Write it Off: Partial Asset Disposition

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) is a game changer, plain and simple. However, it’s important to remember that other tax strategies are still alive and well, and these opportunities should not be overlooked in the commotion currently surrounding the TCJA. The Tangible Property Regulations (TPRs) remain very much in play, and in fact augment the utility of the TCJA.
The TPRs offer a major bonus that is often overlooked — even if it is determined that an expenditure must be capitalized, the TPRs still provide a great opportunity for write offs. The final regulations permit an election to recognize Partial Asset Disposition (PAD). This election has tremendous implications for tax savings, and is yet another potential benefit associated with the performance of a high-quality cost segregation study.
Before the TPRs took effect, there were no written instructions regarding writing off the remaining depreciable basis of preexisting assets. Let’s use the classic roof example. In the past, if you needed to replace your old roof you would capitalize the cost of the new roof, and then depreciate it over the usual class life (39-year for commercial property.) Before the TPRs, most taxpayers would also continue depreciating the old roof which had been replaced. It wasn’t that unusual to see two or more roofs on the books simultaneously.
 

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