Can an ERP Purchase Be Capitalized? IRS Section 179

If you’re a US company, you might already know about a U.S. tax deduction called Section 179. This tax benefit means you can deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment within the year it’s purchased, instead of writing off small amounts over many years. For tax years beginning in 2022, the maximum section 179 expense deduction was $1,080,000 for property placed in service during the tax year exceeding $2,700,000.

What has changed for IRS Section 179 in the Year 2023?

2023 Deduction Limit = $1,160,000

2023 Spending Cap = $2,890,000

Bonus Depreciation = 80%

IRS Section 179  2022   2023 
Deduction Limit  $1,08,000  $1,160,000  
Spending Cap  $2,700,000  $2,890,000 
Bonus Depreciation  100%  80% 


Up to 100% Deduction for Software or Equipment Purchases

Understanding what IRS Section 179 means for your business

Applying for equipment financing could be the most profitable decision you make for your business and 2023 tax returns. Not only can your business acquire the latest equipment model, but you can also enjoy accelerated tax benefits through Section 179.

When it comes to implementing an ERP system, one of the key questions that companies face is whether to capitalize on the costs associated with the implementation or to expense them as incurred. Capitalizing means adding the costs to the company’s balance sheet as an asset, while expensing means deducting the costs from the company’s income statement as expenses.

Capitalizing on the costs of an ERP implementation can provide several benefits to the company.

  • It allows the company to spread the costs over a longer period, which can help in managing the company’s financial statements.
  • It also enhances the company’s financial ratios, such as return on assets, as the capitalization of costs increases the company’s assets without increasing liabilities.

However, there are several factors that companies need to consider before deciding to capitalize on the costs of an ERP implementation.

  • Firstly, the costs need to meet the criteria for capitalization as per the accounting standards.
  • Secondly, the company needs to have a clear understanding of the expected benefits from the implementation. Additionally, the period over which these benefits will accrue. If the benefits are not expected to accrue over a long period, it may not be appropriate to capitalize the costs.

However, capitalizing on the costs of an ERP implementation can also have some downsides.

  • The implementation costs can be substantial and capitalizing on them can significantly impact the company’s balance sheet.
  • They also result in the company’s income statement not accurately reflecting the costs incurred in the period, which can mislead investors and stakeholders.

Therefore, companies need to carefully evaluate the costs and benefits of capitalizing an ERP implementation. This should be done before making a decision. If the benefits outweigh the costs and the accounting standards permit capitalization, then it may be appropriate to capitalize. However, if the benefits do not justify the costs or the accounting standards do not permit capitalization, it may be better to expense the costs as incurred.

If you need further help decoding or understanding the latest changes and how they can affect your business, do not hesitate to consult us!

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