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Then what's the point of depreciating if you have to "pay it back" later? You save now but pay later...is that the only (spurious) "benefit"?

Well, there is a time value to money. Deductions today that get repaid many years down the road are worth something.

Also, there's no guarantee that you can sell something for more than it's basis after depreciation. Real estate is typically the main asset that bucks this trend - but it doesn't always do so. That would be one lesson learned in the opening decade of the 21st century. And in the 1980s. And in the 1930s. And probably once or twice more that I'm not remembering at the moment.

--Peter
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