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Columns: Driving for Dollars
Driving for Dollars  
Driving for Dollars
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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