What Is Depreciation For Rental Property?
The depreciation of the rental property can be termed as the reduction in the rental property value over time due to wear and tear, age and deterioration. It is a systematic allocation of costs and could be used to write off the taxes. And therefore, it helps in lowering taxes.
The depreciation on the rental property offers a tax deduction to be claimed under schedule E of the internal revenue service. Therefore, this helps in the proper tax planning of the individual. Once the owner has sold the rental property, he can no longer claim depreciation on the rental property.
Table of contents
Depreciation For Rental Property Explained
Depreciation for rental property offers huge tax advantage, thereby making the real estate investments profitable for investors. The depreciation can be regarded as a non-cash expense that helps write off tax expenses, and it is an easier way to record the asset’s cost on the income statement.
When an owner purchases a real estate property, they have to work on improvement as days pass by. This helps them to keep the property in a sound condition so that it is of good value even after years of depreciation for rental property. Through this method, the owners get an opportunity to claim tax benefits for the expenses incurred for improvement.
Investors invest in a rental property and real estate with the intent of financial planningFinancial PlanningFinancial planning is a structured approach to understanding your current and future financial goals and then taking the necessary measures to accomplish them. Because this does not begin and end in a specific time frame, it is referred to as an ongoing process. and having sustainable positive cash flows. The rental property can be utilized for both sustainable cash flows in rent, and enhanced equity valueEquity ValueEquity Value, also known as market capitalization, is the sum-total of the values the shareholders have made available for the business and can be calculated by multiplying the market value per share by the total number of shares outstanding. as the property rises in value. It makes liability of taxes as it is an expense that covers the cost of an asset and improves the rental property.
- As per the broad rules of the Internal revenue service IRS, the rental properties can be assumed and treated to have a useful life of 27.5 years.
- To arrive at an effective depreciation value, divide the cost of the rental property by the factor of 27.5.
- If a rental property is in the form of commercial property, then the useful life can be assumed to be up to 39 years.
- Land can never be utilized for depreciation; rather, the buildings and properties built on it would be regarded for depreciation.
- The land is considered to have an indefinite useful life.
- A fair tax assessment helps determine the effective value of the land.
- The depreciationDepreciationDepreciation is a systematic allocation method used to account for the costs of any physical or tangible asset throughout its useful life. Its value indicates how much of an asset’s worth has been utilized. Depreciation enables companies to generate revenue from their assets while only charging a fraction of the cost of the asset in use each year. is valid until the time the individual owns it. Once it is sold, the individual can claim depreciation on it.
- The individual or the owner can start accounting for depreciation once the rental property is ready for the rental business.
How To Calculate?
To calculate the value of IRS depreciation for rental property, one can determine it as the division of cost basis of the rental property with a useful life.
The following would be the relationship: –
Moving forward, there are a few elements that need to be computed first for the formula to work better. Let us have a look at them below:
- Calculate cost basis of depreciation for rental property
The first thing is to figure out the cost of the real estate property. Cost basis is the difference between the property value and the value of the land the property stands on plus closing costs (depreciating).
- Depreciation expense of the property in question
This is the amount that is calculated by dividing the cost basis amount by the years of rental property depreciation, which, according to the IRS, is 27.5 years. These years mark the useful life of the property.
Rules and Requirements
The IRS lists down a few rules that make depreciation for a rental property work for a property owner. Some of them have been mentioned as follows:
- As per the IRS, the individual should own the depreciation property.
- The utilization of the property is for business purposes or income generation activity.
- There is a determined useful life of the propertyUseful Life Of The PropertyUseful life is the estimated time period for which the asset is expected to be functional and can be put to use for the company’s core operations. It serves as an important input for calculating depreciation for assets which affects the profitability and carrying value of the assets. wherein the property is anticipated to have a useful life of more than one year. The standard value is 27.5 years for residential property.
- It defines and categorizes which types of properties can be depreciated and would be considered for a tax deduction.
- The property doesn’t need to be depreciated if it is put into service and disposed of in the same year.
- One should note that the land cannot be depreciatedLand Cannot Be DepreciatedThe land is a company asset with an infinite useful life. As a result, it is not subject to depreciation, unlike other long-term assets such as buildings and furniture, which have a limited useful life and thus require their costs to be allocated to the accounting period..
- The depreciation costs cannot include clearing costs, planting costs, and costs of landscaping.
- The effective cost of the property is termed the cost basisCost BasisCost basis is the valuation of assets at their original or at-cost price inclusive of incidental expenses determined after making relevant adjustments for dividends, stock splits and distribution of return on capital. It facilitates the taxation of assets..
- The cost basis of the rental property is composed of any assumed debts corresponding to the property, legal costs in the acquisition of the property, fee of recording, the survey costs on the property, taxes on ownership transfers, and costs of title insurance.
- One can adjust this cost over the lifetime of the property.
- Legal costs are the costs that the individual has to bear to acquire the rental property.
- The recording fee is the fee payable by the individual to a government agency. It is for property registering or recording the sale of rental property.
- The survey fee is the fee that an individual has to bear towards inspecting the rental property.
Below are some examples explained in detail.
Let us take the example of residential property. The cost basis of rental property is $325,000. Per the IRS guidelines, it is assumed that the residential property would have a useful life of 27.5 years. A straight-line depreciation methodStraight-line Depreciation MethodStraight Line Depreciation Method is one of the most popular methods of depreciation where the asset uniformly depreciates over its useful life and the cost of the asset is evenly spread over its useful and functional life. , helps the owner determine the depreciation on the rental property.
- = $325,000 / 27.5
- = $11,818.18
Therefore, the depreciation is $11,818.18.
Let us take the example of commercial property. The cost basis of rental property is $340,000. Per the IRS guidelines, it is assumed that the residential property would have a useful life of 39 years. A straight-line depreciation method helps the owner determine the depreciation on the rental property.
- = $340,000 / 39
- = $8,717.95
Therefore, the depreciation is $8,717.95.
Depreciation for rental property Is easy to calculate and with the guidelines provided by the IRS, the requirements related to the type of real estate properties that are eligible for these benefits, are clearer. The merits of this method have been mentioned below:
- The rental property could be utilized for effective tax planningTax PlanningTax planning is the process of minimizing the tax liability by making the best use of all available deductions, allowances, rebates, thresholds, and so on as permitted by income tax laws and rules imposed by a country's government. It contributes to better cash flow and liquidity management for taxpayers, as well as better retirement plans and investment opportunities..
- The rental property could be utilized for comprehensive retirement planning.
- With time, the value of the rental property appreciates.
- If the acquired rental property is in the best and most desirable location, it helps create a steady stream of cash flowsCash FlowsCash Flow is the amount of cash or cash equivalent generated & consumed by a Company over a given period. It proves to be a prerequisite for analyzing the business’s strength, profitability, & scope for betterment. for the owner.
- Other rental property-related expenses and depreciation have to be reported in Schedule E of the tax returns to benefit from the deductions on the rental income stream.
Besides the benefits that helps property owners know how the method can enable them make profits, there are multiple demerits too that one must be aware of. Listed below are some of them. Let us have a quick look at them:
- If the owner has undertaken the rental property at an undesirable location, it is difficult to generate a steady income stream.
- The above situation can reduce the net investmentNet InvestmentNet investment is calculated as capital expenditure minus non-cash depreciation and amortization for the period, and it indicates how much the company is investing to maintain the life of its assets and achieve future business growth. which, in turn, increases the depreciation expense.
- Other rental property-related expenses can’t be recovered as there is an insufficient generation of an income stream from the rental property.
This article has been a guide to what is Depreciation For Rental Property. Here, we explain how to calculate it along with its examples, advantages & disadvantages. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –