Mac Pro + Apple ADC, AMEX Bonus Points, Taxes = Help!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by fireworks501, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. fireworks501 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2006
    Hi all,

    So I'm looking to purchase a pretty hefty system for the graphics and video work that I do - a mac pro with 30" display, ATI graphics and around 4GB in RAM.

    I recently got the ADC Student Membership so I can make a once-in-a-lifetime hardware purchase using the discount. At retail, the system I configured would be around $7400; with ADC discount, around $6500.

    Here is my problem:

    I have made a whole bunch of $$$ doing freelance work this year, with no taxes taken out. Come April, I will probably owe $3, $4K in taxes on that. If I were to buy the Mac Pro before December 31st, I would be able to claim that as a deduction on my earned income, which would probably reduce my taxes - the cash out of my pocket come April - anywhere from $1K-$2K.

    Additionally, AMEX is offering their Bonus Points Mall until December 31st - earn 3x the points for any purchases made through their portal website; Apple is one of the vendors. AMEX points are redeemable, roughly mile-for-mile on any airline. This would mean that on a $6K system, I'd earn roughly 18,000 points/miles. As AMEX sells blocks of 1,000 points for $50, I'd be making an additional $600 worth of points by buying before December 31st.

    That said, here's where I come to you guys.

    I've followed the rumors heavily (Cloverton, HDMI, built-in iSights) and I can't seem to think that the possibilities of what may be announced at MacWorld aside from what is guaranteed (iLife 07, Leopard at some point in the spring) are really worth the $1-$2K in cash I could reduce my taxes by this year, as well as the extra AMEX miles. What do you guys think?

    FYI, my job situation will be different next year - I am taking an offer with a corporation, so next year, I won't be in a situation where I need to claim deducations on freelance income because I owe a lot (it'll have been taken out of paychecks during the course of the 2007). So it won't make sense to buy the Mac Pro next year solely for tax purposes.

    Also: any of you have any experience using AMEX's Bonus Points Mall? I bought an iPod and Nike+ stuff through it this Christmas directly though that site (AMEX > Apple US Online Store), but am worried about going through their portal and then logging into ADC and THEN buying the computer. They say you can't use coupons or promotional codes on your order to qualify for the extra points, but I don't believe the ADC store counts as that. I called AMEX and used the example of the Apple Store for Education, and they said that it shouldn't be a problem. Still don't want to get screwed out of $600 in points. Anyone have any experience?

    Okay, long-winded question I know, but hell I know we all love responding to hypothetical buying scenarios and weighing opportunity/cost situations, so here's mine.

    Would love to hear what you guys have to say...


  2. southbark macrumors regular

    Dec 15, 2006
    Well for tax purposes you have to buy now nothing you can do.maybe a loophole but you need to ask your tax professional.You can by ira's in january thats the only thing i am aware that will allow you to get a deduction when buying the next year for the last
  3. fireworks501 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2006
    No, definately I would have to buy now... what I'm debating is whether the cash value of buying now (up to $2K, plus miles) is greater than the products that may be released in 11 days.

    Then again, I got burned pretty badly with both a Rev. A Powerbook G4 and Rev. A MacBook 13", so I would err on the side of waiting anyway if they introduce any new technology for a $1799 monitor.

    Still... the perpetual, "what if!"


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