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Technically, any asset that provides you an economic benefit in more than one year needs to be depreciated. Also, you may not take 179 if it gives you an operating loss unless you carry forward the excess 179 deduction against future 179 deductions. YOu don't want to do that.

Realisticly, you should look at the materiality of what you want to expense. Say you have an operating loss. You have purchased equipment during the year of 1,000. If you expensed that, would it have a material effect on your income statement? Does your office expense have 10,000 in it or 1,000? What about your other expenses? Would an extra thousand stick out? What about an extra two thousand? For the clients at the firm I work at, we generally expense (expense, not 179) items 2K and under if it will not materialy affect the income statement. In addition, we will take 179 if we can.
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