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JackieChanofChic: "I am back to doing my taxes. I have decided to take a stab at form 4562. I have decided to do the following.

1. Use the 85% of the tax assessors value of the property as the depreciable basis. I think saying the land is worth 15% and the building 85% is reasonable."

On what basis? 15% for land seems low to me for an older house. I have a reasonably well-maintained 1950s house, and the land value is probably nearly 50% of the FMV. Even or a brand new house in my neighborhhod (currently for sale) land value is probably roughly 25%.

I would be very surprised if the land value is only 15%. Does the assessor allocate value between land and improvements? If yes, what does the assessor's allocation show? If not, are they any empty/vacant lots in the neighborhood? You probably could find their assessed value rather easily.

Ira addressed all the other issues, and I cannot add any further, other than seconding his advice to hire a professional to get you started properly.

Regards, JAFO
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