You are purchasing a tangible capital asset when you purchase real estate, whether it is for personal use or as an investment. This isn’t the same as buying a microwave or settling your cable or satellite bill, according to the Internal Revenue Service. When you make a business investment in a private or investment property, the money you spend comes back to affect your taxes.

Capital Expenditures (CapEx)

Capital expenditures (CapEx) are defined as the amount of money spent on things that don’t cost money. This is money spent to purchase an asset with a useful life of more than a year. The term “capital expenditure” is most commonly associated with business and investing, but it also applies to your home.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acknowledged this and admits that capital expenditure is an investment, therefore, you deduct your capital expenditures from your earnings when you sell an asset.

The Finishing Cost of Acquiring a Property is Usually Higher than the Purchase Price

The acquisition cost is usually more than the purchase price when you initially invest in property, due to closing expenses and other fees that are regarded as part of the preliminary capital expenditure (CapEx)  when purchasing a home. Title fees, recording taxes, and closing legal fees are all examples of these costs. However, for residential buildings, loan expenses are not included.

Adding Value to Your House

You can keep on making capital improvements to your home while it is still yours. Whatever you spend that isn’t on maintenance and either increases the lifespan of your property, enhances its worth, or modifies its use is most likely a capital investment.

Incorporating a sprinkler system in your yard, building a living area, or entirely redoing your kitchen, for example, are all instances of capital expenditures. A repair, on the other hand, is replacing a broken window, repairing a leaking pipe, or polishing interior paint. Capital expenditures are deducted from your home’s cost basis.

Investing in Real Estate

When you own investment property, the procedure of estimating your basis is similar to that of determining your home’s basis, with the exception that you can include some of your lender’s closing expenses. However, you can deduct part of your capital expenses while you own the property.

A share of the property’s price, as well as any capital expenditures you implement to upgrade it while you hold it, can be claimed as a write-off by the IRS. This depreciation allowance represents the house’s steady deterioration. Your land, on the other hand, isn’t depreciable; to the IRS, the land is deemed to have an infinite life.

Putting Your House on the Market

When you sell your property, deduct your modified base from the net selling price after charges and closing fees to determine your gain. For example, if you spent $250,000 on your home and $6,250 in closing expenses, your cost basis would be $256,250. You would add $68,000 to the $256,250 to get your total modified basis of $324,250 if you put on an $18,000 roof and invested $50,000 on kitchen and bathroom redesigns. You’d make $185,750 if you sold it for $510,000 after closing expenses and commissions.

Once you sell real estate investment well beyond its residual value, you must pay the tax on any depreciation you filed. Your depreciated basis would be $850,000 if your investment had a modified cost basis of $1,750,000 and you collected $900,000 in depreciation while you owned it. You make a loss comparable to your purchase price if you sell for $1,350,000, but you also make a profit of $500,000 over your depreciation expense basis. Depreciation recapture tax is applied to this amount.


Doyinsola Ajisebutu is a journalist, mother, and prolific writer who takes a special interest in finance, insurance, lifestyle, parenting, business, and the Tech world.