“Cost Segregation Analysis:” Navigating Through A Rough Spot

Date
2016-02-19
Authors
Harl, Neil
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Iowa State University Digital Repository
Abstract

The highly touted concept of “cost segregation analysis,” at least among some accountants, with some support from a 1997 Tax Court decision,1 with tepid support from the Internal Revenue Service which seemed to accept uncritically the 1997 Tax Court case2 and a flurry of articles by accountants, has run into a rough patch from several quarters, notably the decisions in two Court of Appeals cases.3 The touting of the concept occurred when Washington, D.C. was gripped with a mania for eliminating all regulations “and letting the markets” shape policy. Throughout, the Chief Counsel’s Office4 has staunchly maintained that “. . . anyone changing the method of accounting must secure the consent of the Commissioner, whether or not such method is proper or is permitted under the Internal Revenue Code or the regulations thereunder.” That message was echoed in Rev. Proc. 2015-335 which reminded everyone, after months and months of highly misleading publications on the part of IRS, that the Internal Revenue Code6 clearly states “Except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, a taxpayer who changes the method of accounting on the basis of which he regularly computes his income in keeping his books shall, before computing his taxable income under the new method, secure the consent of the Secretary.”

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