Congress Extends 50% Bonus Depreciation through “American Taxpayer Relief Act”

Source: Thomson Reuters  

The American Taxpayer Relief Act extends (and in some cases modifies) a number of depreciation breaks, including (1) increased Section 179 expensing limitations and treatment of certain real property as eligible Section 179 property; (2) 50% bonus depreciation; and (3) 15-year straight line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, qualified restaurant buildings and improvements, and qualified retail improvements.

Under pre-2012 Taxpayer Relief Act law (pre-Act law), the Code Sec. 168(k) additional first-year depreciation deduction (also called bonus first-year depreciation) generally is allowed equal to 50% of the adjusted basis of qualified property acquired and placed in service after Dec. 31, 2011, and before Jan. 1, 2013 (before Jan. 1, 2014 for certain longer-lived and transportation property). The additional first-year depreciation deduction is allowed for both regular tax and alternative minimum tax (AMT) purposes, but is not allowed for purposes of computing earnings and profits. The basis of the property and the depreciation allowances in the year of purchase and later years are appropriately adjusted to reflect the additional first-year depreciation deduction. A taxpayer may elect out of additional first-year depreciation for any class of property for any tax year.

In general, an asset qualifies for the bonus depreciation allowance if:

… It falls into one of the following categories: property to which the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS) rules apply with a recovery period of 20 years or less; computer software other than computer software covered by Code Sec. 197; qualified leasehold improvement property; or certain water utility property.

… It is placed in service before Jan. 1, 2013. (Certain long-production-period property and certain transportation property may be placed in service before Jan. 1, 2014)

… Its original use commences with the taxpayer. Original use is the first use to which the property is put, whether or not that use corresponds to the taxpayer’s use of the property.

New law. The 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act extends 50% first-year bonus depreciation so that it applies to qualified property acquired and placed in service before Jan. 1, 2014 (before Jan. 1, 2015 for certain longer-lived and transportation property). (Code Sec. 168(k)(2), as amended by Act Sec. 331(a)) A conforming change is made to Code Sec. 460(c)(6)(B) (relating to 50% bonus depreciation not being taken into account as a cost in applying the percentage of completion method for certain long-term contracts).

15-Year Writeoff for Qualified Leasehold and Retail Improvements and Restaurant Property Reinstated and Extended

Under pre-Act law, qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property and qualified retail improvement property that was placed in service before 2012 was included in the 15-year MACRS class for depreciation purposes—that is, such property was depreciated over 15 years under MACRS.

New law. The 2012 Taxpayer Relief Act retroactively extends for two years the inclusion of qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property and qualified retail improvement property in the 15-year MACRS class. Such property qualifies for 15-year recovery if it is placed in service before Jan. 1, 2014. (Code Sec. 168(e)(3)(E), and Code Sec. 168(e)(8)(E), as amended by Act Sec. 311)

Taking advantage of Bonus Depreciation and/or utilizing Qualified Improvements could have a major effect on your bottom line.  Capital Review Group can assist you in creating a strategy for obtaining the equipment or other assets that will enhance your business, while taking advantage of generous tax deductions, improving cash flow and increasing profits.