Repairs, Maintenance Vs Capital Improvements

Before delving too heavily into this, first, you need to understand the basic meaning of repairs and improvements. So, what can be considered as a repair and what can be considered as an improvement? Improvements can add value to your property, making it more beneficial and fruitful for you in the long run. Basically, it will increase your profit at the end of the year. While repairs are needed to maintain the health of any asset or property, it will keep the asset in good and working condition for a short span of time. We would recommend discussing tax depreciation schedules with a professional and qualified accountant for this purpose.

Understanding Improvements:

The improvements may include:

  • adding assets or anything that adds value to your present property
  • upgrading to a new technology
  • adapting something to a new trend or technique
  • restoration of some aspect of a property

There can be some examples of improvements like installing a security system, an air conditioner, a heater, renovating your kitchen, replacing tiles, replacing the entire roof and much more. Improvements always add to the profit, therefore, you cannot deduct the cost of improvements in the current year. You have to keep track of the expenses and plan a tax depreciation schedule so that at the time of selling your property, you can get tax benefits from it.

For example, if your property’s current value is $200,000 and 20 years later you want to sell it for $400,000, but you have made improvements costing $50,000 then you need not pay tax on $200,000, rather you will pay tax on the amount $150,000.

Understanding Repairs:

Repairs are done in order to keep things moving and keep them in a healthy state. They are not meant to add value to your property, but they will bring the asset back to its original condition. They can only add short-term value to your assets. There is tax depreciation on repairs and maintenance that you do on your assets. Depreciation basically involves all the costs and expenses incurred to keep a property in a well-managed condition. Every expense can be related as a property depreciation tax deduction.

Some examples of repairs include:

  • repairing window glass
  • cleaning air ducts and vents
  • replacing electrodes in water heaters
  • replacing sewer pipes

Repairs can be deducted in the current year as they only aid in keeping your asset in operating condition, not causing longevity or prolong the useful life of the property. An example of a repair would be changing the oil in your bike. This will keep your bike in good condition, however not necessarily increase its life.

You are expected to perform repairs more than twice in a period of 10 years to maintain a working condition of your asset. These tax deductions are possible only when you are not using the property as your personal residence. You can file repair expenses only when you are using the property in your business or you are renting it. You can get more information and depreciation reports for your investments on Deppro.