IRS Issues 2011 Vehicle Depreciation Dollar Limits
The IRS has issued the limitations on depreciation deductions for owners of passenger automobiles, trucks and vans first "placed in service" (i.e. used) during the 2011 calendar year. The IRS also provided revised tables of depreciation limits for vehicles first placed in service (or first leased by a taxpayer) during 2010 and to which bonus depreciation applies.
Note. Bonus depreciation may not be applicable because, among other reasons, you purchased the vehicle used. You may elect out of bonus depreciation or elect to increase the alternative minimum tax (AMT) credit limit under Code Sec. 53 instead of claiming bonus depreciation.
Bonus depreciation backdrop
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 extended 50 percent bonus depreciation through the end of 2010. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 extended bonus depreciation for two years (through the end of 2012) and increased the bonus depreciation allowance rate from 50 percent to 100 percent for qualified property acquired after September 8, 2010 and before January 1, 2012, and placed in service before January 1, 2012.
Nevertheless, the additional first-year bonus depreciation amount applicable to vehicles is limited to $8,000, whether other assets in the same depreciation class are entitled to 50 percent or 100 percent bonus depreciation. Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and pickup trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in excess of 6,000 pounds continue to be exempt from the luxury vehicle depreciation caps (under Code Sec. 280F).
The maximum depreciation limits under Code Sec. 280F for passenger automobiles first placed into service during the 2011 calendar year are:
- $11,060 for the first tax year ($3,060 if bonus depreciation is not taken)
- $4,900 for the second tax year
- $2,950 for the third tax year
- $1,775 for each tax year thereafter
Trucks and vans
The maximum depreciation limits under Code Sec. 280F for trucks and vans first placed into service during the 2011 calendar year are:
- $11,260 for the first tax year ($3,260 if bonus depreciation is not taken);
- $5,200 for the second tax year
- $3,150 for the third tax year
- $1,875 for each tax year thereafter
Lease payments for vehicles used for business or investment purposes are deductible in proportion to the vehicle's business use. Lessees, however, must include a certain amount in income during the year the vehicle is leased to partially offset the amount by which lease payments exceed the luxury auto limits.