IRS Audit Issue: SUV built on car chassis

Industry Observer with Green Krist CPA PLLC 34463

Here’s a vehicle story that you will find of interest.

Taxpayer DJ is in an IRS audit of his 2018 tax return. It is now at the IRS appeals level.

The vehicle in question is an SUV with a curb weight of 5,700 pounds and a gross vehicle weight of 6,100 pounds.

  • If the tax code makes the SUV a passenger vehicle, the curb weight of 5,700 pounds limits DJ’s tax deduction to $18,000.
  • If the tax code makes the SUV a truck using the gross weight of 6,100 pounds, DJ’s deduction is $55,000.

The IRS lawyer who is handling the appeal tells DJ that he has to use curb weight because his SUV is built on a car chassis.

Wrong. DJ wins his $55,000 deduction. Here’s why.

 To qualify for bonus depreciation (or Section 179 expensing), the SUV must escape the luxury vehicle depreciation limits on deductions.

The escape works like this:

  1. The SUV must have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,001 pounds or more.
  2. Also, the SUV must be a truck under the Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. (Using guidelines set out in DOT regulations, manufacturers label SUVs as “trucks” or “cars.”)

Under the DOT rules, an SUV can qualify as a truck regardless of chassis.

Green Krist, CPA  specializes in assisting taxpayers with IRS and North Carolina Department of Revenue issues in the greater Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Comments (1)

Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center 262-567-2455 - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Jun 20, 2021 07:07 AM