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March 16, 2019

Improvements


Word of the day

Improvements

Valuable additions made to property that amount to more than repairs, costing labor, and capital, intended to enhance the value of the property or extend the useful remaining life. Improvements of land include grading, sidewalks, sewers, streets, utilities, and the like. Improvements to land include buildings, fences, room additions, new roofs, and similar constructions. An improvement could also be an alteration of the land’s surface, such as an irrigation channel. 

Based on modern appraisal methods, the value of an improvement is generally determined by what it adds to the land in terms of production of income or amenities. A reasonable relationship should exist between a site and the character of the improvement placed on it. An over improvement, under improvement, or misplaced improvement detracts from the combined value of a lot and the building on it. 

For income tax purposes, improvements must generally be capitalized, with cost recovery deductions taken over a period of years, whereas maintenance and repairs that do not add to the value of the property can be deducted on income property as business expenses in the year incurred.

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