protecting yourself against scam artists touting coins and precious metals as safe investments to hedge against bad economic times.