John Belpedio joins WTP Advisors (from Grant Thornton) to lead its national tax depreciation practice

 In Grant Thornton, WTP Advisors

John Belpedio has joined WTP Advisors to lead its national Fixed Asset practice and advise clients on issues surrounding Federal tax depreciation. He is a cost segregation expert who spent the last 20 years in public accounting, of which the last 10 years were spent as the practice leader of Fixed Assets in the New York metro region.

Capital intensive companies, such as manufacturers, retailers, and utility companies, often look to offset their taxable income in current years with increased depreciation deductions. Belpedio helps them optimize their tax position through varying strategies including accelerating depreciation through cost segregation studies, retroactive cost segregation studies, repair studies, as well as consulting clients in the area of alternative energy sources – credits and/or increased depreciation deductions.

Belpedio’s experience includes both the tax and engineering aspects of fixed asset studies. He has completed comprehensive fixed asset depreciation and cost segregation studies on more than $10 billion in real property additions for over 200 companies.

“This dual knowledge lends itself to several efficiencies when performing a study,” says Michael Minihan, co-founder partner at WTP Advisors, “The bottom line is that you need someone like John Belpedio who knows about both areas if you want to maximize your deductions, and firms without this skill might be leaving money on the table.”

For example, if a company builds out office space, someone with Belpedio’s background understands how to distinguish between personal property versus real property for tax purposes in the new space by looking through architectural and engineering drawings, and reviewing contractor invoices.

After close to 10 years in the making, last September, the IRS issued the final tangible property regulations regarding the deduction and capitalization of expenditures and the proposed regulations for dispositions.

The result is that taxpayers now have better guidance to determine whether expenditures are capital in nature or an expense. Expensing allows an immediate deduction whereas a capital improvement has to be capitalized and depreciated over its applicable recovery period. However, the rules are complex, and implementation will require careful consideration of each taxpayer’s facts and circumstances – an area in which Belpedio has much experience.

The final repair regulations are generally applicable to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2014; however, companies might tend to put this off until completing their 2014 tax return.

“This is ill-advised due to the fact that there are many provisions in which clients could be on a method that is no longer advisable or may not be taking advantage of some of the favorable provisions. Pending tax reform – and a possible reduction in tax rate – it definitely would make sense for companies to perform a retroactive fixed asset study prior to the change in tax rate in order to realize permanent tax savings,” says Belpedio.

“Further, the expiration of bonus depreciation and the boomerang effect of bonus depreciation will have taxpayers yearning for additional depreciation deductions as well as the rebound in the real estate market – which means more demand for cost segregation studies,” says Belpedio.

About John M. Belpedio
John Belpedio is a Managing Director at WTP Advisors. He has over two decades of experience in tax consulting on fixed assets for federal and state tax purposes. His industry knowledge includes professional services, manufacturing, entertainment, retail and utility companies. Prior to joining WTP, Belpedio was a senior leader in the federal tax practices at PwC LLP and Grant Thornton LLP in the New York metro region, where he specialized in cost segregation and repairs & maintenance studies. Belpedio is an expert in the following areas of the Fixed Asset tax optimization:

· Cost Segregation Studies
· Retroactive Cost Segregation Studies under Revenue Procedure 2011-14
· Repair and Maintenance Studies
· Credits associated with Alternative Energy Property and Rehabilitation of Structures
· Software Analysis (Expensing versus Capitalization) in conjunction with the Implementation of ERP Systems

Belpedio has outstanding audit results with the IRS, including specific audit experience with cost segregation studies and allocation of purchase price issues regarding acquisitions and has dealt with numerous audit teams and specialists.

Belpedio received his B.S. degree in Finance and Economics from Rockhurst University. He is an Enrolled Agent and a Certified Member (CMI) of the Institute for Professionals in Taxation (IPT).

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