SeaWorld Entertainment avoids paying income tax in part using accelerated depreciation.

Posted | Contributed by VitaminsAndGravy

SeaWorld is avoiding income taxes even as business is booming. The company's pre-tax profits more than tripled in 2012 to $117 million. Total sales across its 11 parks climbed 7 percent to more than $1.4 billion. When companies invest in things like equipment and machinery, the value of those assets declines over time as they age. Accelerated depreciation allows companies to write off the value of those investments faster for tax purposes than the value actually declines.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

bjames's avatar

This must be one of those loopholes politicians made and are always talking about closing....

Vater's avatar

Pretty sure I depreciated at an accelerated rate when I turned 40 a couple months back. Think the IRS will buy it when I do my taxes next year?

Jeff's avatar

Honestly, I've taken advantage of this even as a small business. Obviously I need to buy computers, software and cameras and such to run these sites, and there were a few years where I could claim big capital items all in one year. That made a huge impact on my income tax.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

janfrederick's avatar

Man, could you imagine being the person in charge of auditing that if the IRS chose to do so?

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
James Whitmore's avatar

In our office we often say, "We don't make the rules, we just play by them".

Some of the accelerated depreciation provisions were put into place recently to help encourage businesses to spend money to stimulate the economy. Businesses take advantage of it and then politicians often complain to the media about companies who don't pay taxes. And in many instances, the companies would have purchased the assets anyways. Magic of politics. LOL

rollergator's avatar

As a general rule, corporations are not taxed like they once were. As a portion of federal revenues overall, payroll taxes have taken over the position once held by corporate income taxes - reversing positions even. So SeaWorld is really just following the same overall trend as most businesses.

Last edited by rollergator,

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