Words you may need to know (see Glossary):
- Placed in service
You begin to depreciate your property when you place it in service for use in your trade or business or for the production of income. You stop
depreciating property either when you have fully recovered your cost or other basis or when you retire it from service, whichever happens first.
Placed in Service
You place property in service when it is ready and available for a specific use, whether in a business activity, an income-producing activity, a
tax-exempt activity, or a personal activity. Even if you are not using the property, it is in service when it is ready and available for its specific
use. If you place property in service in a personal activity, you cannot claim depreciation. If you change the property's use to use in a business or
income-producing activity, you begin to depreciate it at the time of the change.
You bought a home and used it as your personal home several years before you converted it to rental property. Although its specific use was
personal and no depreciation was allowable, you placed the home in service when you began using it as your home. You can begin to claim depreciation
in the year you converted it to rental property because its use changed to an income-producing use at that time.
You bought a planter for your farm business late in the year after harvest was over. You begin to depreciate the planter that year because it was
ready and available for its specific use.
Donald Steep bought a machine for his business. The machine was delivered last year. However, it was not installed and operational until this year.
It is considered placed in service this year. If the machine had been ready and available for use when it was delivered, it would be considered placed
in service last year even if it was not actually used until this year.
On April 6, Sue Thorn bought a house to use as residential rental property. She made several repairs and had it ready for rent on July 5. At that
time, she began to advertise it for rent in the local newspaper. The house is considered placed in service in July when it was ready and available for
rent. She can begin to depreciate it in July.
James Elm is a building contractor who specializes in constructing office buildings. He bought a truck last year that had to be modified to lift
materials to second-story levels. The installation of the lifting equipment was completed and James accepted delivery of the modified truck on January
10 of this year. The truck was placed in service on January 10, the date it was ready and available to perform the function for which it was bought.
You must claim a deduction for depreciation on property used in your business or for the production of income even if it is temporarily idle. For
example, if you stop using a machine because there is a temporary lack of market for a product made with that machine, you must continue to deduct
depreciation on the machine.
Cost or Other Basis Fully Recovered
You stop depreciating property when you have fully recovered your cost or other basis. You recover your basis when you have taken section 179 and
depreciation deductions equal to your cost or investment in the property. See What Is the Basis of Your Depreciable Property? later.
Retired From Service
You stop depreciating property when you retire it from service, even if you have not fully recovered its cost or other basis. You retire property
from service when you permanently withdraw it from use in a trade or business or from use in the production of income because of any of the following
- You sell or exchange the property.
- You convert the property to personal use.
- You abandon the property.
- The property is destroyed.