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Cost Segregation Audit Techniques Guide

Cost segregation is similar to a concept previously known as component depreciation. The result of cost segregation is to reduce federal taxes for owners of real estate, particularly in the first 5 years of ownership. For individuals, limited partnerships and limited liability corporations, cost segregation also tends to convert income taxed at 35% (ordinary income rates) to 15% (capital gains rate).

The basis of cost segregation is that some real estate components and personal property have a shorter life than the shell and primary components of a building and should be depreciated over a shorter period of time. Cost segregation is typically performed by appraisers (or engineers in some cases). The IRS recommends that owners who break out short life property obtain a cost segregation study from an independent third party.

Articles on cost segregation are available within this site. This paragraph and the two preceding paragraphs were prepared by O’Connor & Associates. The Audit Techniques Guide (ATG) was prepared by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

Table of Contents

Revision Date December, 2007

This Audit Techniques Guide is presented in several chapters. These chapters can be accessed and then printed by following the links in the Table of Contents below.

  1. Introduction
  2. Legal Framework
  3. Cost Segregation Methodologies
  4. Principal Elements of a Quality Cost Segregation Sudy and Report
  5. Review and Examination of a Cost Segregation Study
  6. Appendix
    1. Uniform Capitalization
    2. Change in Accounting Method
    3. Depreciation Overview
    4. Relevant Court Cases
    5. Statistical Sampling
    6. Construction Process
    7. Information Document Requests
  7. Industry Specific Guidance
    1. Casinos
    2. Restaurants
    3. Retail Industries
    4. Field Directive on Planning and Examination of Cost Segregation Issues in the Biotech/Pharmaceutical Industry