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New Farming Equipment and Machinery Is 5-Year Property

Under pre-Act law, depreciable assets used in agriculture activities that are assigned a recovery period of seven years include machinery and equipment, grain bins, and fences (but no other land improvements), that are used in the production of crops or plants, vines, and trees; livestock; the operation of farm dairies, nurseries, greenhouses, sod farms, mushrooms cellars, cranberry bogs, apiaries, and fur farms; and the performance of agriculture, animal husbandry, and horticultural services. Cotton ginning assets are also assigned a recovery period of seven years, while land improvements such as drainage facilities, paved lots, and water wells are assigned a recovery period of 15 years.

For new farm machinery or equipment (other than any grain bin, cotton ginning asset, fence, or other land improvement) used in a farming business, the original use of which began with the taxpayer after Dec. 31, 2008, and was placed in service before Jan. 1, 2010, a 5-year recovery period had applied.

Under pre-Act law, any property (other than nonresidential real property, residential rental property, and trees or vines bearing fruits or nuts) used in a farming business was subject to the 150% declining balance method. Under a special accounting rule, certain taxpayers engaged in the business of farming who elect to deduct pre-productive period expenditures are required to depreciate all farming assets using the alternative depreciation system (ADS; i.e., using longer recovery periods and the straight-line method).

New law. For property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2017, in tax years ending after that date, the cost recovery period is shortened from seven to five years for any machinery or equipment (other than any grain bin, cotton ginning asset, fence, or other land improvement) used in a farming business, the original use of which begins with the taxpayer.

In addition, the required use of the 150% declining balance depreciation method for property used in a farming business (i.e., for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year property) is repealed. The 150% declining balance method continues to apply to any 15-year or 20-year property used in the farming business to which the straight-line method does not apply, and to property for which the taxpayer elects the use of the 150% declining balance method.