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Tax Law (Questions About Taxes)/Rules for Determining Geography


I have a fringe question, hope you can help or point me in the right direction.
I own a small S Corporation that manages commercial properties in Indiana. I recently purchased a home in South Carolina and am in the process of migrating my assets (selling properties in Indiana and looking for new investment properties in South Carolina.)

I want to purchase an SUV that qualifies for section 179 depreciation. The sales tax on automobiles in SC is capped at $300, so I want to register the vehicle at my new SC address. My question is whether I can consider it a company owned vehicle (and take advantage of the 179 tax rules) if I register it in my new state and new address.

Thanks for any insight.


Thanks for your question.

The issue that you have is "how can a vehicle registered in South Carolina be a company-owned vehicle for an Indiana corporation?"  Although you could take the deduction, if the IRS questions it, you would have a hard time defending your action, particularly if you did not use it 100% for business.

Of course, if there is any element of personal use in a company-owned vehicle, that personal use becomes taxable income to you.

Hope this helps.

John Stancil, CPA

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for the quick response.
I just want to make sure I understand - are you saying that there are in fact circumstances where my scenario would be okay? For example, if I can prove that I was using the vehicle in South Carolina for business purposes? Or is it cut and dried to where the vehicle MUST be registered where the corporation is located?

I feel confident that I could keep records of business use if my scenario is allowed. But if the answer is black and white then it wouldn't matter how many records I kept. Thanks.

The vehicle does not have to be registered where the corporation is located.  However, if the corporation is not located in SC, or doing minimal business in South Carolina, it is a suspicious situation.  It is not a matter of tracking business use, but personal use, since it is a company vehicle and the assumption is that all use is business use.

In short, while not black and white, there is a huge burden on you to be able to prove no personal use.

John Stancil, CPA

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John Stancil, CPA


I can answer questions on personal income taxes, partnerships, and some corporate income taxes. I can deal with some state tax questions. Limited gift and estate tax questions. I am also familiar with ministerial and church tax reporting issues. I am Professor Emeritus at Florida Southern College. Sales taxes and property taxes are state and local issues so I am not likely be be able to give you an in depth answer on those types of taxes. I have maintained a CPA practice, specializing in tax, for over 35 years. I am a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, The Florida Insititute of CPA's, The NCPE Fellowship. In addition I am a Certified Mentor for SCORE. Visit my website at I also offer seminars and consultations to churches and clergy on their tax issues at Also visit my blog, I am listed on Tax Connections at Prepare and file your own taxes at


I hold a doctorate in Accounting, and am a CPA. My certifications of CIA, CFM, and CMA are inactive. I passed all certification examinations on the first attempt, and received honorable mention for my scores on the CIA exam. I have operated a CPA firm for over 37 years and have taught accounting and tax at the college level for over 35 years.

FICPA, NATP, NCPE Fellowship, Lakeland Business Leaders

The CPA Journal, Florida CPA Today, Green Consumer, Green Business, Global Sustainability as a Business Imperative, Palmetto Review, NATP TaxPro Quarterly, Mustang Journal of Finance and Accounting.

DBA University of Memphis MBA University of Georgia BS in Accounting Mars Hill University

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