What Is A Section 1250-Residential Property

What Is A Section 1250-Residential Property?

Section 1250 consists of two parts — depreciation and property. It applies a recapture of depreciation rule to specific properties that have been held for longer than one calendar year. Properties using straight-line depreciation do not fall within section 1250. If a property is depreciated using a method more than the straight-line method, this rule is applicable, and depreciation must be recovered at the time of the sale.

To comprehend the workings of section 1250, we need to know the two depreciation methods used: the straight-line method and the modified speedy cost recovery system (MACRS).

Straight-Line Depreciation

Straight-line depreciation spreads depreciation equally across the entire life of the asset. The formula used to calculate using this technique is

(cost for the item (cost of the asset – salvage value) (cost of the asset – salvage value) (valuable time in years)

In this case, for example, if an item costs $1 million and has an estimated salvage value of $200, and has a valuable time that is 40 years long, the depreciation rate of (($1 million ($200,000 – $1 million)) (40) = $20,000 may be calculated every annually for the next 40 years.

There are limitations to straight-line methods. Residential properties can be deducted for up to 27.5 years. Commercial properties are eligible for deduction for up to 39 years if they were put into service before 5/12/1993.


MACRS is a modified cost recovery method. It is faster in deducting depreciation than straight-line methods. With MACRS, more depreciation is made at the beginning of the year rather than later. Assets are also classified according to defined depreciation times. MACRS is essentially a tax delay. If you take advantage of depreciation that is more early in the process, companies can receive their money back faster and then invest it. It is important to note that this method does not take any salvage values.

If you calculate depreciation using MACRS, the depreciation period begins mid-year of the year’s first year and finishes in the middle of the final year. An additional calendar year could appear to be added to the calendar. However, it is because calendar years aren’t being observed.

MACRS Accelerated depreciation uses cost segregation that minimizes particular components of a building. For instance, if a commercial building isn’t going to endure for the entire 39 years, investors can decide to utilize cost segregation. What does it mean to not last for 39 years is the need to replace the carpet paint, lighting fixtures, electric lines, air conditioning units, and many more.

From Investopedia, We can observe an analysis of the assets and the depreciable lives-pans in years:

  • Tractors, racehorses, rent-to-own property, etc. -3 years or more
  • Trucks, automobiles, buses, computers, office equipment, furniture, breeding cattle, and more. 5-years
  • Office furniture, fixtures, agricultural machinery, railroad track, etc. -7 years old
  • Vessel tugs, agrarian structures, trees or vines with nuts or fruit, and so on. 10-years
  • Restaurant property, municipal wastewater treatment facility, natural gas distribution line improvements to land, for example, fencing, plants, sidewalks, etc. -15 years or more
  • Farm buildings, confident municipal sewers, etc. -20 years old
  • The property of the water utility, some municipal sewers, and others. -up to 25 years
  • Any structure or building that receives the majority or greater of its rental revenue comes from dwelling units– 27.5 years
  • A store, office building, or warehouse that isn’t residential or has a life span of fewer than 27.5 years. 39 years

Bonus Depreciation

Bonus depreciation allows investors to deduct the valuable lifespan of assets in year one. It is also referred to as an additional deduction for depreciation in the first year. Bonus depreciation only applies to assets purchased following September 27, 2017.

The Bonus Depreciation percentage is 100 percent of a business’s tax rates. In the example above, when a company acquires an amount of 100,000 (cost basis) asset with the Tax rate of 21%, the depreciation value is $21,000.

Non-Recaptured Section 1250 Gain

Since depreciation is a possibility by using Section 1250 properties, Unrecaptured gains can be realized when depreciation is considered to be over what is permitted by straight-line methods. Unrecaptured gains have the maximum amount of 25% but could be less. Gains that aren’t included in accumulation depreciation are taxed according to the capital gains rate for the long-term of 15 percent.

Depreciation that is not recaptured applies only to real properties, buildings, and land. Personal property, such as machines and equipment, does not qualify as it is not subject to normal depreciation recapture rates in Section 1245.

For an example of how the gain of section 1250 that is not recaptured can be used, let’s assume that an investor buys a house for $200,000. They are depreciated at $40,000. The adjusted cost basis for the property is $160,000. The property is offered for sale at $250,000. This is a gain of $90,000. This is above their adjusted cost basis. The property is sold over that adjusted basis. This difference in the basis of the adjustment and initial price is the portion that is not recaptured. 1250 gains or ($200,000 $160,000) which is $40,000 in this example.

The $40,000 is subjected to unrecaptured gains at 25 percent. The remainder of the gains is taxed at the rates for long-term capital gains, which is 15 percent.

Deferring Gains Using An Exchange Of 1031

The above scenarios all result in gains as a result of depreciation. In the event of loss, it would take away any gains. In the case of tax-deductible gains, investors may defer them using a 1031 swap. This is provided that all the rules of a 1031 exchange for similar properties have been met.

Section 1250 properties are considered to be fundamental property that is depreciable. Based on the depreciation method, tax-free gains at various rates can be realized through working with your financial advisor and arranging for deferral of those gains with a 1031 exchange.