Case Study: Cost Segregation Analysis for a Hotel in Miami Beach, FL

Cost segregation case study hotel miami beach florida


In 2023, the owners of a hotel in Miami Beach sought to enhance their investment through strategic tax planning. The property consists of a single four-story building encompassing 64,000 square feet. Originally constructed in 1950, the hotel features 84 units designed to cater to a variety of guests.

The building’s exterior showcases a blend of modern and classic architectural elements, including a durable stucco finish and large aluminum-framed windows. The interior is well-appointed, featuring amenities such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, tankless water heaters and contemporary lighting fixtures. The property also includes a range of recreational facilities, including a swimming pool with a concrete deck.

The owners engaged Engineered Tax Services (ETS) to perform a comprehensive cost segregation study of the property. This study aimed to identify and reclassify specific assets, enabling the acceleration of depreciation and optimizing tax benefits. This case study outlines the cost segregation strategy employed and its significant impact on the financial outlook of the property.


The primary objective of the cost segregation study was to identify and classify the hotel’s assets to optimize the owners' tax savings. By breaking down and reallocating components into shorter depreciation life categories, ETS aimed to provide both immediate and long-term financial benefits through accelerated depreciation.


ETS employed a detailed, engineering-based approach, which included:

  1. Physical Inspection: conducting a thorough site visit to identify and photograph the property's components
  2. Document Review: examining architectural plans, construction documents and accounting records
  3. Cost Analysis: applying engineering principles to allocate costs to specific asset classifications
  4. Depreciation Calculation: calculating depreciation using IRS-accepted methods such as the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS)

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Asset Allocation

5-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $5,049,617.65

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 24.31%

5-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Electrical systems (dedicated equipment and general use outlets, connections)
  • Appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, ice machines)
  • Furniture and fixtures (cabinets, shelving, mirrors, counters)
  • Interior finishes (flooring, ceiling fans, decorative wall treatments)
  • Communication and security systems (telephone connections, key card readers, security cameras)

15-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $447,219.86

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 2.15%

15-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Land improvements (parking spaces, sidewalks, fences, landscaping)
  • Recreational facilities (pool, pool deck)
  • Site utilities and infrastructure (site lighting, signage, utility sinks)

39-Year Class Life

Total Depreciation Allocation: $15,271,162.52

Percentage of Total Depreciable Basis: 73.53%

39-year class life assets identified in this study include:

  • Structural components (walls, doors, windows, roofing)
  • Building systems (HVAC, plumbing, electrical distribution)
  • Permanent fixtures (restroom fixtures, emergency lighting, signage)
  • Interior construction (drywall, partitions, flooring, ceilings)

Class Life Details:

Accumulated Depreciation Comparison:


The cost segregation study for this multifamily apartment complex demonstrates how strategic tax planning can significantly benefit property owners. By utilizing accelerated depreciation, the owners were able to enhance profitability, improve cashflow, and plan effectively for future expenditures.

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