Commercial Vehicles Depreciation

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26 CFR 601.204: Changes in accounting periods and in methods of accounting. (Also Part I, §§ 167,168, 446, 481; 1.446–1, 1.481–1.)

Rev. Proc. 2002–27
SECTION 1. PURPOSE This revenue procedure provides a safe harbor method of accounting for the cost of original and replacement tires for certain vehicles (original tire capitalization method) used in various business activities. This revenue procedure also explains how a taxpayer can obtain automatic consent from the Commissioner of Internal Revenue to change to the original tire capitalization method, including rules relating to the limitations, terms, and conditions the Commissioner deems necessary to make the change. In addition, this revenue procedure provides an optional procedure for a taxpayer to settle open taxable years using the original tire capitalization method if the taxpayer’s treatment of original and replacement tire expenditures is an issue under consideration in examination, before an area appeals office, or before the United States Tax Court (Tax Court) or is an issue pending in examination. SECTION 2. BACKGROUND .01 Section 162 of the Internal Revenue Code allows a deduction for all ordinary and necessary business expenses paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business. However, § 263(a) prohibits a deduction for capital expenditures. Capital expenditures include the cost of acquisition, construction, or erection of buildings, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, and similar property having a useful life substantially beyond the taxable year. Section 1.263(a)–2(a) of the Income Tax Regulations. These capital expenditures are subject to the allowance for depreciation. .02 Section 167(a) provides a depreciation allowance for the exhaustion, wear and tear of property used in a trade or business or held for the production of income. The depreciation deduction provided by § 167(a) for tangible property placed in service after 1986 generally is determined under § 168. This section prescribes two methods of accounting for

determining depreciation allowances: (1) the general depreciation system (GDS) in § 168(a); and (2) the alternative depreciation system (ADS) in §168(g). Under either depreciation system, the depreciation deduction is computed by using a prescribed depreciation method, recovery period, and convention. For purposes of either GDS or ADS, the applicable recovery period is determined by reference to class life or by statute. Rev. Proc. 87–56 (1987–2 C.B. 674) sets forth the class lives of property that are necessary to compute the depreciation allowances under § 168. The revenue procedure establishes two broad categories of depreciable assets: (1) asset classes 00.11 through 00.4 that consist of specific assets used in all business activities; and (2) asset classes 01.1 through 80.0 that consist of assets used in specific business activities. .03 Several court decisions and revenue rulings have considered the expense-versus-capital expenditure issue regarding truck tires. In W.H. Tompkins Co. v. Commissioner, 47 B.T.A. 292 (1942), the court stated that the recovery of the cost of short-lived truck tires and tubes should not be associated with the depreciation of much longer-lived trucks because the tires and tubes are easily separable from the truck and are not a part of the truck’s mechanism. The court held, therefore, that the cost of truck tires and tubes consumable within the taxable year are currently deductible as an expense in the year of purchase. See also Zelco, Inc. v. Commissioner, 331 F.2d 418, 421 (1st Cir. 1964) (a lessor of trailers and tractors used by interstate motor carriers was not required to treat those vehicles’ tires as a part of the leased vehicles, and the cost of trailer and tractor tires and tubes with an average useful life of 12 months could be deducted currently); Interstate Truck Service, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1958–219 (a taxpayer in the motor freight...
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