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Publication 534

Chapter 1
Accelerated Cost Recovery System (ACRS) (p2)


Useful items

You may want to see:

 544  Sales and Other Dispositions of Assets
 551  Basis of Assets
 583  Starting a Business and Keeping Records
Form (and Instructions)
 3115 : Application for Change in Accounting Method
 4562 : Depreciation and Amortization
ACRS applies to property first used before 1987. It is the name given to tax rules for getting back (recovering) through depreciation deductions the cost of property used in a trade or business or to produce income. These rules are mandatory and generally apply to tangible property placed in service after 1980 and before 1987. If you placed property in service during this period, you must continue to figure your depreciation under ACRS.
If you used listed property placed in service after June 18, 1984, less than 50% for business during the year, see Predominant Use Test in chapter 3. Listed property includes cars, other means of transportation, and certain computers.
Any additions or improvements placed in service after 1986, including any components of a building (such as plumbing, wiring, storm windows, etc.), are depreciated using MACRS, discussed in chapter 4 of Pub. 946. It does not matter that the underlying property is depreciated under ACRS or one of the other methods.

ACRS Defined(p2)

ACRS consists of accelerated depreciation methods and an alternate ACRS method that could have been elected. The alternate ACRS method used a recovery percentage based on a modified straight line method. The law prescribes fixed percentages to be used for each class of property.
Property depreciable under ACRS is called recovery property. The recovery class of property determines the recovery period. Generally, the class life of property places it in a 3-year, 5-year, 10-year, 15-year, 18-year, or 19-year recovery class.
Under ACRS, the prescribed percentages are used to recover the unadjusted basis of recovery property. To figure a depreciation deduction, you multiply the prescribed percentage for the recovery class by the unadjusted basis of the recovery property.
You must continue to figure your depreciation under ACRS for property placed in service after 1980 and before 1987. For property you placed in service after 1986, you must use MACRS, discussed in chapter 4 of Pub. 946.