I.R.C. § 110

Tax Treatment Of Lease Terms Part 2: Tenant Allowances

Tenant construction allowances are a common detail in commercial real estate leases. Because landlords need tenants to fill their commercial spaces, and tenants need to customize these spaces for their business, a tenant allowance is a vital lease term which significantly pushes forward and finalizes a commercial real estate leasing transaction. An allowance must be structured accordingly to avoid undesired tax consequences.

I.R.C. § 110 provides landlords and tenants with a safe harbor which ensures that a tenant is not required to recognize income for a tenant allowance in leases which are for 15 years or less of a retail space. Otherwise, the tenant treats a tenant allowance received from the landlord as ordinary income, while depreciating assets over their useful life, typically resulting in much more income than expenses.

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