Tips to Remember Re: Cost Segregation

CPAs should routinely recommend that their clients or employers use cost segregation studies whenever the expenditures for a structure, including leasehold improvements, equal or exceed $200,000.

Cost segregation can be used for new construction and improvements, for the purchase of existing structures and for buildings acquired in prior tax years—even if the building has been disposed of.

A taxpayer that uses cost segregation for a previously acquired structure must file IRS Form 3115, Change in Accounting Method.

If a taxpayer disposes of a building for which cost segregation was used, it should consider the recapture considerations associated with this disposition.

Greater tax savings will be possible with an engineering report that clearly identifies property as tangible personal property rather than as structural building components.

Accounting professionals must be able to suggest and help implement cost segregation for their clients or employers so they can achieve maximum tax savings. In the past when taxpayers purchased real estate, they traditionally allocated 20% of the purchase price to land and 80% to buildings. While the IRS rarely questioned this simplistic approach, purchasers did themselves a financial disservice: They forfeited opportunities to achieve a better tax result.

Although the cost segregation technique always was available to real estate purchasers, it often was overlooked as a tax-savings tool. Recently, however, buyers have begun to recognize that despite some drawbacks, cost segregation can dramatically increase tax savings. They are, therefore, taking advantage of this opportunity, challenging the “business as usual” mantra.

Exhibit 2 : Straight-Line Method vs. Cost Segregation Technique – See more at:


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