Cost segregation is a strategic tax planning tool that, by depreciating certain components of a property at an accelerated rate, has the potential to shelter taxable income. Commercial real estate owners and real estate investors can greatly maximize their tax savings and gain more advantage for their business with a cost segregation study. Commissioning a CSS is easy, and often the best way to reduce tax liability.


A commercial real estate asset is a single entity made up of its various components, both interior and exterior to the asset itself. On average, 20% to 40% of those interior and exterior components fall under tax categories which may be written off much quicker than the building structure itself. A CSS dissects the property, determining the components that are eligible to be depreciated more quickly (i.e. 5, 7 and/or 15 years), as well as those that should be depreciated long-term (over either 27 ½ or 39 years depending upon asset type). The study allows you to accelerate depreciation deductions, thus reducing taxes and increasing cash flow. Due to enhancements to certain depreciation-related breaks under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the potential benefits are now even greater thanks to 100% Bonus Depreciation.


Many investors are a bit confused as to when to undertake a cost segregation study. Owners that acquire, construct or substantially improve a building, or did so within the previous year, should consider a cost segregation study. Additionally, if you are just learning about cost segregation, note that you have not necessarily missed out on an opportunity. The IRS allows us to perform “Look Back” studies on assets that you have acquired or constructed in previous years. Though Look Back studies are available, the best time to do a cost segregation study for new owners is during the year a building is constructed, remodeled or purchased, and BEFORE federal income taxes are filed for the ownership entity. This avoids the need for special form submission (form 3115), helping to limit out-of-pocket expenses.

To learn more about the cost segregation study, connect with us at Expert Cost Segregation.