Cost Segregation and Code Section 1031 after the 2017 Tax Act

The Tax Cut and Jobs Act took effect on January 1, 2018.   The new law retains Section 1031 for real estate exchanges. However, Section 1031 may no longer be utilized to defer taxes for transactions involving personal property.  So, how will the personal property that is part of a building, and identified by a cost segregation study, be treated going forward?  As of this writing, there is no clear guidance on this matter.  At this point, one must assume that any such personal property identified via cost segregation study will also not qualify for deferral.  However, any potential recapture can be offset by performing a cost segregation study on the replacement real property by use of accelerated first-year depreciation deductions.  Accelerated first year depreciation deductions are more generous than ever, as the new law allows bonus depreciation on new AND used property.  The bonus depreciation percentage is also increased to 100% through 2022.  Therefore, any new or used personal property identified through a cost segregation study can be deducted 100% as depreciation expense if the property was acquired after 27 September 2017.

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