- MACRS Depreciation — Overview, How It Works, Depreciation Table
- How MACRS Depreciation Works
- Depreciation Systems to Use with MACRS Depreciation
- Property Classifications Under GDS
- When ADS is Required by Law
- Depreciation Methods Allowed Under MACRS
- 1. Declining balance method
- 2. Straight-line method
- Additional Resources
- MACRS Depreciation (Definition, Calculation)| Top 4 Methods
- IRS MACRS Depreciation Calculation Schedule
- #1 – Classification of Asset Property
- #2 – Selection of the Depreciation Method
- #3 -The Period when the Asset was Placed & Disposed of Service
- MACRS Depreciation Methods
- #1 – 200% Declining Balance Method (GDS)
- #2 – 150% Declining Balance Method (GDS)
- #3 – Straight Line Method (SLM) Over a GDS Recovery Period
- #4 – Straight Line Method (SLM) Over an ADS Recovery Period
- Example #1
- Example #2
- Example #3
- Recommended Articles
- MACRS Depreciation Rate Calculation
- Half-Year Convention
- Mid-Quarter Convention
- Mid-Month Convention
- Depreciation Reference
- How to Calculate Depreciation Using MACRS
- What Is MACRS Depreciation?
- How To Calculate MACRS Depreciation
- Determine the Basis
- Determine Property Class
- Determine Depreciation Method
- Declining Balance
- Choose Convention
- Reference Appropriate MACRS Table
- MACRS Depreciation Methods Table
- MACRS Percentage Table Guide
- MACRS Depreciation Rates Table
- Determine Percentage
- MACRS Depreciation Calculation Example
- Example 1: Calculating Tax for New Toyota
- Example 2: Calculating the Amount My Toyota Will Depreciate Over 6 Years
- Putting the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System to Use
MACRS Depreciation — Overview, How It Works, Depreciation Table
MACRS Depreciation is the tax depreciation system that is currently employed in the United States. The MACRS, which stands for Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System, was originally known as the ACRS (Accelerated Cost Recovery System) before it was rebranded to its current form after the enactment of the Tax Reform Act in 1986.
The MACRS tax depreciation system was intended to encourage investors to invest in depreciable assets by allowing large tax savings in the initial years of the asset’s life. Taxpayers can apply MACRS depreciation to various asset classesAsset ClassAn asset class is a group of similar investment vehicles.
Different classes, or types, of investment assets – such as fixed-income investments — are grouped together having a similar financial structure. They are typically traded in the same financial markets and subject to the same rules and regulations.
such as automobiles, office furniture, construction machinery, farm buildings, fences, computing equipment, etc.
How MACRS Depreciation Works
The Internal Revenue Service describes depreciation as an income tax deduction that businesses can use to recover the cost basis of certain assets.
Depreciation is an annual deduction for assets that become obsolete, deteriorate, or are affected by wear and tear. It applies to both tangible (such as motor vehicles, machinery, buildings, etc.
), as well as intangible assetsIntangible AssetsAccording to the IFRS, intangible assets are identifiable, non-monetary assets without physical substance.
all assets, intangible assets are those that are expected to generate economic returns for the company in the future. As a long-term asset, this expectation extends beyond one year. ( patents, trademarks, and copyrights). MACRS serves as the most suitable depreciation method for tax purposes.
When purchasing an asset, the entire cost of that asset cannot be written off in the year of purchase. Instead, the IRS requires businesses to deduct a portion of the asset cost gradually over the number of years that the asset is expected to be used.
The MACRS depreciation method allows greater accelerated depreciation over the life of the asset. This means that the business can take larger tax deductions in the initial years and deduct less in later years of the asset’s life.
MACRS depreciation is not added in the balance sheet because it is not approved by GAAP.
Instead, the approved method for calculating depreciation is straight line depreciation methodStraight Line DepreciationStraight line depreciation is the most commonly used and easiest method for allocating depreciation of an asset.
With the straight line method, the annual depreciation expense equals the cost of the asset minus the salvage value, divided by the useful life (# of years). This guide has examples, formulas, explanations or other methods of accelerated cost depreciation.
Depreciation Systems to Use with MACRS Depreciation
There are two main depreciation systems that taxpayers may use to depreciate property under MACRS depreciation – the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) and the General Depreciation System (GDS).
The system selected will determine the recovery period and depreciation method to use.
Generally, taxpayers are expected to use GDS, but there are situations when the law requires them to use ADS or when taxpayers may elect to use the ADS system.
Property Classifications Under GDS
There are various property classifications presented by the IRS. Taxpayers use the information to calculate depreciation for different types of qualified assets. Some examples of the property classifications include:
|3-year property||Tractors, racehorse over 2-year-old, qualified rent-to-own property|
|5-year property||Automobiles, buses, taxis, office machinery, property used in research, computer and peripheral equipment, breeding cattle, dairy cattle, appliances, carpets, and furniture used in residential real estate activity|
|7-year property||Office furniture, fixtures, railroad truck, agricultural machinery, property with no class life and not assigned to any other class, natural gas collection lines|
|10-year property||Vessels, barges, agricultural structure, tree/vines bearing fruits, qualified small electric meter, smart electric grid systems|
|15-year property||Restaurant property, land improvements (fences, sidewalks, and bridges), municipal water treatment plant, retail motor fuel outlets, electricity transmission property that transmits 69 or more kilovolts, retail improvement property, telephone distribution plant, leasehold improvement property|
|20-year property||Farm buildings (excluding single purpose agricultural structures), municipal sewer (not classified under 25-year property)|
|25-year property||Municipal sewers, a property that is part of water distribution facilities|
|27.5-year property||Any building where at least 80% of its gross rental income for the year is from dwelling units|
|39-year property (Non-residential real property)||Office building, store, or warehouse that is not a residential property|
When ADS is Required by Law
There are situations when ADS must be used for depreciating certain asset classes. It can also be applied at the election of the individual or institutional taxpayer in lieu of regular depreciation. Some of the properties where ADS must be used include:
- Any property that is exempted from taxation
- Any bond-financed property that is exempted from taxation
- Any tangible property used outside the United States during the tax year
- A listed property in a qualified business use (50% or less)
- All property that is used in a farming business
Depreciation Methods Allowed Under MACRS
The main depreciation methods that are allowed under MACRS include the declining balance method and the straight-line method of computing depreciation.
1. Declining balance method
The declining balance method provides greater deductions in the initial years of the asset’s life and less in the later years of use.
2. Straight-line method
The straight-line method deducts the same amount each year except in the first year of service and the last year of service, when the asset is disposed of.
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- Depreciation MethodsDepreciation MethodsThe most common types of depreciation methods include straight-line, double declining balance, units of production, and sum of years digits. There are various formulas for calculating depreciation of an asset. Depreciation expense is used in accounting to allocate the cost of a tangible asset over its useful life.
- Fully Depreciated AssetFully Depreciated AssetA fully depreciated asset is an accounting term used to describe an asset that is worth the same as its salvage value. An asset can become fully depreciated in two ways: the asset reaches the end of its useful life, or there is an impairment charge equal to or greater than its remaining value.
- PP&E (Property, Plant & Equipment)PP&E (Property, Plant and Equipment)PP&E (Property, Plant, and Equipment) is one of the core non-current assets found on the balance sheet. PP&E is impacted by Capex, Depreciation, and Acquisitions/Dispositions of fixed assets. These assets play a key part in the financial planning and analysis of a company’s operations and future expenditures
- Tangible AssetsTangible AssetsTangible assets are assets with a physical form and that hold value. Examples include property, plant, and equipment. Tangible assets are seen and felt and can be destroyed by fire, natural disaster, or an accident. Intangible assets, on the other hand, lack a physical form and consist of things such as intellectual property
MACRS Depreciation (Definition, Calculation)| Top 4 Methods
MACRS (the full form is Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System) is a depreciation method for tax purposes used in the United States, and it allows for taking a higher depreciation deduction in the earlier years and less in the later years.
It aims to maximize deductions using accelerated depreciation to encourage capital investments.
However, MACRS depreciation tables are not advisable for depreciation expenses for audited financial statements as these rules ignore the useful life of the asset and salvage value.
The businesses hence, need to maintain separate books for tax and accounting purposes for depreciation differences.
IRS MACRS Depreciation Calculation Schedule
To select the correct depreciation rate, one must follow the below IRS Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System MACRS schedule,
#1 – Classification of Asset Property
E.g., computer equipment is classified as 5-year property, office furniture is classified as 7-year property, residential rental property is classified as 27.5-year property, and non-residential real property is classified as 39-year property.
#2 – Selection of the Depreciation Method
Small business owners/certain owners may want to consider taking a lower tax deduction in the early years if they expect business profits to increase in later years or want to show higher profits in earlier periods. Generally, it is better to choose the higher depreciation rates in the earlier years for maximum tax savings.
There are two types of depreciation systems available, General Depreciation System (GDS) and Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Generally, GDS is used unless specifically law mentions using ADS.
#3 -The Period when the Asset was Placed & Disposed of Service
This principle establishes when the useful life of an asset begins and ends. It determines the number of months for which a tax deduction can be claimed in the year when the asset is placed for use and the year it uses ends.
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There are 3 types of conventions for the period:
|Property is placed in service or disposedof service.||in the mid of the month||in the midpoint of the quarter||the midpoint of the year|
|Applicability||Non-residential real property, residential real property, and any railroad grading or tunnel bore only.||When the mid-month convention does not apply, and total depreciable property placed in service or disposed of during the last 3 months is more than 40% of the total depreciable bases in service during the entire year;||When neither the mid-month convention nor the mid-quarter are applicable;|
|The tax deduction is limited to||The half-month of depreciation in the month the property was placed/ stopped in service.||To 1.5 months of depreciation in the month, the property was placed/ stopped in service.||6 months of depreciation in the month the property was placed/ stopped in service.|
MACRS Depreciation Methods
the IRS, there are four MACRS depreciation methods. Three of them cover in the GDS system and the last method under the ADS system.
#1 – 200% Declining Balance Method (GDS)
It means the depreciation rate is double the straight-line depreciation rate and provides the highest tax deduction during the initial years and then changes to the straight-line method when that method provides an equal or higher deduction.
#2 – 150% Declining Balance Method (GDS)
The depreciation method provides a greater depreciation rate of 150% more than the straight-line method. It then changes to the straight-line depreciation amount when that method provides an equal or greater deduction.
#3 – Straight Line Method (SLM) Over a GDS Recovery Period
SLM Depreciation method allows for a deduction of the same amount of depreciation every year except the first and last year of service.
#4 – Straight Line Method (SLM) Over an ADS Recovery Period
This method is similar to the above SLM method. However, this method is specifically for the mentioned properties that have been used for less than 50% of the time for business. Hence, the depreciation schedules generally have longer depreciation periods for a property.
A machine with a life of 7 years is purchased for USD 5000 and placed into service on January 1. the steps mentioned above,
- Classification of an asset – it’s a 7-year property
- Selection of depreciation method – Half-year convention, since:
- It isn’t qualified for assets mentioned under mid-month convention &
- It was purchased in the last quarter of the tax year to qualify for the mid-quarter convention.
- As the asset is considered to be “non-farm” 7-year properties, GDS using the 200% DB method is considered.
- The period when the asset was placed & disposed of service: Was placed in service on January 1, i.e., 1st
Using the rates mentioned by IRS, for a 7-year property gives us a depreciation rate of 14.29% for year 1 a 200% declining balance.
$5000 X 14.29% = 714.5
Computer with a life of 5 years is purchased for USD 5000 and placed into service on April 1. the steps mentioned above,
- Classification of asset property – it’s a 5-year property
- Selection of depreciation method – Half-year convention, since:
- It isn’t qualified for assets mentioned under mid-month convention &
- It was purchased in the last quarter of the tax year to qualify for the mid-quarter convention.
- As the asset is considered to be “nonfarm” 5-year properties, GDS using the 200% DB method is considered.
- The period when the asset was placed & disposed of service: Was placed in service on April 1, i.e., 2nd
Using the rates mentioned by the IRS for a 5-year property gives us a depreciation rate of 20% for year 1 a 200% declining balance.
$5000 X 20% = 1000
ABC recently installed office furniture at the cost of USD 100 mn, and it was put to use on May 30, 2015. The company’s year-end is December 31.
The calculation of MACRS Depreciation is performed in the following steps:
- Classification of asset property – it’s 5-year property.
- Selection of depreciation method – Since the property does not fall into mid-month or mid-quarter convention, the half-year convention is relevant & the organization can choose either the 150% or 200% declining balance method.
- The period when the asset was placed & disposed of service: Was placed in service on May 1, i.e., 2nd quarter.
The depreciation Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System(MACRS) is recognized in the company’s income tax return and used to determine taxable income by factoring in any tax credits and deductions that can be claimed on the property. Putting all together, classification & cost of asset, depreciation method, and the period when the asset was placed into service determines the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS).
This article has been a guide to what is MACRS Depreciation (Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System). Here we discuss the Top 4 MACRS Depreciation Methods and its calculation along with practical examples. You may learn more about Accounting from the following articles –
MACRS Depreciation Rate Calculation
The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is the system used by the IRS in the United States for reporting depreciation of property.
This system is highly regulated, and you should consult the appropriate IRS Publication (and a certified accountant) to determine how to depreciate your property. See Publication 946.
With that said, let me go on now to explain how to calculate the depreciation rate found in the MACRS Tables using Excel functions. These formulas are used in the Depreciation Calculator, described in Part 3 of this series.
Under the MACRS, the depreciation for a specific year j (Dj) can be calculated using the following formula, where C is the depreciation basis (cost) and dj is the depreciation rate.
Using the MACRS Tables:
Dj = djC
The depreciation formula is pretty basic, but finding the correct depreciation rate (dj) is the difficult part because it depends on a number of factors governed by the IRS regulations. The rates can be found using the tables listed in the Appendix of the IRS Publication.
The IRS Publication explains the approach that you can use to calculate the depreciation instead of using the tables. See the section Figuring the Deduction Without Using the Tables.
The approach I describe in this article is different than the one described in the IRS publication.
Instead of reducing the depreciation basis each year (as described in the IRS Publication), I have chosen to provide the formulas for calculating the depreciation rate for a given year as a substitute for using the MACRS tables.
One benefit of this approach is that it is simple to check your calculations against the official MACRS tables. The other benefit is that you can use a set of relatively simple formulas that I've given below.
What I don't about the approach in the IRS publication is that (1) it complicates the description of the Straight-Line Depreciation Method and (2) the depreciation rates cannot be verified against those in the MACRS tables. Regarding the second issue — it's not that the rates are off by just a rounding error — the rates are completely different as you would see if you ran through the examples.
The formulas will give slightly different values than the tables because the tabulated depreciation rates are rounded to 0.01% (for short recovery periods) or 0.001% (for longer recovery periods).
Instead of always rounding to the nearest 0.01%, the tables sometimes alternate rounding up or down.
The sum always ends up being 100% to ensure that the final book value is 0 at the end of the recovery period.
The basis for depreciation of MACRS property is the property's cost or other basis multiplied by the percentage of business/investment use.» (Quoted from pub 946). The MACRS is set up to fully depreciate the asset down to 0 — it doesn't take into account a salvage value.
«The recovery period of property is the number of years over which you recover its cost or other basis. It is determined the depreciation system (GDS or ADS) used.» (Quoted from pub 946). Instead of estimating the depreciation period, the recovery period for different property classes is specified very specifically by the IRS.
Date Placed in Service: Under the MACRS, the amount of depreciation you claim during the first year (the year you place the property in service) and the last year (the year you dispose of the property) depends upon the time of year the property is placed in service and the convention used. The conventions are either Half-Year, Mid-Quarter, or Mid-Month.
The two basic methods for depreciation in the MACRS are the Straight-Line Depreciation method and the Declining Balance Depreciation method.
The specific details for how to implement these methods depends upon the convention, asset class, recovery period, etc. I recreated most of the MACRS tables using the formulas listed below (as of Oct 13, 2009).
Under each of the formulas, I've listed the MACRS Tables that the formula applies to and can be compared against.
Depreciation Methods: Quoted from pub 946 … «MACRS provides three depreciation methods under GDS and one depreciation method under ADS.»
- The 200% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period. You must switch to the straight line method in the first year for which it will give an equal or greater deduction.
- The 150% declining balance method over a GDS recovery period. You must switch to the straight line method in the first year for which it will give an equal or greater deduction.
- The straight line method over a GDS recovery period.
- The straight line method over an ADS recovery period.
Under the MACRS, the straight-line depreciation method uses either a half-year, mid-quarter, or mid-month convention, which causes the depreciation rate in the first and last years to be different than 1/n. Because you should read and understand the official MACRS IRS Publication anyway, I have chosen not to explain in detail how the different conventions work.
Last Depreciation Year: Because of the different conventions, the last year of depreciation is not equal to the recovery period, n, as it is with the more simplified depreciation methods. For that reason, I've provided the formula for calculating the Last Depreciation Year.
The following formula calculates the depreciation rate for year j using the straight-line method with the half-year convention (Table A-8):
Last Depreciation Year: =ROUNDUP(n+0.5)
The following formula calculates the depreciation rate for year j using the straight-line method with the mid-quarter convention (Tables A-9, A-10, A-11 and A-12), where Q (1, 2, 3 or 4) is the quarter that the property is placed in service:
Last Depreciation Year: =ROUNDUP(n+Q/4,0)
The following formula calculates the depreciation rate for year j using the straight-line method with the mid-month convention (Tables A-6, A-7 and A-13), where m (1, 2, 3, … or 12) is the month that the property is placed in service:
Last Depreciation Year: =ROUNDUP(n+m/12,0)
The following formula calculates the depreciation rate for year j using the declining-balance method with the half-year convention.
The Last Year #: =ROUNDUP(n+0.5)
In Table A-1, the factor is 200% for the 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year recovery periods and 150% for the 15- and 20-year recovery periods. In Table A-15, the factor is 150% for all recovery periods.
- How to Depreciate Property, IRS Publication 946 at IRS.gov.
Disclaimer: This article is meant for educational purposes only. You may want to consult with a qualified professional regarding financial decisions.
How to Calculate Depreciation Using MACRS
The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is a federal income tax convention. It benefits your company in that it helps you plan for the depreciation of your assets over a set period. More specifically, MACRS enables you to calculate the depreciation expense—the percentage of assets your business can write off—throughout its useful life.
The following post shows you how to calculate the MACRS depreciation basis of your assets, the 4 methods used to write off different depreciable assets and how and when to take advantage of MACRS convention periods.
What Is MACRS Depreciation?
The IRS introduced the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), a depreciation method used for accounting purposes, in 1986. Very simply, the MACRS allows for a larger tax deduction in the early years of an asset’s useful life and less as time goes by. This is in contrast to straight-line depreciation, where you claim the same deduction year after year.
MACRS is only used for business assets that your company bought after 1986. If you are depreciating property your company bought before 1987, use the Accelerated Cost Recovery System (ACRS).
How To Calculate MACRS Depreciation
To calculate depreciation under MACRs:
- Determine your basis, namely the original value of that asset.
- Determine your property’s class. Assets are classed into different categories their useful life. A specific recovery period (the number of years you can claim a deduction) is defined for each class of property. Use the MACRS Depreciation Methods Table (in IRS Pub 946 or Section below) to figure out the class of your asset.
- Determine your depreciation method. Assets are classed into the 200% Declining Balance method (using the General Depreciation System (GDS)), the 150% Declining Balance method using GDS, the Straight-Line method under GDS or the Straight-Line method under the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS). Use the MACRS Depreciation Methods Table (in IRS Pub 946 or Section below) to figure out the depreciation method of your asset.
- Choose your MACRS depreciation convention, namely the time you first started using that asset. There are 3 conventions: Mid-Month, Mid-Quarter and Half-Year.
- Determine your percentage. With the results of your calculations, use the MACRS Percentage Table and Depreciation Rate Tables (in IRS Pub 946 or Section below) to determine the percentage of your asset’s value you can itemize as a deduction.
Alternatively, you can use a MACRS Tax Depreciation Calculator to determine your deductions.
Determine the Basis
The basis is simply how much you pay for your purchase. This includes the following:
- The purchase price of the asset
- The sales tax
- Shipping and delivery costs
- Installation charges (if any). Example: The amount paid to install the equipment or furniture at your place of business.
- Other costs. For example, if a technician had to come out and calibrate your new machine before you could use it. The amount paid to the technician is included in the cost basis of the machine.
Determine Property Class
The IRS groups all depreciable assets into 8 classes ranging from 3 years to just over 31 years. Here’s a description:
Classes are determined according to the usefulness, or recovery period, of the particular asset. So, you’ll find your computer, for instance, in the 5-year category. Your office furniture is in the 7-year slot, and your office or other non-residential real estate property is in the very last spot of 31+ years.
Determine Depreciation Method
MACRS gives you 3 depreciation methods under the General Depreciation System (GDS) and 1 depreciation method under the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS).
The GDS is the most commonly used MACRS system for calculating depreciation and uses the declining-balance (DB) method to depreciate assets (more on that later).
The ADS, in contrast, is used only on property in special circumstances.
The MACRS depreciation methods include:
- GDS using 200% DB: 3-year, 5-year, 7-year and 10-year classes use the 200% Declining Balance Method (GDS) – This tax depreciation method gives you a significant tax deduction in the earliest years. The 200%, or double-declining depreciation, simply means that the depreciation rate is double the straight-line depreciation rate used for later property classes.
- GDS using 150% DB: 15-year and 20-year classes use 150% Declining Balance method (GDS) – This depreciation method gives you a higher depreciation rate – 150% more than the straight-line method.
- GDS using SL: 27 years – This tax depreciation method uses the straight-line formula under the GDS that calculates an even depreciation amount over the life of the asset.
- ADS using SL: 31+ years – This class is for listed property used less than 50% of the time for business. Property owners use the straight-line method over an ADS recovery period that gives your property a longer recovery period, thus decreasing the annual deduction.
The current MACRS model allows you to choose the depreciation method that most benefits your business. So you can apply the 150% DB method to the 3-, 5-, 7- and 10-year property classes, if you wish. You can also apply the GDS using SL to all 3, 5-, 7-, 10- and 20-year properties.
The declining balance, also known as the double-declining balance method, lets you write off more of an asset’s value right after you buy it and less as time goes on.
Who it’s for: Businesses that want to recover more of an asset’s value upfront. This is useful if you’ve just opened a shop and you have a lot of expenses in your first year – any extra cash helps.
With straight-line depreciation, you write off the same amount of expense each year, so you’re splitting off your asset’s value evenly over multiple years.
Who it’s for: Small businesses expecting net losses. Thus, businesses cannot benefit from the accelerated depreciation method.
The MACRS convention establishes when the recovery period of an asset begins and ends. There are 3 types of conventions.
|Mid-Month||This convention only applies to residential rental property, nonresidential real property and railroad grading or tunnel bore. You get half-a-month’s worth of depreciation for the month the asset is placed in service or disposed of. A full month of depreciation is allowed for each additional month the asset is in service during the tax year.|
|Mid-Quarter||This convention gives you just slightly over 1-months’ worth of depreciation for the quarter in which you purchased the asset. The mid-quarter convention should only be used if more than 40% of your depreciable assets are purchased during the last 3 months of the tax year.|
|Half-Year||You get half-a-year’s worth of depreciation no matter how long you used that asset during the year.|
It’s a good idea to use the half-year option over the mid-quarter, since the half-year convention helps you buy extra time and saves money. So you can, for instance, install a computer network in September and itemize 6-month’s worth of depreciation, resulting in more significant tax savings.
Most tax preparation software calculates which convention applies to your tax situation when you enter the date you purchased the property. Alternatively, you can use the tax tables in IRS Publication 946 to determine your convention and depreciation rates.
Reference Appropriate MACRS Table
MACRS gives you 3 tables to determine your depreciation rate. These are:
- MACRS Depreciation Methods Table
- MACRS Percentage Table Guide
- MACRS Depreciation Rate Tables
Each of these tables can be found in IRS Publication 946, Appendix B. Here are snapshots of each table:
MACRS Depreciation Methods Table
This table tells you in which recovery class your asset is and which accounting method to use to work out its depreciation.
MACRS Percentage Table Guide
The following table refers to the MACRS chart for your particular asset’s useful life or recovery period. (There are about 18 such tables by the IRS). You’ll need to know your property class and convention. You’ll find the full list of the tables in IRS Pub 946, Appendix A.
MACRS Depreciation Rates Table
This table charts your depreciation amount each year. Simply look up the table value and multiply the value by the asset’s basis.
The final MACRS Depreciation Rates Table tells you the tax percentage you can itemize for your asset. So, say, you have a computer that falls into the 5-year category and, say, you’ve used that computer for 4 years, the table tells you that you can deduct 11.52% tax from that property.
MACRS Depreciation Rates Table
MACRS Depreciation Calculation Example
Putting it all together, you’ll want to have 3 pieces of information handy:
- The type of property you are depreciating: Residential rental, nonresidential rental or all other property.
- The depreciation method selected from the Depreciation Methods Table
- The month or quarter the asset was placed into service.
Example 1: Calculating Tax for New Toyota
I bought a Toyota for business use for $40,000 and want to claim a tax deduction on this asset. I consult the IRS MACRS Depreciation Tables:
- The first chart (the MACRS Depreciation Methods Table) tells me my Toyota is a non-farm 3-, 5-, 7- and 10- year property and that I use the GDS 200% method to calculate how much tax to deduct.
- The second chart (the Percentage Table Guide) asks me for the convention – month or quarter – that I placed my Toyota in service. It was the Half-Year convention. I’m referred to Depreciation Rate Table A-1 & A-2.
- This is my first year deducting tax on that vehicle, so the Depreciation Rate Table A-1 & A-2 tells me its depreciation value is 20% of the base rate of the vehicle.
Example 2: Calculating the Amount My Toyota Will Depreciate Over 6 Years
The MACRS table also tells me how much depreciation I get to take for my Toyota over, say, 6 years.
Using the 5-year column on the Depreciation Table, here’s the calculation:
Totaling the figures in the right column, I find that the total cost of MACRS depreciation for my vehicle is $40,000. This gives me my write-off for this asset.
Putting the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System to Use
The Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is rather complicated, but you’ll find that most asset accounting software programs include MACRS information for calculations. There’s also free online MACRS Tax Depreciation calculators.
Your final steps are to complete Form 4562 – with the optional MACRS Worksheet on page 40 of Pub 946 to help you calculate your deductions.