Understanding Rental Property Appliance Depreciation

Key Takeaways:

Tax deductions can be one of the most attractive benefits available to real estate owners if they know how to use them. Property owners need to know the right way to classify business costs to take advantage of potential savings. One often forgotten deduction opportunity comes from appliance depreciation. Keep reading to learn more about the appreciation life of appliances in rental property, and prepare your real estate business for tax season.

What is Appliance Depreciation?

Appliance depreciation refers to the loss in value of an appliance over time. The IRS categorizes appliances as assets and provides set depreciation amounts depending on the appliance type and length of time. Real estate owners and landlords can then claim this depreciation amount as a deduction on their annual tax returns. Over time, this deduction can help redeem some of the initial costs of purchasing new appliances.

How Long Do You Depreciate Appliances?

Rental property appliances depreciate for 5 years. Regardless of the day of the year that any appliance is bought, it is treated as though it were bought in the middle of the year for depreciation purposes, called the “Half-Year Convention.” This rule changes if 40% or more of the property’s appliance purchases are made within the last 3 months of the year. If that is the case, then the purchases are grouped by quarter. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Used and new appliances depreciate for up to 5 years

  • The purchase price of depreciating appliances includes the sales tax, delivery charges and setup fees

  • Rental property purchases do not qualify for section 179 accelerated depreciation

[ Do you want to own rental real estate? Attend our FREE online real estate class to learn how to invest in rental properties and maximize your cash flow. ]

are appliances tax deductible

How Do You Calculate Appliance Depreciation?

Rental property depreciation is generally straightforward. If you own residential property for the full year, divide your cost basis by 27.5. If you only own the property for a portion of the year, the depreciation is calculated based on how many months of the year you own it. If you own commercial rental property, divide your cost basis by 39 to find your total depreciation.

Appliance Depreciation Example

There are a few different methods that can be used to calculate appliance depreciation in rental properties. The most common is called the double-declining balance, which is an accelerated depreciation model. This means the depreciation deductions will be bigger at the beginning of the term and decrease over time. The benefit of using this method with appliance depreciation is because it maximizes potential deductions, as these assets may lose value quickly. Review the examples below to learn how to depreciate appliances in rental property.

Than spends $1,200 on a fridge for a rental unit in July 2020. After accounting for delivery and set-up costs, the total purchase price is $1300. According to the IRS, this amount can be depreciated over five years. Because of the purchase date, we will use the half-year convention for this example. This allows owners to deduct a half year for the first and last years the asset is depreciated.

In year one, the asset will depreciate by 20 percent (or will be 20 percent less valuable), resulting in a $260 deduction. In two years, the asset will depreciate by 32 percent resulting in a $416 deduction. By year six, the IRS will deem the asset to have only depreciated by 5.76 percent resulting in just a 74$ deduction. Using this method, the depreciation amounts will look something like this:

appliances depreciation

Let’s look at another example:

Now Than purchases a few appliances for his rental property at the same time. In addition to the refrigerator, he also buys a stove for $700 and a dishwasher for $300. Because they are purchased at the same time, these appliances would also follow the half-year convention. Than’s appliance depreciation would follow the same pattern above, except using each appliance’s total deduction value.

appliance depreciation life

Depreciation appliances rental property information is crucial for investors looking to take advantage of the many tax benefits of real estate investing. The above estimates were calculated using IRS Publication 527, be sure to consult this guide for more information or to estimate your examples. Finally, remember to always consult a tax professional before relying on depreciation estimates.

[ Do you know what type of appliances to buy for your rental property? Check out this guide to energy efficient home appliances today. ]


Buying appliances for rental property can be a steep cost, so it is crucial to save money during the process. Thanks to appliance depreciation, landlords can claim the lost value as a tax deduction over time. Depending on the number of rental units in operation, this deduction could be an impressive opportunity. Pay attention to the appliance depreciation life and make sure you understand how to make full use of this tax deduction.

Ready to start taking advantage of the current opportunities in the real estate market?

Maybe you have plenty of capital, an extensive real estate network, or great construction skills— but you still aren’t sure how to find opportunistic deals. Our new online real estate class, hosted by expert investor Than Merrill, can help you learn how to acquire the best properties and find success in real estate.

Is a lack of funds keeping you from investing in real estate? Don’t let it!

One of the obstacles many new investors face is finding funding for their real estate deals. Our new online real estate class, hosted by expert investor Than Merrill, is designed to help you get started learning about the many financing options available for investors, as well as today's most profitable real estate investing strategies.

Register for our FREE 1-Day Real Estate Webinar and get started learning how to invest in today's real estate market!

Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Investing Strategies
Real Estate Investing Strategies