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Columns: Driving for Dollars
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The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is one of the keys to qualifying for special treatment
Driving for Dollars

Which cars get Section 179 tax break?
 

Where can I find a current list of vehicles that qualify for a Section 179 tax break?

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Section 179 is an IRS tax code allowing businesses to treat all or part of the cost of certain types of vehicles as a current expense rather than taking depreciation deductions over a number of years. The deduction is good only in the year a vehicle was put into business use.

There are also usage qualifiers and caps to the total amount a business can write off in a year for the Section 179 deduction. It's not simply the size and type of vehicle.

According to Section 179.org, to qualify for the special treatment, a vehicle must meet one of several criteria:

  • SUVs with a gross vehicle weight rating above 6,000 pounds.
  • Heavy "non-SUV" vehicles with a cargo area of at least 6 feet in interior length and not easily accessible from the passenger area. (This would include nearly any full-size pickup truck with a 6-foot box.
  • Vehicles with seating for at least nine passengers behind the driver's seat.
  • Vehicles with a fully enclosed driver's compartment/cargo area, no seating behind the driver and no body section protruding more than 30 inches ahead of the windshield's leading edge. (Such as traditional cargo vans.)
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While we're not aware of any list of specific vehicles, you can determine if a vehicle meets any of the criteria online at sites that list vehicle specifications, such as Edmunds.com.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy -- Posted: Feb. 20, 2009
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