If you own an optometric practice and have either purchased or leased business equipment this year, you can elect for the Tax Code Section 179 Deduction when you file your 2009 return. But, you must act soon.

To take advantage of the deduction, all eligible equipment must be purchased and placed into service before December 31.

• What is the Section 179 Deduction? Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Section 179 allows a small business owner to deduct the full purchase price of financed or leased business equipment that was acquired between January 1 and December 31, 2009. Under Section 179, you can write off up to $250,000 if the total purchase price of all equipment does not exceed $800,000. The tax write-off on any amount exceeding $800,000 is reduced on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

• What business purchases qualify?
– Medical equipment and machines.
– Computers.
– Computer software (off the shelf).
– Office furniture.
– Office equipment.

• Does EMR software qualify? Yes. Off-the-shelf electronic medical records (EMR) software is eligible for the deduction, provided you purchase and install it between January 1 and December 31, 2009.

• How do I elect the Section 179 Deduction? To elect the Section 179 Deduction, you need to fill out Part I of IRS form 4562. However, you must keep records that document the specific identification of each piece of property. These records must show how you acquired the property, the person/business you acquired it from, and when you placed it in service.

For more information on the Tax Code Section 179 Deduction, go to www.section179.org or speak to a licensed tax professional.