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Are drones tax deductible in the Construction Industry?

Aerial picture of a construction site using drones under Section 179 for depreciation and tax savings

The Adaptative Construction Industry by Rhett Cox, Clemson University


Safety is the most important goal of construction. At the end of a job, everybody in the construction industry wants laborers to go home safely to their loved ones. Safety has improved notably in the construction industry, but there is always room to progress.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones is one new technology that is helping address safety in construction, while making the process more efficient. According to Drone Deploy, drones can enhance safety by defeating the need for a person to go walk a job site to prepare a punch list, perform safety checks or inspections. Eliminating the need for a person to go on site can give a construction specialist more availability to get more things done, ultimately making the individual more efficient.

Drones can help preconstruction professionals be more efficient. According to David Pratt, a preconstruction manager at Robins and Morton, drones can make estimating much easier, principally with grading. Mr. Pratt stated they can use the information from a drone fly-over on a site to calculate how much earth will need to remove or add for the building.

The American Institute of Constructors | | The Professional Constructor Journal | Spring 2021 Volume 46 Number 01

Drones can help your project managers in the construction industry track progress, generate maps and conduct site surveys.

Using drones with audits can be expensed using a one time section 179 deduction or bonus depreciation to write off the drone. You can also capitalize and depreciate capital drone expenses as computer equipment.

The startup costs like training and testing are deductible. For example, you are eligible for the Lifetime learning tax credits if you take classes at a qualified education organization.

Have you been able to keep your projects on schedule and under budget?

If you are planning to implement drones in your business, let’s talk about reducing your tax payments this 2021:

Is your business overpaying taxes to the irs?

We’ve been helping our construction clients implement tax planning to help them reduce their tax liability.

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