Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Tax Breaks for Gas Guzzlers

Tired of high gasoline prices? Uncle Sam's ready to pay for your fill ups -- but only if you use a gas-guzzling SUV for business. It's a loophole that encourages businesses to burn gasoline. In the world of supply and demand, it would mean higher gas prices for people driving Priuses -- while Hummer owners get a welfare check to tool around in their "short buses."

Washington has a list of 41 US built and 15 foreign made SUVs that still qualify for a tax break that equals about 5 years worth of gasoline for gas guzzlers.

A tax loophole allowed businesses to deduct the full price of an SUV that weighed over 6,000 pounds -- until October of last year. You may have heard Congress closed that loophole. Not completely.

Take an $86,000 Porsche Cayenne Turbo. Now you can take a $25,000 deduction the first year and keep depreciating the thing at about $13,300 a year. That's $38,000 back the first year your business buys that Cayene.

Scott Burns at MSN Money has a chart of SUVs, the tax break on each, and how many years of fuel the break will pay for. (MSN Money)

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