Expenses invoiced under $2500

6 Replies

Can a property improvement under $2500 be written off in the year it occurs, even if the expense happens before a renter is put into the property?

In the old tax system, my understanding was that home repair expenses could not be declared until the property is actually rented. Wondering if there is a way around this rule.  

I don't see why not.  I think what's important here is whether or not the repair was a cap ex repair (full roof, full siding, furnance, ect) or a series of small repair (carpet in one room, paint in one room, light fixtures in a couple rooms).

If it's a big ticket repair then it gets depreciated.  If it's small repairs then you can write it off in the year that it occurred.

BUT.  I'm not an accountant, so definitely consult with one.

@John Vietmeyer I am not a CPA do consult one and this isn’t tax advice. From what my cpa has told me and what I remember I believe under the new law you can expense any amount over 2500 in the year it was paid.

@John Vietmeyer You can deduct expenses only when the property is placed in service.  Here is the IRS publication regarding residential rental property which also defines when the asset is considered "placed in service" and with examples too. 

The property can be considered placed in service even before a renter is put into the property. Consult with your CPA for proper guidance.

You can start writing off expenses below $2,500 but the property has to be put into service.
Any capital expenditures below $2,500 prior to being put in service are added to basis and depreciated once the property is in service.

excellent input.  Based on the provided “in service” examples, I will want to get my property advertised for rent sooner rather than latter.  

@Basit Siddiqi ,  let me know what you think.

I know that is the norm, but I wanted to tell @John Vietmeyer that not all the professional think or interpret the guidance the same way. 

We have written off thousands of dollars for the property under de minimus harbor before the property was placed in service. 

This is a summary of the from IRS regulation:

“( (d) ) Acquired or produced tangible property—(1) Requirement to capitalize. Except as provided ….. and in§ 1.263(a)-1(f) (providing a de minimis safe harbor election), a taxpayer must capitalize amounts paid to acquire or produce a unit of real or personal property”

See that highlighted exception, you can take de minimis safe harbor election.

Work performed prior to placing the property in service. In Year 1, M purchases a building for use as a business office. Prior to placing the building in service, M pays amounts to repair cement steps, refinish wood floors, patch holes in walls, and paint the interiors and exteriors of the building. In Year 2, M places the building in service and begins using the building as its business office ….Under paragraph (d)(1) of this section[Which is above], the amounts paid must be capitalized as amounts to acquire the building unit of property because they were for work performed prior to M's placing the building in service.


Similar to above, you do not have to capitalize everything: You can expense those work based on de minimis rule. 

Just my thoughts. 

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