Thursday, April 28, 2005


Get this one:

How would you like the U.S. government to send you a check that would pay for five years' worth of gasoline?

Well, it can be arranged.

Not everyone is eligible, of course. But if you use a vehicle 100% for business and purchase it, new or used, from a select list of big-time gas-guzzlers, Uncle Sam is ready to help you out.Yes, I'm talking about the well-publicized special tax break for vehicles with a gross weight of at least 6,000 pounds.

Gross weight is the weight of the vehicle including fuel, passengers and payload. Because of this, gross weight can be a good deal more than the empty weight of the vehicle.Forty-one domestic and 15 foreign SUVs qualify for this tax break. The Porsche Cayenne, a notably business-like vehicle, is among them. As a consequence, while the depreciation write-off for any passenger car used for business is limited to only $2,960 in 2005, down from $10,610 in 2004, those claiming 100% business use of these SUVs could deduct 100% of the $89,665 price of the Porsche Cayenne Turbo during 2003 and until late October 2004. For those who bought in time, the write-off represented an immediate income tax savings of $31,383, provided the buyer was in the 35% tax bracket. Think of it as a bagatelle for the non-indigent from the Jobs and Growth Act of 2003.

One of the particularly compelling uses I've seen of this tax break was a bright parrot-green Hummer2 parked at a luxury marina in Burnt Store, Fla. A sign on the driver's door advertised a dress shop.


And hey? If you've got any complaints, don't take them to Mr. Capitalist Lion. He knows you don't have your own Hummer because you're just too damn lazy to work for it.

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