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IRS Provides Luxury Auto Depreciation Limits and Lease Inclusion Amounts for 2021

(Parker Tax Publishing August 2021)

The IRS issued its annual guidance providing (1) tables of limitations on depreciation deductions for owners of passenger automobiles (which includes trucks and vans) first placed in service by the taxpayer during calendar year 2021; and (2) a table of amounts that must be included in income by lessees of passenger automobiles first leased by the taxpayer during calendar year 2021. The tables detailing these depreciation limitations and lessee inclusion amounts reflect the automobile price inflation adjustments required by Code Sec. 280F(d)(7). Rev. Proc. 2021-31.


Code Sec. 280F(a) imposes dollar limitations on the depreciation deduction for the year a taxpayer places a passenger automobile (including trucks and vans) in service and for each succeeding year. These are referred to as the "luxury auto depreciation limitations." For passenger automobiles placed in service after 2018, Code Sec. 280F(d)(7) requires the IRS to increase the amounts allowable as depreciation deductions by a price inflation adjustment amount that is determined using the automobile component of the Chained Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (C-CPI-U) published by the Department of Labor.

Code Sec. 168(k)(1) provides that, in the case of qualified property, the depreciation deduction allowed under Code Sec. 167(a) for the tax year in which the property is placed in service includes an allowance equal to the applicable percentage of the property's adjusted basis (referred to as the Code Sec. 168(k)(1) additional first year depreciation deduction). Under Code Sec. 168(k)(6)(A), the applicable percentage is 100 percent for qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, and placed in service before January 1, 2023, and is phased down 20 percent each year for property placed in service through December 31, 2026. Under Code Sec. 168(k)(8)(D)(i), no Code Sec. 168(k) additional first year depreciation deduction is allowable for qualified property acquired by the taxpayer before September 28, 2017, and placed in service by the taxpayer after 2019. For qualified property acquired and placed in service after September 27, 2017, Code Sec. 168(k)(2)(F)(i) increases the first-year depreciation allowed under Code Sec. 280F(a)(1)(A)(i) by $8,000.

The Code Sec. 168(k) additional first year depreciation deduction does not apply for 2021 if the taxpayer (1) did not use the passenger automobile during 2021 more than 50 percent for business purposes; (2) elected out of the Code Sec. 168(k) additional first year depreciation under Code Sec. 168(k)(7) for the class of property that includes passenger automobiles; (3) acquired the passenger automobile used and the acquisition of such property did not meet the acquisition requirements in Code Sec. 168(k)(2)(E)(ii); or (4) acquired the passenger automobile before September 28, 2017, and placed it in service after 2019.

Code Sec. 280F(c)(2) requires a reduction to the amount of deduction allowed to the lessee of a leased passenger automobile with a value of over $51,000. Under Code Sec. 280F(c)(3), the reduction must be substantially equivalent to the luxury auto limitations on the depreciation deductions imposed on owners of passenger automobiles. Under Reg. Sec. 1.280F-7(a), this reduction requires a lessee to include in gross income an amount determined by applying a formula to the amount obtained from a table provided by the IRS in published guidance.

Rev. Proc. 2021-31

In early August, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2021-31, which includes, among other things, the luxury auto limitations and the lease inclusion amounts for vehicles placed in service in 2021.

Tables 1 and 2 of Rev. Proc. 2021-31 provide depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles placed in service during calendar year 2021. Table 1 provides depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles acquired by the taxpayer after September 27, 2017, and placed in service by the taxpayer during calendar year 2021, for which the Code Sec. 168(k) additional first year depreciation deduction applies. Table 2 provides depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles placed in service during calendar year 2021 for which no Code Sec. 168(k) additional first year depreciation applies. Table 3 of Rev. Proc. 2021-31 applies to lessees of passenger automobiles with a lease term beginning in calendar year 2021 and shows income inclusion amounts for a range of fair market values for each tax year after the passenger automobile is first leased.

For a discussion of the depreciation limitation for passenger automobiles, see Parker Tax ¶94,910. For a discussion of income inclusion amounts on leased passenger automobiles, see Parker Tax ¶94,915.

Disclaimer: This publication does not, and is not intended to, provide legal, tax or accounting advice, and readers should consult their tax advisors concerning the application of tax laws to their particular situations. This analysis is not tax advice and is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The information contained herein is general in nature and based on authorities that are subject to change. Parker Tax Publishing guarantees neither the accuracy nor completeness of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for results obtained by others as a result of reliance upon such information. Parker Tax Publishing assumes no obligation to inform the reader of any changes in tax laws or other factors that could affect information contained herein.

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