President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders have been talking about the economic recovery package for some time. The package includes unemployment benefits, infrastructure improvements, tax cuts and corporate tax breaks. In all the planning and work that go into any economic recovery package, one item remains a puzzle – how to stimulate the economy through tax cuts. Why is this so important?
First, because when tax cuts are implemented, it creates an enormous fiscal drag on economic growth. The end result is slow economic growth. Second, because the “stimulus package” has been so large, many businesses are being forced to cut costs and function at a loss. Finally, if tax cuts are used to stimulate economic recovery, then we may be putting our economic recovery package in jeopardy.
There are many ways to increase the tax revenue without increasing taxes on the majority of Americans. One way to increase tax revenues without increasing taxes on the majority of Americans is through economic depreciation. By allowing businesses and individuals to depreciate their assets, these assets will increase in value and be used to offset the losses, or gain, on their tax liabilities. For every tax liability, there is an economic depreciation allowance. This can add as much as 25% on the initial tax owed.
Unfortunately, most people don't understand that there are limits to the use of these allowances. In fact, most business owners and most homeowners would not be aware of the economic depreciation allowance and how to maximize its use. When economic times are bad, it is important to understand that government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provide assistance to help with real estate tax obligations. Real estate tax is a huge responsibility that falls squarely on the shoulders of the home owner and his/her realtor.
In addition to the home owner, many people don't realize that their tax responsibilities also fall on the shoulders of their tax preparer. Many tax preparers work closely with accountants and tax professionals to ensure that a client complies with their tax return forms and instructions. Without their assistance, many clients may be surprised to discover that they can use their allowance to completely offset the amount of tax due from their federal and local governments. As an example, if a person has overpaid income tax for one year and is expecting a tax refund of $50,000, but didn't itemize deductions for that year, they would likely owe an additional $10,000 in federal tax liability, making the economic recovery package worth it in the end. By allowing tax filers the ability to partially offset their tax obligations with the help of economic depreciation, tax filers may find that the economic recovery package pays off in the long run.
Even though most people are happy with the state of the economy, some people would prefer to see things remain in a less than ideal state. Real estate investors may benefit from using depreciation to ensure that they purchase . . . . . . property at a significant discount to its actual value. While the economic recovery package may not benefit everyone, those who own shares of commercial real estate are at least able to take advantage of the depreciation rate increase by putting up their investment property for sale.