If you lease a farm building or equipment, you must determine whether or not the agreement must be treated as a conditional sales contract rather than a lease. If the agreement is treated as a conditional sales contract, the payments under the agreement (so far as they do not represent interest or other charges) are payments for the purchase of the property. Do not deduct these payments as rent, but capitalize the cost of the property and recover this cost through depreciation.
Conditional sales contract.
Whether an agreement is a conditional sales contract depends on the intent
of the parties. Determine intent based on the provisions of the agreement and the facts and circumstances that exist when you make the agreement. No single test, or special combination of tests, always applies. However, in general, an agreement may be considered a conditional sales contract rather than a lease if any of the following is true.
The agreement applies part of each payment toward an equity interest you will receive.
You get title to the property after you make a stated amount of required payments.
The amount you must pay to use the property for a short time is a large part of the amount you would pay to get title to the property.
You pay much more than the current fair rental value of the property.
You have an option to buy the property at a nominal price compared to the value of the property when you may exercise the option. Determine this value when you make the agreement.
You have an option to buy the property at a nominal price compared to the total amount you have to pay under the agreement.
The agreement designates part of the payments as interest, or part of the payments can be easily recognized as interest.
You lease new farm equipment from a dealer who both sells and leases. The agreement includes an option to purchase the equipment for a specified price. The lease payments and the specified option price equal the sales price of the equipment plus interest. Under the agreement, you are responsible for maintenance, repairs, and the risk of loss. For federal income tax purposes, the agreement is a conditional sales contract. You cannot deduct any of the lease payments as rent. You can deduct interest, repairs, insurance, depreciation, and other expenses related to the equipment.
Motor vehicle leases.
Special rules apply to lease agreements that have a terminal rental adjustment clause. In general, this is a clause that provides for a rental price adjustment based on the amount the lessor is able to sell the vehicle for at the end of the lease. If your rental agreement contains a terminal rental adjustment clause, treat the agreement as a lease if the agreement otherwise qualifies as a lease. For more information, see Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7701(h).
Leveraged leases. Special rules apply to leveraged leases of equipment (arrangements in which the equipment is financed by a nonrecourse loan from a third party). For more information, see Publication 535, chapter 3, and Revenue Procedure 2001-28, which begins on page 1156 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2001-19 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb01-19.pdf.