The IRS has issued depreciation lives for most common rental property types. These depreciation lives are used by landlords to recover the cost of their investment through deductions on their taxes.
Landscaping on a rental property can be depreciated over a period of time, typically 15 years, using the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) method. This is because landscaping is considered to be a structural component of the rental property and is subject to the same depreciation rules as the building itself.
It's important to note that not all landscaping improvements can be depreciated. Only those that are considered to be permanent and have a useful life of more than one year can be depreciated. For example, planting flowers or annuals would not be considered a depreciable expense because they are not permanent and have a useful life of less than one year.
To determine the depreciable value of the landscaping, the cost of the improvement is divided by the useful life and then divided by 12 to determine the monthly depreciation expense. This expense can be deducted on the rental property owner's tax return each year until the entire cost of the landscaping improvement has been depreciated.