Fixed Assets and Depreciation

The income tax has made liars out of more Americans than golf.

—Will Rogers

One of my favorite sayings about taxation in the United States is that it’s a combination of common sense and arcane rules. Most of this book emphasizes the common sense approach to taxation. Now we must move into an area of arcane rules.

Most businesses purchase items that are subject to depreciation. Depreciation is the decrease in the value of an asset over time; it’s the allocation of the cost of an asset to the periods in which it is used.

This sounds basic, and many years ago it was. However, now there are many different types of ...

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