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Publication 225
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218229

Figuring Depreciation Under MACRS(p42)

rule
The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is used to recover the basis of most business and investment property placed in service after 1986. MACRS consists of two depreciation systems, the General Depreciation System (GDS) and the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Generally, these systems provide different methods and recovery periods to use in figuring depreciation deductions.
EIC
To be sure you can use MACRS to figure depreciation for your property, see Can You Use MACRS To Depreciate Your Property, earlier.
This part explains how to determine which MACRS depreciation system applies to your property. It also discusses the following information that you need to know before you can figure depreciation under MACRS. Finally, this part explains how to use this information to figure your depreciation deduction.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218231

Which Depreciation System (GDS or ADS) Applies?(p42)

rule
Your use of either the General Depreciation System (GDS) or the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) to depreciate property under MACRS determines what depreciation method and recovery period you use. You generally must use GDS unless you are specifically required by law to use ADS or you elect to use ADS.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218232

Required use of ADS.(p42)

rule
You must use ADS for the following property.
EIC
If you are required to use ADS to depreciate your property, you cannot claim the special depreciation allowance.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218234

Electing ADS.(p42)

rule
Although your property may qualify for GDS, you can elect to use ADS. The election generally must cover all property in the same property class you placed in service during the year. However, the election for residential rental property and nonresidential real property can be made on a property-by-property basis. Once you make this election, you can never revoke it.
You make the election by completing line 20 in Part III of Form 4562.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218235

Which Property Class Applies Under GDS?(p43)

rule
The following is a list of the nine property classes under GDS.
  1. 3-year property.
  2. 5-year property.
  3. 7-year property.
  4. 10-year property.
  5. 15-year property.
  6. 20-year property.
  7. 25-year property.
  8. Residential rental property.
  9. Nonresidential real property.
See Which Property Class Applies Under GDS in chapter 4 of Publication 946 for examples of the types of property included in each class.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218236

What Is the Placed-in-Service Date?(p43)

rule
You begin to claim depreciation when your property is placed in service for use either in a trade or business or for the production of income. The placed-in-service date for your property is the date the property is ready and available for a specific use. It is therefore not necessarily the date it is first used. If you converted property held for personal use to use in a trade or business or for the production of income, treat the property as being placed in service on the conversion date. See Placed in Service under When Does Depreciation Begin and End, earlier, for examples illustrating when property is placed in service.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218237

What Is the Basis for Depreciation?(p43)

rule
The basis for depreciation of MACRS property is the property's cost or other basis multiplied by the percentage of business/investment use. Reduce that amount by any credits and deductions allocable to the property. The following are examples of some of the credits and deductions that reduce basis. For information about how to determine the cost or other basis of property, see What Is the Basis of Your Depreciable Property, earlier. Also, see chapter 6.
For additional credits and deductions that affect basis, see section 1016 of the Internal Revenue Code.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218238

Which Recovery Period Applies?(p43)

rule
The recovery period of property is the number of years over which you recover its cost or other basis. It is determined based on the depreciation system (GDS or ADS) used. See Table 7-1 for recovery periods under both GDS and ADS for some commonly used assets. For a complete list of recovery periods, see the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods in Appendix B of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218242
House trailers for farm laborers.(p43)
To depreciate a house trailer you supply as housing for those who work on your farm, use one of the following recovery periods if the house trailer is mobile (it has wheels and a history of movement).
However, if the house trailer is not mobile (its wheels have been removed and permanent utilities and pipes attached to it), use one of the following recovery periods.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218243
Water wells.(p43)
Water wells used to provide water for raising poultry and livestock are land improvements. If they are depreciable, use one of the following recovery periods.
The types of water wells that can be depreciated were discussed earlier in Irrigation systems and water wells under Property Having a Determinable Useful Life.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000177268

Table 7-1. Farm Property Recovery Periods

 Recovery Period in Years
AssetsGDSADS
Agricultural structures (single purpose)1015
Automobiles55
Calculators and copiers56
Cattle (dairy or breeding)57
Communication equipment1710
Computer and peripheral equipment55
Drainage facilities1520
Farm buildings22025
Farm machinery and equipment710
Fences (agricultural)710
Goats and sheep (breeding)55
Grain bin710
Hogs (breeding)33
Horses (age when placed in service)  
  Breeding and working (12 years or less)710
  Breeding and working (more than 12 years)310
  Racing horses 312
Horticultural structures (single purpose)1015
Logging machinery and equipment356
Nonresidential real property39440
Office furniture, fixtures, and equipment (not calculators, copiers, or typewriters)710
Paved lots1520
Residential rental property27.540
Tractor units (over-the-road)34
Trees or vines bearing fruit or nuts1020
Truck (heavy duty, unloaded weight 13,000 lbs. or more)56
Truck (actual weight less than 13,000 lbs)55
Water wells1520
1 Not including communication equipment listed in other classes.
2 Not including single purpose agricultural or horticultural structures.
3 Used by logging and sawmill operators for cutting of timber.
4 For property placed in service after May 12, 1993; for property placed in service before May 13, 1993,
 the recovery period is 31.5 years.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218244

Which Convention Applies?(p43)

rule
Under MACRS, averaging conventions establish when the recovery period begins and ends. 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. Use one of the following conventions.
For a detailed explanation of each convention, see Which Convention Applies in chapter 4 of Publication 946. Also, see the Instructions for Form 4562.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218245

Which Depreciation Method Applies?(p44)

rule
MACRS provides three depreciation methods under GDS and one depreciation method under ADS.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218246

Depreciation Table.(p44)

rule
The following table lists the types of property you can depreciate under each method. The declining balance method is abbreviated as DB and the straight line method is abbreviated as SL.

Depreciation Table

System/Method Type of Property
GDS using
150% DB
All property used in a farming business (except real property)
 All 15- and 20-year property
 Nonfarm 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year property1
GDS using SLNonresidential real property
 Residential rental property
 Trees or vines bearing fruit or nuts
 All 3-, 5-, 7-, 10-, 15-, and 20-year property1
ADS using SLProperty used predomi-
nantly outside the United States
 Farm property used when an election not to apply the uniform capitalization rules is in effect
 Tax-exempt property
 Tax-exempt bond-financed property
 Imported property2
 Any property for which you elect to use this method1
GDS using
200% DB
Nonfarm 3-, 5-, 7-, and
10-year property
1Elective method
2See section 168(g)(6) of the Internal Revenue
 Code
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218249

Property used in farming business.(p44)

rule
For personal property placed in service after 1988 in a farming business, you must use the 150% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period or you can elect one of the following methods.
EIC
For property placed in service before 1999, you could have elected to use the 150% declining balance method using the ADS recovery periods for certain property classes. If you made this election, continue to use the same method and recovery period for that property.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218251

Real property.(p44)

rule
You can depreciate real property using the straight line method under either GDS or ADS.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218252

Switching to straight line.(p44)

rule
If you use a declining balance method, you switch to the straight line method in the year it provides an equal or greater deduction. If you use the MACRS percentage tables, discussed later under How Is the Depreciation Deduction Figured, you do not need to determine in which year your deduction is greater using the straight line method. The tables have the switch to the straight line method built into their rates.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218253

Fruit or nut trees and vines.(p44)

rule
Depreciate trees and vines bearing fruit or nuts under GDS using the straight line method over a 10-year recovery period.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218254

ADS required for some farmers.(p44)

rule
If you elect not to apply the uniform capitalization rules to any plant shown in Table 6-1 of chapter 6 and produced in your farming business, you must use ADS for all property you place in service in any year the election is in effect. See chapter 6 for a discussion of the application of the uniform capitalization rules to farm property.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218255

Electing a different method.(p44)

rule
As shown in the Depreciation Table, you can elect a different method for depreciation for certain types of property. You must make the election by the due date of the return (including extensions) for the year you placed the property in service. However, if you timely filed your return for the year without making the election, you can still make the election by filing an amended return within 6 months of the due date of your return (excluding extensions). Attach the election to the amended return and write "Filed pursuant to section 301.9100-2" on the election statement. File the amended return at the same address you filed the original return. Once you make the election, you cannot change it.
EIC
If you elect to use a different method for one item in a property class, you must apply the same method to all property in that class placed in service during the year of the election. However, you can make the election on a property-by-property basis for residential rental and nonresidential real property.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218257
Straight line election.(p44)
Instead of using the declining balance method, you can elect to use the straight line method over the GDS recovery period. Make the election by entering "S/L" under column (f) in Part III of Form 4562.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218258
ADS election.(p44)
As explained earlier under Which Depreciation System (GDS or ADS) Applies, you can elect to use ADS even though your property may come under GDS. ADS uses the straight line method of depreciation over the ADS recovery periods, which are generally longer than the GDS recovery periods. The ADS recovery periods for many assets used in the business of farming are listed in Table 7–1. Additional ADS recovery periods for other classes of property may be found in the Table of Class Lives and Recovery Periods in Appendix B of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218259

How Is the Depreciation Deduction Figured?(p44)

rule
To figure your depreciation deduction under MACRS, you first determine the depreciation system, property class, placed-in-service date, basis amount, recovery period, convention, and depreciation method that applies to your property. Then you are ready to figure your depreciation deduction. You can figure it in one of two ways.
EIC
Figuring your own MACRS deduction will generally result in a slightly different amount than using the tables.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218261

Using the MACRS Percentage Tables(p44)

rule
To help you figure your deduction under MACRS, the IRS has established percentage tables that incorporate the applicable convention and depreciation method. These percentage tables are in Appendix A of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218262

Rules for using the tables.(p44)

rule
The following rules cover the use of the percentage tables.
  1. You must apply the rates in the percentage tables to your property's unadjusted basis. Unadjusted basis is the same basis amount you would use to figure gain on a sale but figured without reducing your original basis by any MACRS depreciation taken in earlier years.
  2. You cannot use the percentage tables for a short tax year. See chapter 4 of Publication 946 for information on how to figure the deduction for a short tax year.
  3. You generally must continue to use them for the entire recovery period of the property.
  4. You must stop using the tables if you adjust the basis of the property for any reason other than—
    1. Depreciation allowed or allowable, or
    2. An addition or improvement to the property, which is depreciated as a separate property.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218263
Basis adjustment due to casualty loss.(p44)
If you reduce the basis of your property because of a casualty, you cannot continue to use the percentage tables. For the year of the adjustment and the remaining recovery period, you must figure the depreciation yourself using the property's adjusted basis at the end of the year. See Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables in chapter 4 of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218264

Figuring depreciation using the 150% DB method and half-year convention.(p45)

rule
Table 7-2 has the percentages for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 20-year property. The percentages are based on the 150% declining balance method with a change to the straight line method. This table covers only the half-year convention and the first 8 years for 20-year property. See Appendix A in Publication 946 for complete MACRS tables, including tables for the mid-quarter and mid-month convention.
The following examples show how to figure depreciation under MACRS using the percentages in Table 7-2.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218265

Example 1.(p45)

During the year, you bought an item of 7-year property for $10,000 and placed it in service. You do not elect a section 179 expense deduction for this property. In addition, the property is not qualified property for purposes of the special depreciation allowance. The unadjusted basis of the property is $10,000. You use the percentages in Table 7-2 to figure your deduction.
Since this is 7-year property, you multiply $10,000 by 10.71% to get this year's depreciation of $1,071. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,913 ($10,000 × 19.13%).
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218266

Example 2.(p45)

You had a barn constructed on your farm at a cost of $20,000. You placed the barn in service this year. You elect not to claim the special depreciation allowance. The barn is 20-year property and you use the table percentages to figure your deduction. You figure this year's depreciation by multiplying $20,000 (unadjusted basis) by 3.75% to get $750. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,443.80 ($20,000 × 7.219%).
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218267

Table 7-2. 150% Declining Balance Method (Half-Year Convention)

Year3-Year5-Year7-Year20-Year
125.0%15.00%10.71%3.750%
237.5 25.50 19.13 7.219 
325.0 17.85 15.03 6.677 
412.5 16.66 12.25 6.177 
5  16.66 12.25 5.713 
6  8.33 12.25 5.285 
7    12.25 4.888 
8    6.13 4.522 
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218269

Figuring depreciation using the straight line method and half-year convention.(p45)

rule
The following table has the straight line percentages for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 20-year property using the half-year convention. The table covers only the first 8 years for 20-year property. See Appendix A in Publication 946 for complete MACRS tables, including tables for the mid-quarter and mid-month convention.

Table 7-3. Straight Line Method (Half-Year Convention)

Year3-Year5-Year7-Year20-Year
116.67%10%7.14%2.5%
233.33 20 14.29 5.0 
333.33 20 14.29 5.0 
416.67 20 14.28 5.0 
5  20 14.29 5.0 
6  10 14.28 5.0 
7    14.29 5.0 
8    7.14 5.0 
The following example shows how to figure depreciation under MACRS using the straight line percentages in Table 7-3.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218271

Example.(p45)

If in Example 2, earlier, you had elected the straight line method, you figure this year's depreciation by multiplying $20,000 (unadjusted basis) by 2.5% to get $500. For next year, your depreciation will be $1,000
($20,000 × 5%).
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218272

Figuring Depreciation Without the Tables(p45)

rule
If you are required to or would prefer to figure your own depreciation without using the tables, see Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables in chapter 4 of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218273

Figuring the Deduction for Property Acquired in a Nontaxable Exchange(p45)

rule
If your property has a carryover basis because you acquired it in an exchange or involuntary conversion of other property or in a nontaxable transfer, you generally figure depreciation for the property as if the exchange, conversion, or transfer had not occurred.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218274

Property acquired in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion.(p45)

rule
You generally must depreciate the carryover basis of MACRS property acquired in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion over the remaining recovery period of the property exchanged or involuntarily converted. You also generally continue to use the same depreciation method and convention used for the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. This applies only to acquired property with the same or a shorter recovery period and the same or more accelerated depreciation method than the property exchanged or involuntarily converted. The excess basis, if any, of the acquired MACRS property is treated as newly placed in service MACRS property.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218275

Election out.(p45)

rule
You can elect not to use the above rules. The election, if made, applies to both the acquired property and the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. If you make the election, figure depreciation by treating the carryover basis and excess basis, if any, for the acquired property as if placed in service the later of on the date you acquired it, or the time of the disposition of the exchanged or involuntarily converted property. For depreciation purposes, the adjusted basis of the exchanged or involuntarily converted property is treated as if it was disposed of at the time of the exchange or conversion.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218276
When to make the election.(p45)
You must make the election on a timely filed return (including extensions) for the year of replacement. Once made, the election may not be revoked without IRS consent.
For more information and special rules, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218277

Property acquired in a nontaxable transfer.(p45)

rule
You must depreciate MACRS property acquired by a corporation or partnership in certain nontaxable transfers over the property's remaining recovery period in the transferor's hands, as if the transfer had not occurred. You must continue to use the same depreciation method and convention as the transferor. You can depreciate the part of the property's basis in excess of its carried-over basis (the transferor's adjusted basis in the property) as newly purchased MACRS property. For information on the kinds of nontaxable transfers covered by this rule, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218278

How Do You Use General Asset Accounts?(p45)

rule
To make it easier to figure MACRS depreciation, you can group separate assets into one or more general asset accounts (GAAs). You can then depreciate all the assets in each account as a single asset. Each account must include only assets with the same asset class (if any), recovery period, depreciation method, and convention. You cannot include an asset if you use it in both a personal activity and a trade or business (or for the production of income) in the year in which you first placed it in service.
After you have set up a GAA, you generally figure the depreciation for it by using the applicable depreciation method, recovery period, and convention for the assets in the GAA. For each GAA, record the depreciation allowance in a separate depreciation reserve account.
There are additional rules for grouping assets in a GAA, figuring depreciation for a GAA, disposing of GAA assets, and terminating GAA treatment. Special rules apply in determining the basis and figuring the depreciation deduction for MACRS property in a GAA acquired in a like-kind exchange or involuntary conversion. See chapter 4 in Publication 946.
taxmap/pubs/p225-032.htm#en_us_publink1000218279

When Do You Recapture
MACRS Depreciation?(p45)

rule
When you dispose of property you depreciated using MACRS, any gain on the disposition is generally recaptured (included in income) as ordinary income up to the amount of the depreciation previously allowed or allowable for the property. For more information on depreciation recapture, see chapter 9. Also, see chapter 4 of Publication 946.