Section 179 in 2014

Update on the 2014 Section 179 Tax Deduction

You still have thirty days to make the most of $25K

Section 179 of the IRS tax code has gotten a lot of heat for its diminished deduction limit in 2014. Compared to last year’s deduction limit of $500,000 for equipment purchases, the 2014 limit has been reduced to $25,000. Despite the ADA’s efforts in urging Congress to extend the Section 179 tax provision to 2013 levels, there hasn’t been any word on whether an extension will be granted.

The silver lining: although $25,000 isn’t as desirable as $500,000, Section 179 provides some real relief to dental practice owners purchasing small equipment in 2014. Section 179 can change each year without notice, so it’s beneficial to take advantage of any deduction while it’s still available.

Up to $25,000 in dental equipment can be written off in 2014

ELIGIBILITY AND QUALIFICATIONS

Most tangible goods qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. For basic guidelines on what equipment is covered under the Section 179 tax code, refer to this list of qualifying equipment. Note: To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment and/or software purchased or financed must be placed into service between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

All new and used equipment is eligible for deduction up to $25,000 for 2014. All companies that lease, finance or purchase equipment with a total value of less than $200,000 still qualify for the Section 179 deduction. Expenses over that maximum amount begin to decrease on a dollar-for-dollar deduction scale, effectively gearing this tax code toward small and medium-sized businesses.

DEPRECIATION DEDUCTION BENEFITS

While Section 179 doesn’t increase the total amount you can deduct in a single year, it allows you to benefit from the deduction all at once. In other words, rather than having to deduct an asset’s value over the course of several years, Section 179 allows businesses to get the entire depreciation deduction in a single year, a practice known as first-year expensing.

According to regular depreciation rules, if you were to purchase new high-speed handpieces for each of your operatories, you’d be obligated to deduct a portion of each handpiece’s cost over multiple years. For the next five years, you’d only be able to deduct a fraction of the overall expense. With the Section 179 tax code, though, you are allowed to immediately deduct the entire expense of the handpieces in a single year instead of having to track their depreciation over time.

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Check out an example of Section 179 at work:

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 SOURCE: Section179.org

EPA Rule on Amalgam Separators

EPA Proposes Amalgam Separator Rule

Nationwide rule requires amalgam separators in every office

In an effort to reduce the discharge of dental amalgam into the environment, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed a rule under the Clean Water Act requiring dentists to install amalgam separators.

Studies show that half of the mercury that enters publicly owned treatment works originates from dental amalgam. Tiny particles of amalgam can bypass chairside traps every time an amalgam filling is placed or removed. After water treatment, mercury is distributed back in the form of precipitation and consumed by fish, making its way into our food chain.  

The proposed rule would require all affected dentists to control mercury discharges to publicly owned treatment works. Specifically, it would require them to cut their dental amalgam discharges to a level achievable through the use of amalgam separators and the use of other best management practices. The EPA expects compliance with this proposed rule would cut metal discharge to treatment works, half of it from mercury, by at least 8.8 tons a year.

“The rule would strengthen human health protection by requiring removals based on the use of a technology and practices that approximately 40% of dentists across the country already employ”
– Kenneth Kopocis, Deputy Assistant Administrator for the EPA’s Office of Water

The rule would allow dentists to show they are in compliance by installing, operating, and maintaining an amalgam separator. However, if the existing separators in a dental practice do not remove the percentage of amalgam in the proposed requirements, a practice can still be ruled as compliant for the life of the existing separator. Finally, it would limit dental dischargers’ reporting requirements to annual certification and record-keeping instead of wastewater monitoring.

The EPA will accept public comments on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. A public hearing also is scheduled for November 10. The agency expects to finalize the rule in September 2015.

Ebola Virus and Dentistry

The Ebola Epidemic: A Concern for Dentistry?

The recent Ebola epidemic has the entire world on high alert. Although the majority of the 8,400 reported cases have been contained to West Africa, the Ebola virus has already made its way into the United States. Following the death of Thomas Eric Duncan (the first travel-related Ebola case in the U.S.), the CDC confirmed Sunday that a nurse who treated Duncan at a Texas hospital has contracted Ebola. Authorities presume that the infection may be a result of a “breach” of infection control protocol.

Since healthcare workers who come in contact with infected patients have the highest risk of contracting Ebola, now is the time to emphasize the importance of proper infection control procedures with your team.

Precautionary Checklist

To keep your staff and patients safe, consider the following precautions:

  • Monitor the Ebola situation online. Utilize the resources available on the CDC website.
  • Assess and ensure availability of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand hygiene supplies.
  • Review facility infection control policies.
  • Review environmental cleaning procedures.
  • Be on the lookout for patients with fever or symptoms of Ebola who have traveled from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone in the past 21 days.
  • Recognize a case of Ebola and be prepared to use appropriate infection control measures.
  • Begin education and refresher training for healthcare providers on Ebola virus disease signs and symptoms, diagnosis, triage procedures, employee sick leave policies, how and to whom Ebola cases should be reported and procedures to take following unprotected exposures.
  • Avoid contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected patient.
  • Ensure laboratories review procedures for appropriate specimen collection, transport and testing of specimens from patients who may be infected with Ebola virus.

Other Facts About the Ebola Virus

According to the CDC, a person infected with Ebola is not contagious until symptoms appear. Signs and symptoms of Ebola include fever (greater than 101.5°F) and severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or unexplained bleeding or bruising. Symptoms can appear from 2 to 21 days after exposure. After 21 days, if an exposed person does not develop symptoms, they will not become sick with Ebola.

The Ebola virus is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood and bodily fluids (e.g., urine, feces, saliva, vomit and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola, or with objects (e.g., needles) that have been contaminated with the virus. Ebola is NOT spread through the air or by water or, in general, by food.

The Triclosan Controversy


What’s the Trouble with Triclosan?

Antibacterial agent comes under fire for potential health risks

Colgate Total has been in the news lately, thanks to one of its active ingredients – triclosan. The antibacterial chemical has come under increased scrutiny as new studies have raised questions about its safety. These studies show that triclosan may be influencing cancer cell growth and disrupting the way hormones work in animals.1 Whether these undesirable side effects are present in humans is harder to determine, but it doesn’t bode well for the chemical.

So why include a questionable chemical? Total’s patented formula has proved effective in reducing the bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis, which can lead to periodontal disease.

However, triclosan’s use in other products hasn’t been proven to be beneficial. Triclosan can be found in many different types of products – everything from cosmetics to clothing to rugs. Its presence in some of the products that dental healthcare professionals use every day for infection control purposes might be cause for concern.

For example, triclosan is a common ingredient in antibacterial hand soaps, even though it has not been proven to be more effective at reducing illness than washing hands properly with regular soap and water. It’s this fact that has the FDA re-examining the safety and efficacy of including triclosan in soap and body washes, outside of hospital settings.

According to FDA microbiologist Colleen Rogers, Ph.D., “New data suggest that the risks associated with long-term, daily use of antibacterial soaps may outweigh the benefits.” In addition to the cancer and hormonal effects, triclosan is also suspected of contributing to bacterial resistance of antibiotics – a problem with broad-reaching implications.

Fortunately, it’s easy to move away from hand soaps containing triclosan, while taking the opportunity to emphasize the importance of following a proper hand-washing protocol with your team. Hand sanitizers, which also might contain triclosan, are available in triclosan-free versions with alcohol as the active ingredient – look for at least 60% alcohol make sure to use enough to wet hands for at least 15 seconds.

1 Tiffany Kari, Colgate Total Ingredient Linked to Hormones, Cancer Spotlights FDA Process, (http://www.bloomberg.com/news), August 11, 2014

PureLife Perks Rewards Program

Get Rewarded for Being a PureLife Customer

PureLife Perks members enjoy exclusive discounts, cash rewards and more

We’ve got a lot of love for our customers, which is why we’re introducing PureLife Perks — a new program that rewards loyal customers with exclusive discounts, cash rewards, special promotions, and continuing education resources. With our expanded selection of top brands and 50% more items in our 2014 catalog, it’s easier than ever to rack up perks.

The program contains three membership levels, each with an annual merchandise commitment requirement and a unique set of perks. See the full rundown of the benefits enjoyed with each level:

Perks Levels 2*some restrictions apply

Apply Now!

To apply for enrollment, just complete the Application Form below. For more information on the Perks Program, visit www.purelifedental.com/perks or call us at 877-777-3303.

PureLife Perks Application Form

Please complete the form below and we'll notify you of your enrollment status within 5 business days!

 

 

Introducing the Feel Good Collection

Introducing the PureLife Feel Good Collection

Make a difference in the health of your patients, staff and environment – without harming your wallet

Your patients, staff, and bottom line are important factors in your purchasing decisions. At PureLife, we actively seek out profit-boosting products that make a positive difference in human and environmental health—so you no longer need to sacrifice profitability to achieve responsibility. Compared to their traditional counterparts, products and services in our Feel Good Collection offer additional benefits to human and/or environmental health.

HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVES

Patient and staff health is a top priority for all dental professionals. PureLife actively seeks out products that contain better alternatives to chemicals known to cause harm to human health, such as bisphenol A, triclosan and phenols.

ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS

Whether they contain recycled materials, come in reduced or recycled content packaging, or are produced in in a manufacturing facility powered by biofuels, these items make a difference in environmental health. Plus, any supplies ordered from PureLife automatically come with a reduced eco-impact.  That’s because we offset the carbon emissions that result from our operations by funding reforestation programs through CarbonFund® In fact, our offset donations represent the equivalent of planting over 150,000 trees and letting them grow for ten years!

REAL SOLUTIONS FOR WASTE

PureLife offers comprehensive waste solutions that help you meet OSHA regulations and still save money. From economical amalgam separators to on-demand waste disposal services, we offer waste solutions that are convenient, affordable and compliant.

Start feeling good about the supplies you use in your practice! Check out the entire Feel Good Collection here.

Bad News for BPA

Bad News for BPA

New research links BPA exposure to disrupted enamel formation and childhood obesity, among other problems

Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical compound found in many everyday plastic products, caused widespread alarm outside of dentistry in 2010, after several studies linked it to health problems. Many manufacturers of plastic bottles, particularly those used by children, were prompted to exclude the substance from their formulations.

Since the first composite resin was introduced in the 1960s, dental composites and sealants containing BPA have been developed. Within the last 25 years, researchers have reported detectable levels of BPA in patients treated with dental sealants. This year alone, more and more evidence is mounting against BPA, with new studies suggesting that exposure to BPA may have harmful effects on human health, particularly during a child’s early development years.

DAMAGED/FRAGILE TOOTH ENAMEL
diversity-group-children1New research from France has suggested that BPA exposure in children can adversely affect cells that produce tooth enamel, making it fragile or brittle. The researchers studied the effects of low daily doses of BPA on the teeth of laboratory rats. Results showed tooth enamel damage in the rats to be characteristic of a childhood tooth enamel condition called Molar Incisor Hypomineralisation (MIH), which occurs selectively in permanent incisors and first molars1.

MIH affects about 18% of children between the ages of 6 and 8. Children with MIH are highly prone to dental caries and are very susceptible to tooth sensitivity and pain. Connections between this condition and the results studied in the rats’ teeth are even stronger due to the fact that the age at which children develop their first molars and permanent incisors is the age at which studies show that humans are most sensitive to BPA.

INCREASED RISK OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY
A study examining the relationship between BPA and obesity in school-age children found that girls between 9 and 12 years of age with higher-than-average levels of BPA in their urine had double the risk of being obese than girls with lower levels of BPA2.

The study was conducted in Shanghai as part of a larger national study of puberty and adolescent health, and may provide evidence that confirms recent and past findings from animal studies – that high BPA exposure levels could increase the risk of children becoming overweight or obese.

BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor, a substance that disturbs the endocrine system. The endocrine system is a series of glands — such as the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands — that releases hormones affecting sexual development, growth and metabolism. Some chemicals, like BPA, can alter hormone levels.

“Girls in the midst of puberty may be more sensitive to the impacts of BPA on their energy balance and fat metabolism,” said De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, principal investigator of the study and a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, California2.

OTHER NEGATIVE EFFECTS
Other studies have suggested that BPA exposure affects the reproductive systems of laboratory animals. A study published in January by researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that even low levels of BPA may put children and adolescents at a higher risk of heart and kidney disease. Another recent study linked BPA exposure to childhood asthma.

BPA-FREE ALTERNATIVES
Did you know that PureLife offers a variety of BPA-free products? For example, Venus Diamond and Venus Pearl composites by Heraeus Kulzer boast a patented BPA-free urethane monomer chemistry. Also, the Embrace line of cements and sealants from Pulpdent and the new Toothfairy BPA-Free Pit & Fissure Sealant from Septodont utilize an advanced BPA-free resin technology.

REFERENCES
1 Early BPA exposure may adversely affect formation of tooth enamel. (2013, June 13). Dental Tribune.
2 Chemical in plastics may double obesity risk in puberty-age girls. (2013, June 14). Jagran Post