For 2010 the maximum write-off for cars in the first year is $11,060. That will fall to around $3,000 in 2011.The limit is higher for new SUVs with loaded weights over 6,000 pounds. If the SUV is put in use this year: Up to $25,000 of the cost can be expensed, half of the balance is eligible for bonus depreciation, and 20% of what’s left is normal depreciation. For Example, an SUV with a cost of $50,000 purchased in 2010 will result in a first year write-off of $40,000 – calculated as follows:
- Section 179 deduction - $25,000
- 50% write off of remainder (new vehicle only) 12,500
- First year depreciation (20% of remaining balance) 2,500
Note that the full cost of a pickup truck put in use in 2010 can be expensed if the truck bed is at least six feet long and the truck’s loaded vehicle weight exceeds 6,000 pounds.