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Bonus Depreciation Will Drop to 80% in 2023

Bonus Depreciation Will Drop to 80% in 2023

Bonus depreciation has been available in varying amounts for some time. Immediately prior to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), taxpayers generally could claim a depreciation deduction for 50% of the purchase price of qualified property in the first year — as opposed to deducting smaller amounts over the useful life of the property under the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS).

The TCJA expanded the deduction to 100% in the year qualified property is placed in service through 2022, with the amount dropping each subsequent year by 20%, until bonus depreciation sunsets in 2027, unless Congress acts to extend it. Special rules apply to property with longer recovery periods.

Businesses can take advantage of the deduction by purchasing, among other things, property with a useful life of 20 years or less. That includes computer systems, software, certain vehicles, machinery, equipment and office furniture.

Both new and used property can qualify. Used property generally qualifies if it wasn’t:

  • Used by the taxpayer or a predecessor before acquiring it,
  • Acquired from a related party, and
  • Acquired as part of a tax-free transaction.

Qualified improvement property (generally, interior improvements to nonresidential property, excluding elevators, escalators, interior structural framework and building expansion) also qualify for bonus depreciation. A drafting error in the TCJA indicated otherwise, but the CARES Act, enacted in 2020, retroactively made such property eligible for bonus depreciation. Taxpayers that placed qualified improvement property in service in 2018, 2019 or 2020 may, generally, now claim any related deductions not claimed then — subject to certain restrictions.

Buildings themselves aren’t eligible for bonus depreciation, with their useful life of 27.5 (residential) or 39 (commercial) years — but cost segregation studies can help businesses identify components that might be. These studies identify parts of real property that are actually tangible personal property. Such property has shorter depreciation recovery periods and therefore qualifies for bonus depreciation in the year placed in service.

The placed-in-service requirement is particularly critical for those wishing to claim 100% bonus depreciation before the maximum deduction amount falls to 80% in 2023. With the continuing shipping delays and shortages in labor, materials and supplies, taxpayers should place their orders promptly to increase the odds of being able to deploy qualifying property in their businesses before year-end.

Note, too, that bonus depreciation is automatically applied by the IRS unless a taxpayer opts out. Elections apply to all qualified property in the same class of property that is placed in service in the same tax year (for example, all five-year MACRS property).

If you plan on purchasing bonus depreciation qualifying property, it may be wise to do so and place it in service before year end to maximize your options. UHY can help you chart the most advantageous course of action based on your specific circumstances and the upcoming changes in tax law.




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