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Starting the Veterinary Capital Equipment Conversation Part 1

By Pam Foster
July, 2016

Each year, practices may be eligible to take advantage of IRS Section 179 tax deductions when they invest in qualifying capital equipment. This means, according to the IRS, they can "recover all or part of the cost of certain qualifying property, up to a limit, by deducting it in the year they place the property in service." This can be an excellent way to make capital purchases more attractive.Vet Advantage photo: Each year, you can help practices take advantage of IRS Section 179 tax deductions when they invest in qualifying capital equipment. 

But… it's a safe bet that many of your clinic owners or managers aren't thinking about this valuable tax strategy; especially not in the middle of summer, and maybe not at all.

As a distributor representative, you're in a terrific position to bring up IRS Section 179 tax deductions so our customers don’t miss out.

And, if you start the conversation now… your customers will have plenty of time to consider major investments, talk with their tax specialists, and place orders with you.

So… is there any low-hanging fruit among your customers — practice owners who may be thinking about Q3 and Q4 purchases and possibly getting quotes for them now?

Or… could any of your customers benefit from new or upgraded equipment that's more efficient, easier to use, and more ergonomic? Is anyone on your visit list a perfect candidate for equipment upgrades?

Think about it for a moment.

If you can identify practices that might be ready for capital equipment purchases, you'll be away ahead of the last-minute scramble that happens every year. Plus you may open the door to more capital equipment orders in 2016!

Rick Warter, RVT, National Equipment Sales Manager at MWI Animal Health, told us, "I think it is really simple to ask, 'Are there any items on your wish list that we should be looking at now — for your section 179 deduction — so we don't have to rush and make a bad decision at the end of the year?'… or something to the effect of, 'Have you considered which items you may want to purchase for your 179 tax write-off this year?' Either of those questions should open the door to discussing options and getting demos and info collected, so if they do need to make a purchase, they'll be ready."

Let's look at the veterinary product categories that may quality for IRS Section 179 deductions, starting with products that improve and maximize the workspace. These include: 

  • Lighting: Today’s veterinary lighting innovations for surgery, treatment, dental and exam areas are greener, cooler, longer lasting and more efficient than older models. You can discuss the many benefits of replacement lighting that brings your customers these major technological improvements. 
  • Tables: Veterinary table manufacturers provide practices with many options – from foot-operated hydraulic lift tables to wall-mounted exam tables and advanced surgery tables. Introduce your customers to new choices in stationary, mobile and wet tables. 
  • Dental equipment: Veterinary dental equipment is not just for teeth cleaning. It helps practices identify and treat oral-health problems so more patients can avoid serious medical issues. Your opportunity could be huge if you're helping practices invest in new equipment — from scaler/polishers all the way up to a full dental unit
  • Cages and kennels: Veterinary cages provide pets with a safe haven while at the practice, whether they’re in recovery, isolation (such as Parvo cases), boarding or grooming. Commissions can be quite significant for cage/kennel systems, depending on the number of cages and accessories purchased.
  • Anesthesia machines: Anesthesia equipment is used to safely sedate animals so they’re asleep during medical procedures such as dental cleanings, exploratory exams and surgeries. This category includes several big-ticket investments including patient monitoring equipment that measures heart rate and blood pressure, carbon dioxide and oxygen.
  • Laser surgery equipment: Practices use carbon dioxide (CO2) laser technologies to reduce tissue trauma and recovery time for patients facing routine and advanced surgical procedures — because the interaction of laser light with patient tissue provides a much better alternative to traditional scalpel-related surgical methods and practice. Any customer offering surgery is a good candidate for discussing the latest laser models.


These are just a few of the categories where new models and major innovations may benefit your customers. You can help them upgrade now (or soon) to provide enhanced services to their clients while enjoying potential IRS tax deductions for 2016.

In our next post, we'll discuss several other product categories you can introduce to customers when discussing the IRS Section 179 deduction benefits.

Topics: equipment