Groups of Assets

If you place more than one asset of the same type into service during the year, and the assets are in the same class, with the same recovery period, and use the same depreciation method, you can elect to group the assets into a "general asset account." For example, if you purchase five computers to use in your business in 2002, you can create a general asset account for them.

This basically means that you will treat them as a single asset for depreciation purposes. You can only do this for assets that are used 100 percent for business in the first year you place them into service.


Although the general asset account can simplify your recordkeeping, it can also cause problems if you sell one, but not all, of the assets in the group before the end of the recovery period. In that case you might have to recognize the full amount of the sales price as ordinary income (not the sales price minus the tax basis of the item, as in the usual case). You would continue to depreciate the entire group of assets for the remainder of the class life, including the asset you've already sold.

Be sure to check with your tax advisor if you think you want to use a general asset account for large, relatively expensive assets.