DEFINITION of 'Alternative Depreciation System - ADS'

A depreciation schedule with a straight-line recovery period that generally mirrors the class life of the asset's depreciation. Taxpayers who elect to use the alternative depreciation system feel that the alternative schedule will allow for a better match of depreciation deductions against income than the regular recovery period. Once they have switched from an alternative such as the modified acceleration cost replacement system (MACRS), the taxpayer can not switch back.

BREAKING DOWN 'Alternative Depreciation System - ADS'

Taxpayers who choose the ADS schedule must use this schedule for all property of the same class that was placed in service during the taxable year. However, taxpayers may elect the ADS schedule for real estate on a property-by-property basis. The alternative depreciation system recovery schedule is listed in IRS Publication 946.

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