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April 2004

Using tax depreciation to increase security budgets

If the flowers are blooming and I'm panicking, it must be tax season. As you're reading this, I'm probably racing to the local H&R Block to ritually justify deductions for everything from my subscription to Scientific American to my USB memory sticks. I was thrilled the first time my tax preparer told me I could write off a portion of my home computer, Palm and cell- phone because I used them for business. Bam! In an instant, $1,500 was wiped off my gross income. America, what a country! My elation is something CFOs and corporate accountants know well, and it's something every security manager should take into consideration when justifying purchasing plans: The depreciation of capital assets, such as security hardware and software, is a tax benefit. Take your gross revenue, subtract the depreciation of assets, as defined by the IRS tax code, and you have your net taxable revenue. Corporate officers and shareholders love this; the more depreciating assets their companies have, the less they pay in federal corporate taxes. Here's ...

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