Listed Property

Topics - This chapter discusses:

  • Listed property defined

  • The predominant use test

  • What records must be kept

Useful Items - You may want to see:

Publication

  • 463 Travel, Entertainment, and Gift Expenses

  • 587 Business Use of Your Home (Including Use by Day-Care Providers)

  • 917 Business Use of a Car

  • 946 How To Depreciate Property

Form (and Instructions)

  • 2106–EZ Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses

  • 2106 Employee Business Expenses

  • 4255 Recapture of Investment Credit

  • 4562 Depreciation and Amortization

This chapter discusses some special rules and recordkeeping requirements for listed property. For complete coverage of the rules, including the rules concerning passenger automobiles, see Publication 946.

If listed property is not used predominantly (more than 50%) in a qualified business use as discussed inPredominant Use Test, later, the section 179 deduction is not allowable and the property must be depreciated using the straight line method.

Listed Property Defined

Listed property is any of the following:

  1. Any passenger automobile (defined later),

  2. Any other property used for transportation,

  3. Any property of a type generally used for entertainment, recreation, or amusement (including photographic, phonographic, communication, and video recording equipment),

  4. Any computer and related peripheral equipment, defined later, unless it is used only at a regular business establishment and owned or leased by the person operating the establishment. A regular business establishment includes a portion of a dwelling unit (defined later), if, and only if, that portion is used both regularly and exclusively for business as discussed in Publication 587.

  5. Any cellular telephone (or similar telecommunication equipment) placed in service or leased in a tax year beginning after 1989.

Passenger Automobile Defined

A passenger automobile is any four-wheeled vehicle made primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways and rated at 6,000 pounds or less of unloaded gross vehicle weight (at 6,000 pounds or less of gross vehicle weight for trucks and vans). It includes any part, component, or other item physically attached to the automobile or usually included in the purchase price of an automobile.

A passenger automobile does not include:

  1. An ambulance, hearse, or combination ambulance-hearse used directly in a trade or business, and

  2. A vehicle used directly in the trade or business of transporting persons or property for compensation or hire.

Dwelling Unit

A dwelling unit is a house or apartment used to provide living accommodations in a building or structure. It does not include a unit in a hotel, motel, inn, or other establishment where more than half the units are used on a transient basis.

Other Property Used for Transportation

Other property used for transportation includes trucks, buses, boats, airplanes, motorcycles, and any other vehicles for transporting persons or goods.

Listed property does not include:

  1. Any vehicle which, by reason of its design, is not likely to be used more than a minimal amount for personal purposes, such as clearly marked police and fire vehicles, ambulances, or hearses used for those purposes,

  2. Any vehicle that is designed to carry cargo and that has a loaded gross vehicle weight over 14,000 pounds, bucket trucks (cherry pickers), cement mixers, combines, cranes and derricks, delivery trucks with seating only for the driver (or only for the driver plus a folding jump seat), dump trucks (including garbage trucks), flatbed trucks, forklifts, qualified moving vans, qualified specialized utility repair trucks, and refrigerated trucks,

  3. Any passenger bus used for that purpose with a capacity of at least 20 passengers and school buses,

  4. Any tractor or other special purpose farm vehicle, and unmarked vehicles used by law enforcement officers if the use is officially authorized, and

  5. Any vehicle, such as a taxicab, if substantially all its use is in the trade or business of providing services to transport persons or property for compensation or hire by unrelated persons.

Computers and Related Peripheral Equipment

A computer is a programmable electronically activated device that:

  1. Is capable of accepting information, applying prescribed processes to the information, and supplying the results of those processes with or without human intervention, and

  2. Consists of a central processing unit with extensive storage, logic, arithmetic, and control capabilities.

Related peripheral equipment is any auxiliary machine which is designed to be controlled by the central processing unit of a computer.

Computer or peripheral equipment does not include:

  1. Any equipment which is an integral part of property which is not a computer,

  2. Typewriters, calculators, adding and accounting machines, copiers, duplicating equipment, and similar equipment, and

  3. Equipment of a kind, used primarily for the user's amusement or entertainment, such as video games.

Predominant Use Test

If “listed property,” defined earlier, placed in service after June 18, 1984, is not used predominantly (more than 50%) in a qualified business use during any tax year:

  • The section 179 deduction on the property is not allowable, and

  • You must depreciate the property using the straight line method.

Listed property placed in service before 1987.   For listed property placed in service before 1987, depreciate the property over the following period:
Class of Property Listed Property
Recovery Period
3-year property 5 years
5-year property 12 years
10-year property 25 years
18-year real property 40 years
19-year real property 40 years
If you must use the above recovery periods for listed property not used predominantly in a trade or business, use the percentages from Table 16 titled Listed Property Not Used Predominantly (Other Than 18- or 19-year Real Property), and Table 17 for 18- or 19-year real property, near the end of this publication in the Appendix.

Listed property placed in service after 1986.   For information on listed property placed in service after 1986, see Publication 946.

Meeting the Predominant Use Test

Listed property meets the predominant use test for any tax year if its business use is more than 50% of its total use. You must allocate the use of any item of listed property used for more than one purpose during the tax year among its various uses. The percentage of investment use of listed property cannot be used as part of the percentage of qualified business use to meet the predominant use test. However, the combined total of business and investment use is taken into account to figure your depreciation deduction for the property.

Note:

Property does not stop being predominantly used in a qualified business use because of a transfer at death.

Example.

Sarah Bradley uses a home computer 50% of the time to manage her investments. She also uses the computer 40% of the time in her part-time consumer research business. Sarah's home computer is listed property because it is not used at a regular business establishment. Because her business use of the computer does not exceed 50%, the computer is not predominantly used in a qualified business use for the tax year. Because she does not meet the predominant use test, she cannot elect a section 179 deduction for this property. Her combined rate of business/investment use for determining her depreciation deduction is 90%.

Qualified Business Use

A qualified business use is any use in your trade or business. However, it does not include:

  1. The use of property held merely to produce income (investment use),

  2. The leasing of property to any 5% owner or related person (to the point that the property is used by a 5% owner or person related to the owner or lessee of the property),

  3. The use of property as compensation for the performance of services by a 5% owner or related person, or

  4. The use of property as compensation for the performance of services by any person (other than a5% owner or related person) unless the value of the use is included in that person's gross income for the use of the property and income tax is withheld on that amount where required. See Employees, later.

5% owner.   A 5% owner of a business, other than a corporation, is any person who owns more than 5% of the capital or profits interest in the business.

  A 5% owner of a corporation is any person who owns, or is considered to own:
  • More than 5% of the outstanding stock of the corporation, or

  • Stock possessing more than 5% of the total combined voting power of all stock in the corporation.

Related person.   A related person is anyone related to a taxpayer as discussed under Related persons, in chapter 2 under Nonqualifying Property in Publication 946.

Entertainment Use

The use of listed property for entertainment, recreation, or amusement purposes is treated as a qualified business use only to the extent that expenses (other than interest and property tax expenses) for its use are deductible as ordinary and necessary business expenses. See Publication 463.

Leasing or Compensatory Use of Aircraft

If at least 25% of the total use of any aircraft during the tax year is for a qualified business use, the leasing or compensatory use of the aircraft by a 5% owner or related person is treated as a qualified business use.

Commuting

The use of a vehicle for commuting is not business use, regardless of whether work is performed during the trip.

Use of Your Passenger Automobile by Another Person

If someone else uses your automobile, that use is not business use unless:

  1. That use is directly connected with your business,

  2. The value of the use is property reported by you as income to the other person and tax is withheld on the income where required, or

  3. The value of the use results in a payment of fair market rent.

Any payment to you for the use of the automobile is treated as a rent payment for 3).

Employees

Any use by an employee of his or her own listed property (or listed property rented by an employee) in performing services as an employee is not business use unless:

  • The use is for the employer's convenience, and

  • The use is required as a condition of employment.

Use for the employer's convenience.   Whether the use of listed property is for the employer's convenience must be determined from all the facts. The use is for the employer's convenience if it is for a substantial business reason of the employer. The use of listed property during the employee's regular working hours to carry on the employer's business is generally for the employer's convenience.

Use required as a condition of employment.   Whether the use of listed property is a condition of employment depends on all the facts and circumstances. The use of property must be required for the employee to perform duties properly. The employer need not explicitly require the employee to use the property. A mere statement by the employer that the use of the property is a condition of employment is not sufficient.

Example 1.

Virginia Sycamore is employed as a courier with We Deliver which provides local courier services. She owns and uses a motorcycle to deliver packages to downtown offices. We Deliver explicitly requires all delivery persons to own a small car or motorcycle for use in their employment. The company reimburses delivery persons for their costs. Virginia's use of the motorcycle is for the convenience of We Deliver and is required as a condition of employment.

Example 2.

Bill Nelson is an inspector for Uplift, a construction company with many sites in the local area. He must travel to these sites on a regular basis. Uplift does not furnish an automobile or explicitly require him to use his own automobile. However, it reimburses him for any costs he incurs in traveling to the various sites. The use of his own automobile or a rental automobile is for the convenience of Uplift and is required as a condition of employment.

Method of Allocating Use

For passenger automobiles and other means of transportation, allocate the property's use on the basis of mileage. You determine the percentage of qualified business use by dividing the number of miles the vehicle is driven for business purposes during the year by the total number of miles the vehicle is driven for all purposes (including business miles) during the year.

For other items of listed property, allocate the property's use on the basis of the most appropriate unit of time. For example, you can determine the percentage of business use of a computer by dividing the number of hours the computer is used for business purposes during the year by the total number of hours the computer is used for all purposes (including business hours) during the year.

Applying the Predominant Use Test

You must apply the predominant use test for an item of listed property each year of the recovery period.

First Recovery Year

If any item of listed property is not used predominantly in a qualified business use in the year it is placed in service:

  1. The property is not eligible for a section 179 deduction, and

  2. The depreciation deduction must be figured using the straight line method.

Note:

The required use of the straight line method for an item of listed property that does not meet the predominant use test is not the same as electing the straight line method. It does not mean that you have to use the straight line method for other property in the same class as the item of listed property.

Years After the First Recovery Year

If you use listed property predominantly (more than 50%) in a qualified business use in the tax year you place it in service, but not in a subsequent tax year during the recovery period, the following rules apply:

  1. Figure depreciation using the straight line method. Do this for each year, beginning with the year you no longer use the property predominantly in a qualified business use, and

  2. Figure any excess depreciation on the property and add it to:

    1. Your gross income, and

    2. The adjusted basis of your property.

See Recapture of excess depreciation, next.

Recapture of excess depreciation.   You must include any excess depreciation in your gross income for the first tax year the property is not predominantly used in a qualified business use. Any excess depreciation must also be added to the adjusted basis of your property. Excess depreciation is the excess (if any) of:
  1. The amount of depreciation allowable for the property (including any section 179 deduction claimed) for tax years before the first tax year the property was not predominantly used in a qualified business use, over

  2. The amount of depreciation that would have been allowable for those years if the property were not used predominantly in a qualified business use for the year it was placed in service. This means you figure your depreciation using the percentages fromTable 16 or 17.

For information on investment credit recapture, see the instructions for Form 4255.

Deductions After Recovery Period

When listed property (other than passenger automobiles) is used for business, investment, and personal purposes, no deduction is ever allowable for the personal use. In tax years after the recovery period, you must determine if there is any unrecovered basis remaining before you compute the depreciation deduction for that tax year. To make this determination, figure the depreciation for earlier tax years as if your property were used 100% for business or investment purposes, beginning with the first tax year in which some or all use is for business or investment. See Car Used 50% or Less for Business in Publication 917.

Leased Property

The limitations on cost recovery deductions apply to the rental of listed property. The following discussion covers the rules that apply to the lessor (the owner of the property) and the lessee (the person who rents the property from the owner). SeeLeasing a Car in Publication 917 for a discussion of leased passenger automobiles.

Lessor

The limitations on cost recovery generally do not apply to any listed property leased or held for leasing by anyone regularly engaged in the business of leasing listed property.

A person is considered regularly engaged in the business of leasing listed property only if contracts for leasing of listed property are entered into with some frequency over a continuous period of time. This determination is made on the basis of the facts and circumstances in each case and takes into account the nature of the person's business in its entirety. Occasional or incidental leasing activity is insufficient. For example, a person leasing only one passenger automobile during a tax year is not regularly engaged in the business of leasing automobiles. An employer who allows an employee to use the employer's property for personal purposes and charges the employee for the use is not regularly engaged in the business of leasing the property used by the employee.

Lessee

A lessee of listed property (other than passenger automobiles), must include an amount in gross income called the inclusion amount for the first tax year the property is not used predominantly in a qualified business use.

Inclusion amount for property leased before 1987.   You determine the inclusion amount for property leased after June 18, 1984 and before 1987 by multiplying the fair market value of the property by both the average business/investment use percentage and the applicable percentage. You can find the applicable percentages for listed property that is 5- or 10-year recovery property in Tables 19 or 20 in Appendix A of Publication 946.

  The lease term for listed property other than 18- or 19-year real property, and residential rental or nonresidential real property, includes options to renew. For 18- or 19-year real property and residential rental or nonresidential real property that is listed property, the period of the lease does not include any option to renew at fair market value, determined at the time of renewal. You treat two or more successive leases that are part of the same transaction (or a series of related transactions) for the same or substantially similar property as one lease.

Special rules.   The lessee adds the inclusion amount to gross income in the next tax year if:
  • The lease term begins within 9 months before the close of the lessee's tax year,

  • The lessee does not use the property predominantly in a qualified business use during that portion of the tax year, and

  • The lease term continues into the lessee's next tax year.

The lessee determines the inclusion amount by taking into account the average of the business/investment use for both tax years and the applicable percentage for the tax year the lease term begins.

  If the lease term is less than one year, the amount included in gross income is the amount that bears the same ratio to the additional inclusion amount as the number of days in the lease term bears to 365.

Maximum inclusion amount.   The inclusion amount cannot be more than the sum of the deductible amounts of rent allocable to the lessee's tax year in which the amount must be included in gross income.

What Records Must Be Kept

You cannot take any depreciation or section 179 deduction for the use of listed property (including passenger automobiles) unless you can prove business/investment use with adequate records or sufficient evidence to support your own statements.

How long to keep records.   For listed property, records must be kept for as long as any excess depreciation can be recaptured (included in income).

Adequate Records

To meet the adequate records requirement, you must maintain an account book, diary, log, statement of expense, trip sheet, or similar record or other documentary evidence that, together with the receipt, is sufficient to establish each element of an expenditure or use. It is not necessary to record information in an account book, diary, or similar record if the information is already shown on the receipt. However, your records should back up your receipts in an orderly manner.

Elements of Expenditure or Use

The records or other documentary evidence must support:

  1. The amount of each separate expenditure, such as the cost of acquiring the item, maintenance and repair costs, capital improvement costs, lease payments, and any other expenses,

  2. The amount of each business and investment use (based on an appropriate measure, such as mileage for vehicles and time for other listed property), and the total use of the property for the tax year,

  3. The date of the expenditure or use, and

  4. The business or investment purpose for the expenditure or use.

Written documents of your expenditure or use are generally better evidence than oral statements alone. A written record prepared at or near the time of the expenditure or use has greater value as proof of the expenditure or use. A daily log is not required. However, some type of record containing the elements of an expenditure or the business or investment use of listed property made at or near the time and backed up by other documents is preferable to a statement prepared later.

Timeliness

The elements of an expenditure or use must be recorded at the time you have full knowledge of the elements. An expense account statement made from an account book, diary, or similar record prepared or maintained at or near the time of the expenditure or use is generally considered a timely record if in the regular course of business:

  1. The statement is submitted by an employee to the employer, or

  2. The statement is submitted by an independent contractor to the client or customer.

For example, a log maintained on a weekly basis, which accounts for use during the week, will be considered a record made at or near the time of use.

Business Purpose Supported

An adequate record of business purpose must generally be in the form of a written statement. However, the amount of backup necessary to establish a business purpose depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. A written explanation of the business purpose will not be required if the purpose can be determined from the surrounding facts and circumstances. For example, a salesperson visiting customers on an established sales route will not normally need a written explanation of the business purpose of his or her travel.

Business Use Supported

An adequate record contains enough information on each element of every business or investment use. The amount of detail required to support the use depends on the facts and circumstances. For example, a taxpayer whose only business use of a truck is to make customer deliveries on an established route can satisfy the requirement by recording the length of the route, including the total number of miles driven during the tax year and the date of each trip at or near the time of the trips.

Although an adequate record generally must be written, a record of the business use of listed property, such as a computer or automobile, can be prepared in a computer memory device using a logging program.

Separate or Combined
Expenditures or Uses

Each use by you is normally considered a separate use. However, repeated uses can be combined as a single item.

Each expenditure is recorded as a separate item and not combined with other expenditures. If you choose, however, amounts spent for the use of listed property during a tax year, such as for gasoline or automobile repairs, can be combined. If these expenses are combined, you do not need to support the business purpose of each expense. Instead, you can divide the expenses based on the total business use of the listed property.

Uses which can be considered part of a single use, such as a round trip or uninterrupted business use, can be accounted for by a single record. For example, use of a truck to make deliveries at several locations which begin and end at the business premises and can include a stop at the business in between deliveries can be accounted for by a single record of miles driven. Use of a passenger automobile by a salesperson for a business trip away from home over a period of time can be accounted for by a single record of miles traveled. Minimal personal use (such as a stop for lunch between two business stops) is not an interruption of business use.

Confidential Information

If any of the information on the elements of an expenditure or use is confidential, it does not need to be in the account book or similar record if it is recorded at or near the time of the expenditure or use. It must be kept elsewhere and made available as support to the district director on request.

Substantial Compliance

If you have not fully supported a particular element of an expenditure or use, but have complied with the adequate records requirement for the expenditure or use to the district director's satisfaction, you can establish this element by any evidence the district director deems adequate.

If you fail to establish that you have substantially complied with the adequate records requirement for an element of an expenditure or use to the district director's satisfaction, you must establish the element:

  1. By your own oral or written statement containing detailed information as to the element, and

  2. By other evidence sufficient to establish the element.

If the element is the cost or amount, time, place, or date of an expenditure or use, its supporting evidence must be direct, such as oral testimony by witnesses or a written statement setting forth detailed information about the element or the documentary evidence. If the element is the business purpose of an expenditure, its supporting evidence can be circumstantial evidence.

Sampling

You can maintain an adequate record for portions of a tax year and use that record to support your business and investment use for the entire tax year if it can be shown by other evidence that the periods for which an adequate record is maintained are representative of use throughout the year.

Loss of Records

When you establish that failure to produce adequate records is due to loss of the records through circumstances beyond your control, such as through fire, flood, earthquake, or other casualty, you have the right to support a deduction by reasonable reconstruction of your expenditures and use.

Reporting Information
on Form 4562

If you claim a deduction for any listed property, you must provide the requested information on page 2, Section B of Form 4562. If you claim a deduction for any vehicle, you must answer certain questions onpage 2 of Form 4562 to provide information about the vehicle use.

Employees.   Employees claiming the standard mileage rate or actual expenses (including depreciation) must use Form 2106 instead of Part V of Form 4562. Employees claiming the standard mileage rate may be able to use Form 2106–EZ.

Employer who provides vehicles to employees.   An employer who provides vehicles to employees must obtain enough information from those employees to provide the requested information onForm 4562.

  An employer who provides more than five vehicles to employees need not include any information on his or her tax return. Instead, the employer must obtain the information from his or her employees and indicate on his or her return that the information was obtained and is being retained.

  You do not need to provide the information requested on page 2 of Form 4562 if, as an employer:
  1. You can satisfy the requirements of a written policy statement for vehicles either not used for personal purposes, or not used for personal purposes other than commuting, or

  2. You treat all vehicle use by employees as personal use.

See the instructions for Form 4562.

Deductions in Later Years

When listed property is used for business, investment, and personal purposes, no deduction is allowable for its personal use either in the current year or any later tax year. In later years, you must determine if there is any remaining unadjusted or unrecovered basis before you compute the depreciation deduction for that tax year. In making this determination, figure the depreciation deductions for earlier tax years as if the listed property were used 100% for business or investment purposes in those years, beginning with the first tax year in which some or all of the property use is for business or investment.

For more information about deductions after the recovery period for automobiles, see Publication 917.

Appendix

The following tables are for use in figuring depreciation deductions under the ACRS system.

Table 1. 15-Year Real Property* (Other Than Low-Inclome Housing)

Table 1. 15-Year Real Property* (Other Than Low-Inclome Housing)

Table 3. Low-Income Housing*

Table 3. Low-Income Housing*

Table 6 - Table 9

Table 6 - Table 9

Table 6 - Table 9

Table 6 - Table 9

Table 10 - Table 13

Table 10 - Table 13

Table 14 - Table 17

Table 14 - Table 17


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