Domain Dilemma

Today TaxMama hears from Jason in Brooklyn, NY who has a quick question. “Over how many years do you depreciate a website?”

Hi Jason,

If you’re talking about the domain registration – one year. You don’t own it – you only rent it, one year at a time.

Oh, you’re talking about the development costs? If they are small, like a couple of thousand dollars, I’d write them off in one year.

However, if you spent many tens of thousands of dollars, you might have to treat it as an IRC Section 197 intangible asset – and write it off (amortize it, not depreciate it) over 15 years.
http://www.irs.gov/publications/p535/ch09.html#d0e7395

If it’s a cost you’ll have every year, to make changes and revisions and to maintain the site – that sounds like an annual operating cost to me.

See, like all simple tax questions – the answer is –
it depends…

Remember, you’ll find answers to questions about business expenses and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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