Currently, a company must capitalize the costs of property improvements—but it can deduct the costs of repairs, thus creating an ambiguity that has sparked many a company’s debate with the IRS. (Is a new factory roof a capital improvement or repair?) To clarify the question, the IRS has recently proposed new rules regarding a “repair allowance,” which would permit companies to multiply total maintenance by a prescribed percentage (based on the overall maintenance budget), resulting in an immediate deduction against income. Another proposed clarification: The 12-month rule, which would permit the deduction of any tangible asset with a useful life of 12 months or fewer. According to its recent announcement, the IRS is currently accepting comments on the proposed regulations.
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