THE MAGAZINE

Security equipment

Several bills introduced in the 108th Congress would have given companies tax breaks or incentives to purchase security equipment. Such equipment included physical security devices and fire-safety technology. None of the bills became law. One bill (H.R. 1259) would have amended the Internal Revenue Code to allow businesses to take tax deductions for the purchase and installation of security devices. The bill would have made such deductions a permanent part of the tax code. Qualified devices, according to the bill, would have included electronic access control systems, biometrics, CCTV, locks, computers and software to fight cyberterrorism, electronic alarm systems, asset-tracking devices, high-efficiency air-filtering systems, barricades, metal detectors, emergency-response communication systems, and components for these systems. Another bill (H.R. 3562) would have allowed companies to obtain a tax credit for up to 30 percent of security-related expenses each year. Under the bill, businesses could have received a tax credit of 20 percent for each qualified security device brought into service during the tax year. Qualified security devices include access control systems, biometrics, CCTV, locks, computers and software to combat cyberterrorism, electronic alarm systems, asset-tracking devices, air-filtering systems, vehicle barricades, metal detectors, and any related components needed for installation. The bill would also have allowed companies to claim a tax credit of up to 30 percent for each qualified security assessment conducted during the tax year. Security assessments include any analysis designed to determine a company's susceptibility to security threats, disaster-response readiness, and continuity capabilities in case of a security emergency. A third provision (S. 1566) would have given businesses tax incentives to install automatic fire-sprinkler systems. Businesses that installed the systems would have been able to claim tax write-offs spread out over a five-year period rather than as a standard business deduction, which is spread out over 39 years.

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