Rev. Proc. 2015-19: Luxury automobile depreciation limitations for 2015

Luxury automobile depreciation limitations for 2015

The IRS today released an advance copy of Rev. Proc. 2015-19—an annual revenue procedure providing:

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  • The annual depreciation limitations for passenger automobiles first placed in service in calendar year 2015
  • The annual depreciation limits for trucks and vans first placed in service in 2015
  • The lease inclusion amounts for automobiles first leased in 2015 (as well as amounts for trucks and vans first leased in 2015 

These amounts are provided in table format in Rev .Proc. 2015-19 [PDF 25 KB] and also below.


Section 280F(a) sets a specific annual dollar limitation (adjusted each year for inflation) on the amount of depreciation allowed for any "passenger automobile"—generally referred to as the "luxury automobile" limitations.

The limitations apply to four-wheeled vehicles that are manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways, and that are rated at 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or less (except for trucks and vans, a vehicle's "unloaded" GVW rating is used).

Any depreciation disallowed because of these annual limitations is allowed in years past the end of the usual depreciation schedule, though still subject to the annual limitations.

There are higher annual "luxury automobile" depreciation limitations for vans and trucks than for other passenger automobiles. For this purpose, “vans and trucks” are passenger automobiles that are built on a truck chassis, including minivans and sport utility vehicles that are built on a truck chassis.

Note that there is a complete exclusion from the annual depreciation limitations for “qualified nonpersonal use vehicles”—these are described in regulations as vans and light trucks whose design makes them “not likely to be used more than a de minimis amount for personal purposes.”

50% bonus depreciation

There are higher first-year depreciation limits for vehicles that are allowed a 50% “bonus” depreciation deduction in the year placed in service. However, at present, bonus depreciation is not allowed for property acquired and placed in service after December 31, 2014. “Extenders” legislation approving bonus depreciation for property placed in service in the 2014 calendar year was not enacted until December 19, 2014.

Rev. Proc. 2015-19 includes tables specifying first-year bonus depreciation amounts for vehicles placed in service in 2014 for which the additional first year depreciation deduction applies. The first-year depreciation limit, if bonus depreciation is allowed, is $8,000 higher than the general limit. For 2014, the first-year limitation is $11,160 for passenger automobiles and $11,460 for trucks and vans.

Rev. Proc. 2015-19

The general inflation-adjusted limitations for passenger automobiles (other than trucks and vans) placed in service during 2015 are the same applied as during 2014 and 2013:


Passenger automobiles:                 
1st tax year $3,160
2nd tax year $5,100
3rd tax year $3,050
Each succeeding tax year $1,875


For an automobile being depreciated under the modified accelerated cost recovery system (MACRS)—subject to a five-year recovery period and a half-year convention—the $3,160 cap serves to limit the first-year depreciation otherwise allowed for an automobile with a basis of more than $15,800.


Trucks and vans

For trucks and vans placed in service during 2015, the general inflation-adjusted limitations are as follows:


Trucks and vans:  
1st tax year $3,460     
2nd tax year $5,600
3rd tax year $3,350
Each succeeding tax year $1,975


These limits are slightly higher than the limits that applied to trucks and vans placed in service during 2014.

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