Intense veterinary desire


We see it in your eyes: You want that new instrument, analyzer, device or software right now for your practice. So ... do you need to talk yourself down from a big purchase or talk it up to the Powers-That-Be? Gary Glassman, CPA, has some advice.

Roses are red, violets are blue. If you want that equipment, here's some advice for you. (Photo: Getty Images)We just got off the plane from the NAVC conference and, boy, are our arms tired-from carrying all the press releases of new equipment. And we saw our share of starry-eyed associates and veterinary technicians bringing home materials to sell their practice owners on the latest, greatest, must-have tool, gadget and gizmo.

From experience, we also know those owners will, of course, have to put the brakes on with the four most important questions of veterinary equipment purchasing:

1. Do we need it?

2. Do we need it now?

3. Can we afford it?

4. Is it a good time to buy?

Those first three are between you, your medical team and your balance sheet. But that fourth question we've got covered by Gary Glassman, CPA, a Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member, a partner with Burzenski and Co. in New Haven, Connecticut and a mainstay at the annual Hospital Design Conference helping practice owners figure out what they can afford and whether the time is ripe for action.

Glassman is bullish on equipment financing: "There's not much credit restriction. Interest rates are still good but could increase some soon."

Most common big buys Glassman's seeing in the past few months? In-house lab units, digital dental radiography units and replacing older digital radiography with better and faster (like a sports car, only with amazingly detailed bone breaks instead of more horsepower).

Go ahead and depreciate to $500,000!

Glassman also gave us the low-down on the top tax change affecting veterinary practices that came in with the new year. That Section 179 equipment depreciation maximum has been made permanent for 2015: $500,000 instead of a more stingy $25,000. (Yay for you!) For 2016 tax years and beyond, the maximum amount will also be indexed for inflation. Also made permanent was the special rule allowing off-the-shelf computer software to be treated as qualifying Section 179 property. (If anything goes out-of-date fast, it's software.

Now, go forth and consume! (Or don't, if you can't afford it right now.)

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