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  • Alex Jaacovi

Is a Cost Segregation Study a Good Idea?

A cost segregation study is a detailed analysis of a property's components and their associated costs, with the goal of identifying assets that can be depreciated over shorter periods of time for tax purposes. While cost segregation studies can be conducted for various types of properties, certain types tend to be more suitable for maximizing the benefits of such a study. The ideal properties for a cost segregation study typically have the following characteristics:

  1. Commercial or income-generating properties: Cost segregation studies are commonly performed on commercial properties such as office buildings, retail centers, hotels, warehouses, and industrial facilities. These properties typically have a higher likelihood of containing a variety of depreciable assets that can be identified and classified through the study.

  2. Newly constructed, renovated, or acquired properties: Properties that have recently undergone construction, renovation, or acquisition are excellent candidates for cost segregation studies. This is because the study can identify components and improvements that may have been missed or improperly classified during the initial purchase or construction process.

  3. High-cost properties: Properties with a higher total cost basis tend to yield greater potential tax benefits from a cost segregation study. This is because higher-cost properties are more likely to have a larger proportion of their value attributed to shorter-lived assets, which can be depreciated over a shorter period of time.

  4. Properties with long depreciation periods: Traditional depreciation schedules often assign a significant portion of a property's value to longer depreciation periods, such as 27.5 years for residential rental properties and 39 years for commercial properties. A cost segregation study can help reclassify certain assets into shorter-lived categories, such as 5, 7, or 15 years, which can result in accelerated depreciation deductions.

  5. Properties with substantial tenant improvements: If a property has undergone extensive tenant improvements, such as customized build-outs or renovations to accommodate specific tenant needs, a cost segregation study can help identify these components separately from the building structure, allowing for accelerated depreciation of these shorter-lived assets.

It's important to note that while cost segregation studies can offer significant tax benefits, they require expertise from qualified professionals such as engineers, appraisers, and tax specialists. Consulting with these professionals is crucial to determine the feasibility and potential benefits of a cost segregation study for a specific property.



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