ss_blog_claim=bd50edc517cf0b7549fe6b5f63b6b5f8 The SLS Business Finance Blog: Commercial v Consumer Leases for the Car

Monday, October 27, 2008

Commercial v Consumer Leases for the Car

If you use your car primarily for your business, then you have a choice to make if you want to drive a non-American car (US auto makers don't offer consumer leases anymore) on whether to lease through the business or personally through a consumer lease. Some things the 2 leases have in common:

1) Reasonable monthly payments that allow you to get maximum car for your $$.
2) Purchase Option at the end of the lease period, usually 36 to 48 months
3) You can write off the miles on your personal tax return.

So if both types of leases have these 3 major factors in common, then whats the difference??

The biggest single difference is every $$ of every payment under a commercial lease is tax deductible as an operating expense for the business. This means the lease payment is expensed (shows on income statement as an expense but not on the balance sheet) and taken dollar for dollar off the revenue it generates for the business. So think of it this way, if you are going to lease a car anyway, you might as well maximize its effect on both your personal and business tax returns. There are only so many loopholes for the avg American that we can take advantage of and this is one of them.

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