Tax Implications of Renovation Vs Repair and Maintenance

When to choose between repairs and maintenance, and renovation? Here are some of the tax implications of each. Read on to make a better decision. A simple repair will keep your property in good condition for several years. A renovation requires a more extensive investment to keep it attractive to many potential buyers. Capital expenditures are necessary every few years to meet changing needs and trends. Repair and maintenance projects are not always the best choice for every homeowner.

Capital expenditures

Small business owners may wonder if they should record an expense as a capital or repair and maintenance expense. Both types are subject to specific regulations and must be recorded correctly. Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) govern the accounting of business expenses. Understanding the differences between these expenses will help you manage your books and stay compliant with IRS regulations. Below are a few examples of how to classify your expenditures.

Generally, repairs and maintenance are considered capital expenditures. Simple fixes, such as replacing a battery, fall under repair, while renovations are used for more severe issues. Similarly, investing in company vehicles can increase your property’s value and improve tenants’ satisfaction. While both actions are essential to keeping a property in good shape, repairs and maintenance will increase its value in the long run.


When to do a renovation and when to choose between repair and maintenance, there are several factors to consider. Renovations involve a significant change to a physical space, while repair and maintenance work on a smaller scale, often replacing or updating worn-out areas. These activities range from replacing broken window panes to replacing sagging ceiling tiles. Using a professional for a renovation project will help you decide which option is best for your needs.

Improvements are made to a property to improve its condition, increase its value, or adapt it for a new use. Repairs, on the other hand, help keep the property in a working state and functioning as intended. Repairs range from painting to wallpapering, repairing a leaky roof, and replacing worn air conditioning components. In some cases, improvements can have a much more significant impact on property value.


If you are an owner of a property, you may be wondering which expenses you should deduct for improvements and which for repair and maintenance. Improvements are defined as alterations that add value and improve the property, while repairs are made to keep a property in an adequate operating condition. Examples of improvements include painting or wallpapering, repairing leaks in the roof, or fixing floor cracks. Repairs also include replacing worn-out air-conditioning components.

When determining which expense is more important, you must consider your property type. If you own a small apartment complex, repairs and maintenance are usually more minor and less expensive than improvements. More significant buildings, however, require more repairs and maintenance. Therefore, minor repairs are generally more critical than improvements, so be sure to keep this in mind when deciding which type of expenses to deduct. Ultimately, the difference is worth the difference.

Tax implications

There are many potential tax pitfalls for business owners regarding renovation and repair work. Business owners often make repairs as part of the renovation process because it makes economic sense to make the changes at once. However, this decision can have negative tax implications. The IRS may argue that the repairs are part of a general betterment plan; thus, the entire cost must be capitalized. As such, it is essential to consider the tax implications of renovation vs. repair and maintenance.

The IRS will generally promote repair work as a capital improvement as long as it provides a permanent improvement to the property. Repairs can also be minor fixes, such as painting the walls or replacing broken hardware. Repairs, on the other hand, do not qualify for deductions. For instance, if you pave over a piece of land and then sell it for $200,000, you will have a capital gain of $50,000, even if it is just a cosmetic fix.