Maximize goodwill when selling a practice

Decide whether to allocate purchase price of practice to goodwill.

Q: I'm selling my medical practice, and my attorney advised me to allocate as much of the purchase price as I can to goodwill. Why is doing so advantageous?

A: In the purchase of a practice, all purchased assets are deductible to the buyer and reported as income to the seller.

Generally, a practice purchase is comprised of tangible elements, such as equipment, and intangible elements (goodwill). The purchase of tangible assets usually can be depreciated over a 5- to 7-year schedule, but some may be fully deducted during the year following the purchase.

Send your money management questions to Answer provided by Steven Podnos, MD, CFP, principal of Wealth Care LLC in Merritt Island, Florida.