What remained a strong tax deduction for practice owners is the 179 expensing election for new equipment purchases and 50% bonus depreciation. These purchases can be very effective in reducing the overall taxable income of a practice owner especially in the higher tax brackets. A veterinary accountant can help you learn the criteria that should be utilized when making an equipment purchase decision.

Many veterinarians need to think about how to invest in their surgical areas since many practices are experiencing income declines due to low cost spay and neuter clinics, non-profits doing surgery  and specialty centers taking surgery income out of practices. Owners that saw 8 to 10% of their income from surgery now see it at 3 to 4%. It’ll be difficult for practices to maintain profitably in the surgical suite if they spend heavy here and don’t have a lot of volume. Having a good surgical suite with state-of-the-art monitoring equipment will be good for many.

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Many practices have put off computer upgrades because of the down economy. It may be necessary to upgrade and invest in computer hardware and software to maintain your practice. Software upgrades require that practices invest in new hardware to maintain the availability of information to conduct day-to-day business and provide adequate medical attention for patients. Only about 20 to 25% of practices are paperless. Continued movement in this direction as a generational shift will require more investment in computer hardware and software technology.

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