I own an IT/software company. I'm getting ready to ramp up a new venture and want to purchase some new laptops for my remote employees and myself.
According to IRS publication 945, chapter 4 (https://www.irs.gov/publications/p946/ch04.html), "Computers and peripheral equipment" are classified as 5-year property and must be depreciated over that time span using IRS Form 4562.
My concern is that laptops I purchase don't actually have a useful lifespan of 5 years. The maximum warranty dell provides is 3-4 years. I dislike holding onto equipment "out of warranty"... so I get rid of it after the warranty expires. Plus computers break over time, or just become outdated with the operating system changing every 2-3 years.
Question 1: Can I adjust the lifespan of depreciation property if its useful life is shorter then that specified in the IRS pub? If I have documentation, and prove we no longer use the laptop after 3 years... Could I take the depreciation over 3 years instead of 5 years. (We typically donate the laptops after 3 years of use to goodwill or a related organization. We scrub the hard-drives before doing so.)
I assume we can't change the depreciation... but I thought I would ask. I could see how many organizations could prove their property in fact has a shorter lifespan.
Question 2: Also, I typically just do straight light depreciation for convenience of computation. Is there more value out of another method of computing depreciation.