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For the home equity loan deduction, would installing a speaker system throughout a home be a substantial improvement? Thoughts?

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Level 15

That sounds kinda like saying the installation of an 8 track player was a substantial improvement in a 1975 Vega.  On second thought, that's a bad analogy - the 8 track player was a big improvement in the Vega.  But I'm still going to go with "no" on the speaker system.

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.

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That sounds kinda like saying the installation of an 8 track player was a substantial improvement in a 1975 Vega.  On second thought, that's a bad analogy - the 8 track player was a big improvement in the Vega.  But I'm still going to go with "no" on the speaker system.

ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.

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Level 15
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Even if its wired into the house with speakers installed in the walls, ceilings?  (I saw them do this with a fancy house on one of those home remodeling shows!)

♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥Lisa♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪
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I don't know how fancy the house is that we are talking about or whether the speakers are on shelves or in the wall, but I still would vote no.  The speakers might be an "improvement" but they don't sound like they have risen to that "substantial" level to me.
ex-AllStar, ex-Lutefisk taste taster, ex-ACME product tester
and ex marks the spot where those rocks and anvils hit me.
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Level 12
If it would add to the Basis of the property it would be a "Substantial Improvement".  Or another way to look at it, if it was a rental property, would it be depreciated over 27.5 years?
https://www.irs.gov/publications/p936#en_US_2018_publink1000230004

Based on that, I would lean towards that a built-in system may qualify.  I would view it as comparable to light fixtures or a security system, which are §1250 property
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I have a client who installs high end Dolby "systems" in multi-million dollar homes.  Meaning very "substantial" in total dollars; maybe not as a percentage of FMV of home.  
I can't say I've run across using a HELOC to pay for it & deducting the interest; but the whole idea feels wrong (which is a great technical position to take when preparing a return :smiling_imp:
Former Chump... umm.... AllStar.
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