Section 179 and Digital X-ray — Professional Perspectives

By Sally McKenzie

For dental professionals who are considering an investment in a digital radiography system, there is both good news and better news. The good news is there is still time to take advantage of Section 179 of the tax code that allows dentists to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. The better news is that this year, the deduction limit for Section 179 is $500,000!

Section 179 has been enhanced for both 2012 and 2013 tax years. The limit last year was $125,000, but thanks to the passage of H.R.8: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, also known as the “fiscal cliff or fiscal crisis” bill, the 2012 limit was also raised to $500,000 retroactively.

Ken S. Rubin, San Diego-based dental CPA said, “Of course, when you are making a decision about adding equipment to your office, the purchase should first and foremost make good economic sense and increase efficiency.” One example is switching to an intra-oral digital X-ray system. “If your office is not digital, you are still in the dark ages of the darkroom,” says Rubin. He noted, “When a practice is being sold, usually the number one best investment that a seller can make is to upgrade to intra-oral digital X-ray.”

“If your office is not digital, you are still in the dark ages of the darkroom.”

The earlier the equipment is purchased, the sooner the practice can start to reap the advantages. Even though the first half of the year is over, you can still take advantage of Section 179 tax savings. To use this deduction, the equipment must be “placed in service” by December 31, 2013, meaning it should not just be purchased, but it must be installed and in service by that time.

With DEXIS® digital radiography available for a reasonable cost, there is plenty of the deduction limit left to add other technology to the mix. Computers and software qualify for the deduction, so you can make your imaging more portable and patient-friendly by adding laptops or iPad®s to the operatories. DEXIS go, the companion app to the DEXIS® Imaging Suite software, functions as an imaging hub and displays on an iPad all images within a patient record. It assists in patient education, leading to increased compliance and better dental care.

A CPA or financial advisor should be consulted on proper planning for tax incentives to get the maximum value. This year’s Section 179, notes Rubin, is “at an all-time historic high right now, and this offers the perfect opportunity to increase the value of your business and the level of your technology in 2013.”

Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, which provides highly successful and proven management and marketing services to dentistry. McKenzie Management offers a full line of educational and management products on its website, The company offers a vast array of Business Operations Programs and team training. Ms. McKenzie can be reached toll free at 877-777-6151 or at

Calculate your savings on DEXIS and other beneficial technology at

Sally McKenzie and Ken Rubin are not employed by DEXIS nor do they have any financial interests in the company.