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Rural Housing Service

The Department of Agriculture's Rural Housing Service provides grants and loans for housing and community facilities in rural areas of the U.S.

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Free taxes filing 2. Free taxes filing   Depreciation of Rental Property Table of Contents The BasicsWhat Rental Property Can Be Depreciated? When Does Depreciation Begin and End? Depreciation Methods Basis of Depreciable Property Claiming the Special Depreciation Allowance MACRS DepreciationDepreciation Systems Property Classes Under GDS Recovery Periods Under GDS Conventions Figuring Your Depreciation Deduction Figuring MACRS Depreciation Under ADS Claiming the Correct Amount of Depreciation You recover the cost of income producing property through yearly tax deductions. Free taxes filing You do this by depreciating the property; that is, by deducting some of the cost each year on your tax return. Free taxes filing Three factors determine how much depreciation you can deduct each year: (1) your basis in the property, (2) the recovery period for the property, and (3) the depreciation method used. Free taxes filing You cannot simply deduct your mortgage or principal payments, or the cost of furniture, fixtures and equipment, as an expense. Free taxes filing You can deduct depreciation only on the part of your property used for rental purposes. Free taxes filing Depreciation reduces your basis for figuring gain or loss on a later sale or exchange. Free taxes filing You may have to use Form 4562 to figure and report your depreciation. Free taxes filing See Which Forms To Use in chapter 3. Free taxes filing Also see Publication 946. Free taxes filing Section 179 deduction. Free taxes filing   The section 179 deduction is a means of recovering part or all of the cost of certain qualifying property in the year you place the property in service. Free taxes filing This deduction is not allowed for property used in connection with residential rental property. Free taxes filing See chapter 2 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing Alternative minimum tax (AMT). Free taxes filing   If you use accelerated depreciation, you may be subject to the AMT. Free taxes filing Accelerated depreciation allows you to deduct more depreciation earlier in the recovery period than you could deduct using a straight line method (same deduction each year). Free taxes filing   The prescribed depreciation methods for rental real estate are not accelerated, so the depreciation deduction is not adjusted for the AMT. Free taxes filing However, accelerated methods are generally used for other property connected with rental activities (for example, appliances and wall-to-wall carpeting). Free taxes filing   To find out if you are subject to the AMT, see the Instructions for Form 6251. Free taxes filing The Basics The following section discusses the information you will need to have about the rental property and the decisions to be made before figuring your depreciation deduction. Free taxes filing What Rental Property Can Be Depreciated? You can depreciate your property if it meets all the following requirements. Free taxes filing You own the property. Free taxes filing You use the property in your business or income-producing activity (such as rental property). Free taxes filing The property has a determinable useful life. Free taxes filing The property is expected to last more than one year. Free taxes filing Property you own. Free taxes filing   To claim depreciation, you usually must be the owner of the property. Free taxes filing You are considered as owning property even if it is subject to a debt. Free taxes filing Rented property. Free taxes filing   Generally, if you pay rent for property, you cannot depreciate that property. Free taxes filing Usually, only the owner can depreciate it. Free taxes filing However, if you make permanent improvements to leased property, you may be able to depreciate the improvements. Free taxes filing See Additions or improvements to property , later in this chapter, under Recovery Periods Under GDS. Free taxes filing Cooperative apartments. Free taxes filing   If you are a tenant-stockholder in a cooperative housing corporation and rent your cooperative apartment to others, you can deduct depreciation on your stock in the corporation. Free taxes filing See chapter 4, Special Situations. Free taxes filing Property having a determinable useful life. Free taxes filing   To be depreciable, your property must have a determinable useful life. Free taxes filing This means that it must be something that wears out, decays, gets used up, becomes obsolete, or loses its value from natural causes. Free taxes filing What Rental Property Cannot Be Depreciated? Certain property cannot be depreciated. Free taxes filing This includes land and certain excepted property. Free taxes filing Land. Free taxes filing   You cannot depreciate the cost of land because land generally does not wear out, become obsolete, or get used up. Free taxes filing But if it does, the loss is accounted for upon disposition. Free taxes filing The costs of clearing, grading, planting, and landscaping are usually all part of the cost of land and cannot be depreciated. Free taxes filing   Although you cannot depreciate land, you can depreciate certain land preparation costs, such as landscaping costs, incurred in preparing land for business use. Free taxes filing These costs must be so closely associated with other depreciable property that you can determine a life for them along with the life of the associated property. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You built a new house to use as a rental and paid for grading, clearing, seeding, and planting bushes and trees. Free taxes filing Some of the bushes and trees were planted right next to the house, while others were planted around the outer border of the lot. Free taxes filing If you replace the house, you would have to destroy the bushes and trees right next to it. Free taxes filing These bushes and trees are closely associated with the house, so they have a determinable useful life. Free taxes filing Therefore, you can depreciate them. Free taxes filing Add your other land preparation costs to the basis of your land because they have no determinable life and you cannot depreciate them. Free taxes filing Excepted property. Free taxes filing   Even if the property meets all the requirements listed earlier under What Rental Property Can Be Depreciated , you cannot depreciate the following property. Free taxes filing Property placed in service and disposed of (or taken out of business use) in the same year. Free taxes filing Equipment used to build capital improvements. Free taxes filing You must add otherwise allowable depreciation on the equipment during the period of construction to the basis of your improvements. Free taxes filing For more information, see chapter 1 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing When Does Depreciation Begin and End? You begin to depreciate your rental property when you place it in service for the production of income. Free taxes filing You stop depreciating it either when you have fully recovered your cost or other basis, or when you retire it from service, whichever happens first. Free taxes filing Placed in Service You place property in service in a rental activity when it is ready and available for a specific use in that activity. Free taxes filing Even if you are not using the property, it is in service when it is ready and available for its specific use. Free taxes filing Example 1. Free taxes filing On November 22 of last year, you purchased a dishwasher for your rental property. Free taxes filing The appliance was delivered on December 7, but was not installed and ready for use until January 3 of this year. Free taxes filing Because the dishwasher was not ready for use last year, it is not considered placed in service until this year. Free taxes filing If the appliance had been installed and ready for use when it was delivered in December of last year, it would have been considered placed in service in December, even if it was not actually used until this year. Free taxes filing Example 2. Free taxes filing On April 6, you purchased a house to use as residential rental property. Free taxes filing You made extensive repairs to the house and had it ready for rent on July 5. Free taxes filing You began to advertise the house for rent in July and actually rented it beginning September 1. Free taxes filing The house is considered placed in service in July when it was ready and available for rent. Free taxes filing You can begin to depreciate the house in July. Free taxes filing Example 3. Free taxes filing You moved from your home in July. Free taxes filing During August and September you made several repairs to the house. Free taxes filing On October 1, you listed the property for rent with a real estate company, which rented it on December 1. Free taxes filing The property is considered placed in service on October 1, the date when it was available for rent. Free taxes filing Conversion to business use. Free taxes filing   If you place property in service in a personal activity, you cannot claim depreciation. Free taxes filing However, if you change the property's use to business or the production of income, you can begin to depreciate it at the time of the change. Free taxes filing You place the property in service for business or income-producing use on the date of the change. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You bought a house and used it as your personal home several years before you converted it to rental property. Free taxes filing Although its specific use was personal and no depreciation was allowable, you placed the home in service when you began using it as your home. Free taxes filing You can begin to claim depreciation in the year you converted it to rental property because at that time its use changed to the production of income. Free taxes filing Idle Property Continue to claim a deduction for depreciation on property used in your rental activity even if it is temporarily idle (not in use). Free taxes filing For example, if you must make repairs after a tenant moves out, you still depreciate the rental property during the time it is not available for rent. Free taxes filing Cost or Other Basis Fully Recovered You must stop depreciating property when the total of your yearly depreciation deductions equals your cost or other basis of your property. Free taxes filing For this purpose, your yearly depreciation deductions include any depreciation that you were allowed to claim, even if you did not claim it. Free taxes filing See Basis of Depreciable Property , later. Free taxes filing Retired From Service You stop depreciating property when you retire it from service, even if you have not fully recovered its cost or other basis. Free taxes filing You retire property from service when you permanently withdraw it from use in a trade or business or from use in the production of income because of any of the following events. Free taxes filing You sell or exchange the property. Free taxes filing You convert the property to personal use. Free taxes filing You abandon the property. Free taxes filing The property is destroyed. Free taxes filing Depreciation Methods Generally, you must use the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) to depreciate residential rental property placed in service after 1986. Free taxes filing If you placed rental property in service before 1987, you are using one of the following methods. Free taxes filing ACRS (Accelerated Cost Recovery System) for property placed in service after 1980 but before 1987. Free taxes filing Straight line or declining balance method over the useful life of property placed in service before 1981. Free taxes filing See MACRS Depreciation , later, for more information. Free taxes filing Rental property placed in service before 2013. Free taxes filing   Continue to use the same method of figuring depreciation that you used in the past. Free taxes filing Use of real property changed. Free taxes filing   Generally, you must use MACRS to depreciate real property that you acquired for personal use before 1987 and changed to business or income-producing use after 1986. Free taxes filing This includes your residence that you changed to rental use. Free taxes filing See Property Owned or Used in 1986 in Publication 946, chapter 1, for those situations in which MACRS is not allowed. Free taxes filing Improvements made after 1986. Free taxes filing   Treat an improvement made after 1986 to property you placed in service before 1987 as separate depreciable property. Free taxes filing As a result, you can depreciate that improvement as separate property under MACRS if it is the type of property that otherwise qualifies for MACRS depreciation. Free taxes filing For more information about improvements, see Additions or improvements to property , later in this chapter under Recovery Periods Under GDS. Free taxes filing This publication discusses MACRS depreciation only. Free taxes filing If you need information about depreciating property placed in service before 1987, see Publication 534. Free taxes filing Basis of Depreciable Property The basis of property used in a rental activity is generally its adjusted basis when you place it in service in that activity. Free taxes filing This is its cost or other basis when you acquired it, adjusted for certain items occurring before you place it in service in the rental activity. Free taxes filing If you depreciate your property under MACRS, you may also have to reduce your basis by certain deductions and credits with respect to the property. Free taxes filing Basis and adjusted basis are explained in the following discussions. Free taxes filing If you used the property for personal purposes before changing it to rental use, its basis for depreciation is the lesser of its adjusted basis or its fair market value when you change it to rental use. Free taxes filing See Basis of Property Changed to Rental Use in chapter 4. Free taxes filing Cost Basis The basis of property you buy is usually its cost. Free taxes filing The cost is the amount you pay for it in cash, in debt obligation, in other property, or in services. Free taxes filing Your cost also includes amounts you pay for: Sales tax charged on the purchase (but see Exception next), Freight charges to obtain the property, and Installation and testing charges. Free taxes filing Exception. Free taxes filing   If you deducted state and local general sales taxes as an itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040), do not include those sales taxes as part of your cost basis. Free taxes filing Such taxes were deductible before 1987 and after 2003. Free taxes filing Loans with low or no interest. Free taxes filing   If you buy property on any time-payment plan that charges little or no interest, the basis of your property is your stated purchase price, less the amount considered to be unstated interest. Free taxes filing See Unstated Interest and Original Issue Discount (OID) in Publication 537, Installment Sales. Free taxes filing Real property. Free taxes filing   If you buy real property, such as a building and land, certain fees and other expenses you pay are part of your cost basis in the property. Free taxes filing Real estate taxes. Free taxes filing   If you buy real property and agree to pay real estate taxes on it that were owed by the seller and the seller does not reimburse you, the taxes you pay are treated as part of your basis in the property. Free taxes filing You cannot deduct them as taxes paid. Free taxes filing   If you reimburse the seller for real estate taxes the seller paid for you, you can usually deduct that amount. Free taxes filing Do not include that amount in your basis in the property. Free taxes filing Settlement fees and other costs. Free taxes filing   The following settlement fees and closing costs for buying the property are part of your basis in the property. Free taxes filing Abstract fees. Free taxes filing Charges for installing utility services. Free taxes filing Legal fees. Free taxes filing Recording fees. Free taxes filing Surveys. Free taxes filing Transfer taxes. Free taxes filing Title insurance. Free taxes filing Any amounts the seller owes that you agree to pay, such as back taxes or interest, recording or mortgage fees, charges for improvements or repairs, and sales commissions. Free taxes filing   The following are settlement fees and closing costs you cannot include in your basis in the property. Free taxes filing Fire insurance premiums. Free taxes filing Rent or other charges relating to occupancy of the property before closing. Free taxes filing Charges connected with getting or refinancing a loan, such as: Points (discount points, loan origination fees), Mortgage insurance premiums, Loan assumption fees, Cost of a credit report, and Fees for an appraisal required by a lender. Free taxes filing   Also, do not include amounts placed in escrow for the future payment of items such as taxes and insurance. Free taxes filing Assumption of a mortgage. Free taxes filing   If you buy property and become liable for an existing mortgage on the property, your basis is the amount you pay for the property plus the amount remaining to be paid on the mortgage. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You buy a building for $60,000 cash and assume a mortgage of $240,000 on it. Free taxes filing Your basis is $300,000. Free taxes filing Separating cost of land and buildings. Free taxes filing   If you buy buildings and your cost includes the cost of the land on which they stand, you must divide the cost between the land and the buildings to figure the basis for depreciation of the buildings. Free taxes filing The part of the cost that you allocate to each asset is the ratio of the fair market value of that asset to the fair market value of the whole property at the time you buy it. Free taxes filing   If you are not certain of the fair market values of the land and the buildings, you can divide the cost between them based on their assessed values for real estate tax purposes. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You buy a house and land for $200,000. Free taxes filing The purchase contract does not specify how much of the purchase price is for the house and how much is for the land. Free taxes filing The latest real estate tax assessment on the property was based on an assessed value of $160,000, of which $136,000 was for the house and $24,000 was for the land. Free taxes filing You can allocate 85% ($136,000 ÷ $160,000) of the purchase price to the house and 15% ($24,000 ÷ $160,000) of the purchase price to the land. Free taxes filing Your basis in the house is $170,000 (85% of $200,000) and your basis in the land is $30,000 (15% of $200,000). Free taxes filing Basis Other Than Cost You cannot use cost as a basis for property that you received: In return for services you performed; In an exchange for other property; As a gift; From your spouse, or from your former spouse as the result of a divorce; or As an inheritance. Free taxes filing If you received property in one of these ways, see Publication 551 for information on how to figure your basis. Free taxes filing Adjusted Basis To figure your property's basis for depreciation, you may have to make certain adjustments (increases and decreases) to the basis of the property for events occurring between the time you acquired the property and the time you placed it in service for business or the production of income. Free taxes filing The result of these adjustments to the basis is the adjusted basis. Free taxes filing Increases to basis. Free taxes filing   You must increase the basis of any property by the cost of all items properly added to a capital account. Free taxes filing These include the following. Free taxes filing The cost of any additions or improvements made before placing your property into service as a rental that have a useful life of more than 1 year. Free taxes filing Amounts spent after a casualty to restore the damaged property. Free taxes filing The cost of extending utility service lines to the property. Free taxes filing Legal fees, such as the cost of defending and perfecting title, or settling zoning issues. Free taxes filing Additions or improvements. Free taxes filing   Add to the basis of your property the amount an addition or improvement actually cost you, including any amount you borrowed to make the addition or improvement. Free taxes filing This includes all direct costs, such as material and labor, but does not include your own labor. Free taxes filing It also includes all expenses related to the addition or improvement. Free taxes filing   For example, if you had an architect draw up plans for remodeling your property, the architect's fee is a part of the cost of the remodeling. Free taxes filing Or, if you had your lot surveyed to put up a fence, the cost of the survey is a part of the cost of the fence. Free taxes filing   Keep separate accounts for depreciable additions or improvements made after you place the property in service in your rental activity. Free taxes filing For information on depreciating additions or improvements, see Additions or improvements to property , later in this chapter, under Recovery Periods Under GDS. Free taxes filing    The cost of landscaping improvements is usually treated as an addition to the basis of the land, which is not depreciable. Free taxes filing However, see What Rental Property Cannot Be Depreciated, earlier. Free taxes filing Assessments for local improvements. Free taxes filing   Assessments for items which tend to increase the value of property, such as streets and sidewalks, must be added to the basis of the property. Free taxes filing For example, if your city installs curbing on the street in front of your house, and assesses you and your neighbors for its cost, you must add the assessment to the basis of your property. Free taxes filing Also add the cost of legal fees paid to obtain a decrease in an assessment levied against property to pay for local improvements. Free taxes filing You cannot deduct these items as taxes or depreciate them. Free taxes filing    However, you can deduct as taxes, charges or assessments for maintenance, repairs, or interest charges related to the improvements. Free taxes filing Do not add them to your basis in the property. Free taxes filing Deducting vs. Free taxes filing capitalizing costs. Free taxes filing   Do not add to your basis costs you can deduct as current expenses. Free taxes filing However, there are certain costs you can choose either to deduct or to capitalize. Free taxes filing If you capitalize these costs, include them in your basis. Free taxes filing If you deduct them, do not include them in your basis. Free taxes filing   The costs you may choose to deduct or capitalize include carrying charges, such as interest and taxes, that you must pay to own property. Free taxes filing   For more information about deducting or capitalizing costs and how to make the election, see Carrying Charges in Publication 535, chapter 7. Free taxes filing Decreases to basis. Free taxes filing   You must decrease the basis of your property by any items that represent a return of your cost. Free taxes filing These include the following. Free taxes filing Insurance or other payment you receive as the result of a casualty or theft loss. Free taxes filing Casualty loss not covered by insurance for which you took a deduction. Free taxes filing Amount(s) you receive for granting an easement. Free taxes filing Residential energy credits you were allowed before 1986, or after 2005, if you added the cost of the energy items to the basis of your home. Free taxes filing Exclusion from income of subsidies for energy conservation measures. Free taxes filing Special depreciation allowance claimed on qualified property. Free taxes filing Depreciation you deducted, or could have deducted, on your tax returns under the method of depreciation you chose. Free taxes filing If you did not deduct enough or deducted too much in any year, see Depreciation under Decreases to Basis in Publication 551. Free taxes filing   If your rental property was previously used as your main home, you must also decrease the basis by the following. Free taxes filing Gain you postponed from the sale of your main home before May 7, 1997, if the replacement home was converted to your rental property. Free taxes filing District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit allowed on the purchase of your main home after August 4, 1997 and before January 1, 2012. Free taxes filing Amount of qualified principal residence indebtedness discharged on or after January 1, 2007. Free taxes filing Claiming the Special Depreciation Allowance For 2013, your residential rental property may qualify for a special depreciation allowance. Free taxes filing This allowance is figured before you figure your regular depreciation deduction. Free taxes filing See Publication 946, chapter 3, for details. Free taxes filing Also see the Instructions for Form 4562, Line 14. Free taxes filing If you qualify for, but choose not to take, a special depreciation allowance, you must attach a statement to your return. Free taxes filing The details of this election are in Publication 946, chapter 3, and the Instructions for Form 4562, Line 14. Free taxes filing MACRS Depreciation Most business and investment property placed in service after 1986 is depreciated using MACRS. Free taxes filing This section explains how to determine which MACRS depreciation system applies to your property. Free taxes filing It also discusses other information you need to know before you can figure depreciation under MACRS. Free taxes filing This information includes the property's: Recovery class, Applicable recovery period, Convention, Placed-in-service date, Basis for depreciation, and Depreciation method. Free taxes filing Depreciation Systems MACRS consists of two systems that determine how you depreciate your property—the General Depreciation System (GDS) and the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Free taxes filing You must use GDS unless you are specifically required by law to use ADS or you elect to use ADS. Free taxes filing Excluded Property You cannot use MACRS for certain personal property (such as furniture or appliances) placed in service in your rental property in 2013 if it had been previously placed in service before 1987 when MACRS became effective. Free taxes filing In most cases, personal property is excluded from MACRS if you (or a person related to you) owned or used it in 1986 or if your tenant is a person (or someone related to the person) who owned or used it in 1986. Free taxes filing However, the property is not excluded if your 2013 deduction under MACRS (using a half-year convention) is less than the deduction you would have under ACRS. Free taxes filing For more information, see What Method Can You Use To Depreciate Your Property? in Publication 946, chapter 1. Free taxes filing Electing ADS If you choose, you can use the ADS method for most property. Free taxes filing Under ADS, you use the straight line method of depreciation. Free taxes filing The election of ADS for one item in a class of property generally applies to all property in that class that is placed in service during the tax year of the election. Free taxes filing However, the election applies on a property-by-property basis for residential rental property and nonresidential real property. Free taxes filing If you choose to use ADS for your residential rental property, the election must be made in the first year the property is placed in service. Free taxes filing Once you make this election, you can never revoke it. Free taxes filing For property placed in service during 2013, you make the election to use ADS by entering the depreciation on Form 4562, Part III, Section C, line 20c. Free taxes filing Property Classes Under GDS Each item of property that can be depreciated under MACRS is assigned to a property class, determined by its class life. Free taxes filing The property class generally determines the depreciation method, recovery period, and convention. Free taxes filing The property classes under GDS are: 3-year property, 5-year property, 7-year property, 10-year property, 15-year property, 20-year property, Nonresidential real property, and Residential rental property. Free taxes filing Under MACRS, property that you placed in service during 2013 in your rental activities generally falls into one of the following classes. Free taxes filing 5-year property. Free taxes filing This class includes computers and peripheral equipment, office machinery (typewriters, calculators, copiers, etc. Free taxes filing ), automobiles, and light trucks. Free taxes filing This class also includes appliances, carpeting, furniture, etc. Free taxes filing , used in a residential rental real estate activity. Free taxes filing Depreciation on automobiles, other property used for transportation, computers and related peripheral equipment, and property of a type generally used for entertainment, recreation, or amusement is limited. Free taxes filing See chapter 5 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing 7-year property. Free taxes filing This class includes office furniture and equipment (desks, file cabinets, etc. Free taxes filing ). Free taxes filing This class also includes any property that does not have a class life and that has not been designated by law as being in any other class. Free taxes filing 15-year property. Free taxes filing This class includes roads, fences, and shrubbery (if depreciable). Free taxes filing Residential rental property. Free taxes filing This class includes any real property that is a rental building or structure (including a mobile home) for which 80% or more of the gross rental income for the tax year is from dwelling units. Free taxes filing It does not include a unit in a hotel, motel, inn, or other establishment where more than half of the units are used on a transient basis. Free taxes filing If you live in any part of the building or structure, the gross rental income includes the fair rental value of the part you live in. Free taxes filing The other property classes do not generally apply to property used in rental activities. Free taxes filing These classes are not discussed in this publication. Free taxes filing See Publication 946 for more information. Free taxes filing Recovery Periods Under GDS The recovery period of property is the number of years over which you recover its cost or other basis. Free taxes filing The recovery periods are generally longer under ADS than GDS. Free taxes filing The recovery period of property depends on its property class. Free taxes filing Under GDS, the recovery period of an asset is generally the same as its property class. Free taxes filing Class lives and recovery periods for most assets are listed in Appendix B of Publication 946. Free taxes filing See Table 2-1 for recovery periods of property commonly used in residential rental activities. Free taxes filing Qualified Indian reservation property. Free taxes filing   Shorter recovery periods are provided under MACRS for qualified Indian reservation property placed in service on Indian reservations. Free taxes filing For more information, see chapter 4 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing Additions or improvements to property. Free taxes filing   Treat additions or improvements you make to your depreciable rental property as separate property items for depreciation purposes. Free taxes filing   The property class and recovery period of the addition or improvement is the one that would apply to the original property if you had placed it in service at the same time as the addition or improvement. Free taxes filing   The recovery period for an addition or improvement to property begins on the later of: The date the addition or improvement is placed in service, or The date the property to which the addition or improvement was made is placed in service. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You own a residential rental house that you have been renting since 1986 and depreciating under ACRS. Free taxes filing You built an addition onto the house and placed it in service in 2013. Free taxes filing You must use MACRS for the addition. Free taxes filing Under GDS, the addition is depreciated as residential rental property over 27. Free taxes filing 5 years. Free taxes filing Table 2-1. Free taxes filing MACRS Recovery Periods for Property Used in Rental Activities   MACRS Recovery Period   Type of Property General Depreciation System Alternative Depreciation System   Computers and their peripheral equipment 5 years 5 years   Office machinery, such as: Typewriters Calculators Copiers 5 years 6 years   Automobiles 5 years 5 years   Light trucks 5 years 5 years   Appliances, such as: Stoves Refrigerators 5 years 9 years   Carpets 5 years 9 years   Furniture used in rental property 5 years 9 years   Office furniture and equipment, such as: Desks Files 7 years 10 years   Any property that does not have a class life and that has not been designated by law as being in any other class 7 years 12 years   Roads 15 years 20 years   Shrubbery 15 years 20 years   Fences 15 years 20 years   Residential rental property (buildings or structures) and structural components such as furnaces, waterpipes, venting, etc. Free taxes filing 27. Free taxes filing 5 years 40 years   Additions and improvements, such as a new roof The same recovery period as that of the property to which the addition or improvement is made, determined as if the property were placed in service at the same time as the addition or improvement. Free taxes filing   Conventions A convention is a method established under MACRS to set the beginning and end of the recovery period. Free taxes filing The convention you use determines the number of months for which you can claim depreciation in the year you place property in service and in the year you dispose of the property. Free taxes filing Mid-month convention. Free taxes filing    A mid-month convention is used for all residential rental property and nonresidential real property. Free taxes filing Under this convention, you treat all property placed in service, or disposed of, during any month as placed in service, or disposed of, at the midpoint of that month. Free taxes filing Mid-quarter convention. Free taxes filing   A mid-quarter convention must be used if the mid-month convention does not apply and the total depreciable basis of MACRS property placed in service in the last 3 months of a tax year (excluding nonresidential real property, residential rental property, and property placed in service and disposed of in the same year) is more than 40% of the total basis of all such property you place in service during the year. Free taxes filing   Under this convention, you treat all property placed in service, or disposed of, during any quarter of a tax year as placed in service, or disposed of, at the midpoint of the quarter. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing During the tax year, Tom Martin purchased the following items to use in his rental property. Free taxes filing He elects not to claim the special depreciation allowance discussed earlier. Free taxes filing A dishwasher for $400 that he placed in service in January. Free taxes filing Used furniture for $100 that he placed in service in September. Free taxes filing A refrigerator for $800 that he placed in service in October. Free taxes filing Tom uses the calendar year as his tax year. Free taxes filing The total basis of all property placed in service that year is $1,300. Free taxes filing The $800 basis of the refrigerator placed in service during the last 3 months of his tax year exceeds $520 (40% × $1,300). Free taxes filing Tom must use the mid-quarter convention instead of the half-year convention for all three items. Free taxes filing Half-year convention. Free taxes filing    The half-year convention is used if neither the mid-quarter convention nor the mid-month convention applies. Free taxes filing Under this convention, you treat all property placed in service, or disposed of, during a tax year as placed in service, or disposed of, at the midpoint of that tax year. Free taxes filing   If this convention applies, you deduct a half year of depreciation for the first year and the last year that you depreciate the property. Free taxes filing You deduct a full year of depreciation for any other year during the recovery period. Free taxes filing Figuring Your Depreciation Deduction You can figure your MACRS depreciation deduction in one of two ways. Free taxes filing The deduction is substantially the same both ways. Free taxes filing You can either: Actually compute the deduction using the depreciation method and convention that apply over the recovery period of the property, or Use the percentage from the MACRS percentage tables. Free taxes filing In this publication we will use the percentage tables. Free taxes filing For instructions on how to compute the deduction, see chapter 4 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing Residential rental property. Free taxes filing   You must use the straight line method and a mid-month convention for residential rental property. Free taxes filing In the first year that you claim depreciation for residential rental property, you can claim depreciation only for the number of months the property is in use, and you must use the mid-month convention (explained under Conventions , earlier). Free taxes filing 5-, 7-, or 15-year property. Free taxes filing   For property in the 5- or 7-year class, use the 200% declining balance method and a half-year convention. Free taxes filing However, in limited cases you must use the mid-quarter convention, if it applies. Free taxes filing For property in the 15-year class, use the 150% declining balance method and a half-year convention. Free taxes filing   You can also choose to use the 150% declining balance method for property in the 5- or 7-year class. Free taxes filing The choice to use the 150% method for one item in a class of property applies to all property in that class that is placed in service during the tax year of the election. Free taxes filing You make this election on Form 4562. Free taxes filing In Part III, column (f), enter “150 DB. Free taxes filing ” Once you make this election, you cannot change to another method. Free taxes filing   If you use either the 200% or 150% declining balance method, you figure your deduction using the straight line method in the first tax year that the straight line method gives you an equal or larger deduction. Free taxes filing   You can also choose to use the straight line method with a half-year or mid-quarter convention for 5-, 7-, or 15-year property. Free taxes filing The choice to use the straight line method for one item in a class of property applies to all property in that class that is placed in service during the tax year of the election. Free taxes filing You elect the straight line method on Form 4562. Free taxes filing In Part III, column (f), enter “S/L. Free taxes filing ” Once you make this election, you cannot change to another method. Free taxes filing MACRS Percentage Tables You can use the percentages in Table 2-2, earlier, to compute annual depreciation under MACRS. Free taxes filing The tables show the percentages for the first few years or until the change to the straight line method is made. Free taxes filing See Appendix A of Publication 946 for complete tables. Free taxes filing The percentages in Tables 2-2a, 2-2b, and 2-2c make the change from declining balance to straight line in the year that straight line will give a larger deduction. Free taxes filing If you elect to use the straight line method for 5-, 7-, or 15-year property, or the 150% declining balance method for 5- or 7-year property, use the tables in Appendix A of Publication 946. Free taxes filing How to use the percentage tables. Free taxes filing   You must apply the table rates to your property's unadjusted basis (defined below) each year of the recovery period. Free taxes filing   Once you begin using a percentage table to figure depreciation, you must continue to use it for the entire recovery period unless there is an adjustment to the basis of your property for a reason other than: Depreciation allowed or allowable, or An addition or improvement that is depreciated as a separate item of property. Free taxes filing   If there is an adjustment for any reason other than (1) or (2), for example, because of a deductible casualty loss, you can no longer use the table. Free taxes filing For the year of the adjustment and for the remaining recovery period, figure depreciation using the property's adjusted basis at the end of the year and the appropriate depreciation method, as explained earlier under Figuring Your Depreciation Deduction . Free taxes filing See Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables in Publication 946, chapter 4. Free taxes filing Unadjusted basis. Free taxes filing   This is the same basis you would use to figure gain on a sale (see Basis of Depreciable Property , earlier), but without reducing your original basis by any MACRS depreciation taken in earlier years. Free taxes filing   However, you do reduce your original basis by other amounts claimed on the property, including: Any amortization, Any section 179 deduction, and Any special depreciation allowance. Free taxes filing For more information, see chapter 4 of Publication 946. Free taxes filing Please click here for the text description of the image. Free taxes filing Table 2-2 Tables 2-2a, 2-2b, and 2-2c. Free taxes filing   The percentages in these tables take into account the half-year and mid-quarter conventions. Free taxes filing Use Table 2-2a for 5-year property, Table 2-2b for 7-year property, and Table 2-2c for 15-year property. Free taxes filing Use the percentage in the second column (half-year convention) unless you are required to use the mid-quarter convention (explained earlier). Free taxes filing If you must use the mid-quarter convention, use the column that corresponds to the calendar year quarter in which you placed the property in service. Free taxes filing Example 1. Free taxes filing You purchased a stove and refrigerator and placed them in service in June. Free taxes filing Your basis in the stove is $600 and your basis in the refrigerator is $1,000. Free taxes filing Both are 5-year property. Free taxes filing Using the half-year convention column in Table 2-2a, the depreciation percentage for Year 1 is 20%. Free taxes filing For that year your depreciation deduction is $120 ($600 × . Free taxes filing 20) for the stove and $200 ($1,000 × . Free taxes filing 20) for the refrigerator. Free taxes filing For Year 2, the depreciation percentage is 32%. Free taxes filing That year's depreciation deduction will be $192 ($600 × . Free taxes filing 32) for the stove and $320 ($1,000 × . Free taxes filing 32) for the refrigerator. Free taxes filing Example 2. Free taxes filing Assume the same facts as in Example 1, except you buy the refrigerator in October instead of June. Free taxes filing Since the refrigerator was placed in service in the last 3 months of the tax year, and its basis ($1,000) is more than 40% of the total basis of all property placed in service during the year ($1,600 × . Free taxes filing 40 = $640), you are required to use the mid-quarter convention to figure depreciation on both the stove and refrigerator. Free taxes filing Because you placed the refrigerator in service in October, you use the fourth quarter column of Table 2-2a and find the depreciation percentage for Year 1 is 5%. Free taxes filing Your depreciation deduction for the refrigerator is $50 ($1,000 x . Free taxes filing 05). Free taxes filing Because you placed the stove in service in June, you use the second quarter column of Table 2-2a and find the depreciation percentage for Year 1 is 25%. Free taxes filing For that year, your depreciation deduction for the stove is $150 ($600 x . Free taxes filing 25). Free taxes filing Table 2-2d. Free taxes filing    Use this table when you are using the GDS 27. Free taxes filing 5 year option for residential rental property. Free taxes filing Find the row for the month that you placed the property in service. Free taxes filing Use the percentages listed for that month to figure your depreciation deduction. Free taxes filing The mid-month convention is taken into account in the percentages shown in the table. Free taxes filing Continue to use the same row (month) under the column for the appropriate year. Free taxes filing Example. Free taxes filing You purchased a single family rental house for $185,000 and placed it in service on February 8. Free taxes filing The sales contract showed that the building cost $160,000 and the land cost $25,000. Free taxes filing Your basis for depreciation is its original cost, $160,000. Free taxes filing This is the first year of service for your residential rental property and you decide to use GDS which has a recovery period of 27. Free taxes filing 5 years. Free taxes filing Using Table 2-2d, you find that the percentage for property placed in service in February of Year 1 is 3. Free taxes filing 182%. Free taxes filing That year's depreciation deduction is $5,091 ($160,000 x . Free taxes filing 03182). Free taxes filing Figuring MACRS Depreciation Under ADS Table 2–1, earlier, shows the ADS recovery periods for property used in rental activities. Free taxes filing See Appendix B in Publication 946 for other property. Free taxes filing If your property is not listed in Appendix B, it is considered to have no class life. Free taxes filing Under ADS, personal property with no class life is depreciated using a recovery period of 12 years. Free taxes filing Use the mid-month convention for residential rental property and nonresidential real property. Free taxes filing For all other property, use the half-year or mid-quarter convention, as appropriate. Free taxes filing See Publication 946 for ADS depreciation tables. Free taxes filing Claiming the Correct Amount of Depreciation You should claim the correct amount of depreciation each tax year. Free taxes filing If you did not claim all the depreciation you were entitled to deduct, you must still reduce your basis in the property by the full amount of depreciation that you could have deducted. Free taxes filing For more information, see Depreciation under Decreases to Basis in Publication 551. Free taxes filing If you deducted an incorrect amount of depreciation for property in any year, you may be able to make a correction by filing Form 1040X, Amended U. Free taxes filing S. Free taxes filing Individual Income Tax Return. Free taxes filing If you are not allowed to make the correction on an amended return, you can change your accounting method to claim the correct amount of depreciation. Free taxes filing Filing an amended return. Free taxes filing   You can file an amended return to correct the amount of depreciation claimed for any property in any of the following situations. Free taxes filing You claimed the incorrect amount because of a mathematical error made in any year. Free taxes filing You claimed the incorrect amount because of a posting error made in any year. Free taxes filing You have not adopted a method of accounting for property placed in service by you in tax years ending after December 29, 2003. Free taxes filing You claimed the incorrect amount on property placed in service by you in tax years ending before December 30, 2003. Free taxes filing   Generally, you adopt a method of accounting for depreciation by using a permissible method of determining depreciation when you file your first tax return for the property used in your rental activity. Free taxes filing This also occurs when you use the same impermissible method of determining depreciation (for example, using the wrong MACRS recovery period) in two or more consecutively filed tax returns. Free taxes filing   If an amended return is allowed, you must file it by the later of the following dates. Free taxes filing 3 years from the date you filed your original return for the year in which you did not deduct the correct amount. Free taxes filing A return filed before an unextended due date is considered filed on that due date. Free taxes filing 2 years from the time you paid your tax for that year. Free taxes filing Changing your accounting method. Free taxes filing   To change your accounting method, you generally must file Form 3115, Application for Change in Accounting Method, to get the consent of the IRS. Free taxes filing In some instances, that consent is automatic. Free taxes filing For more information, see Changing Your Accounting Method in Publication 946,  chapter 1. Free taxes filing Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications