Brookshire Brothers Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries - Page 14

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          time for the taking of a deduction”.  Sec. 1.446-1(e)(2)(ii)(b),            
          Income Tax Regs.  Therefore, regardless of whether a change might           
          otherwise be deemed an unauthorized material alteration, the                
          change will not run afoul of section 446(e) if it falls within              
          this useful life exception.                                                 
               Petitioner asks us to find that its revision of the recovery           
          period used in depreciating its gas stations is the equivalent of           
          an adjustment in useful life.  Respondent, in contrast, argues              
          that the concept of useful life as employed under prior law                 
          cannot be equated with the designation of a recovery period under           
          the current accelerated system.                                             
               Prior to the 1981 enactment of ACRS, depreciation deductions           
          were based on estimated useful life, meaning the period over                
          which an asset could reasonably be expected to be useful to the             
          taxpayer in his or her business or income-producing activities.             
          See Liddle v. Commissioner, 103 T.C. 285, 290 (1994), affd. 65              
          F.3d 329 (3d Cir. 1995).  Then, with implementation of the                  
          accelerated system, Congress mandated that depreciation                     
          deductions be taken over one of a limited number of arbitrary               
          statutory periods.  See id. at 291.  Yet to the extent that                 
          selection of a useful life under prior law or a recovery period             
          under current law determines the span of years over which                   

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