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The CARES Act Fixed A ‘Typo’ In 2017 Tax Law, Resulting In A Big Win For Property Owners

Tucked away in the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by Congress a week ago is a tax law change that will benefit commercial property owners and some tenants well after the coronavirus pandemic runs its course.

The change, on page 211 of the 883-page Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, expands the tax deduction for many kinds of property improvements to 100% of the cost, with the deduction applicable right away, not over many years. Under the tax code as it stood, most interior property improvements, including tenant improvements — which the government calls qualified improvement property, or QIP — could be written off only over a period of 39 years. That wasn’t the intention of Congress, but that is how it was for more than two years, according to tax experts.

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