So let's say you're a small business and you buy a computer and expense that, and then later you want to sell it to buy a newer one. Is there an easy way to determine how much of this sale is taxable?

I came across this link below, and it appears I have to calculate the adjusted cost basis, and this would be taxed as a capital gain or loss or something. Am I getting close?


2 Answers 2


If it's fully expensed, it has zero basis. Any sale is taxable, 100%.

To the ordinary income / cap gain issue raised in comment - It's a cap gain, but I believe, as with real estate, special rates apply. This is where I am out of my area of expertise, and as they say - "Consult a professional."


Profit = Sale price - Basis

Basis = Purchase price - any depreciation taken, including expensing it.

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