Brookshire Brothers Holding, Inc. and Subsidiaries - Page 16

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          for calculating depreciation.  On the other hand, to accept                 
          respondent’s position and summarily decline to equate the changes           
          would significantly curtail the exception’s usefulness under the            
          current section 168 regime.                                                 
               We conclude that the former option is most consistent with             
          the regulatory scheme.  The similarities between a change in                
          MACRS classification and a change in useful life are greater than           
          the differences.  Section 1.446-1(e)(2)(ii)(b), Income Tax Regs.,           
          was clearly intended to permit taxpayers to alter their                     
          depreciation schedules.  The type of adjustment explicitly                  
          permitted--a change in useful life--would have resulted both in             
          depreciation deductions over a longer or shorter period than                
          originally contemplated and in an increased or decreased amount             
          being deducted in any given period.  A change in MACRS                      
          classification will have precisely these same two effects.                  
          Although a portion of the change in amount may be attributable to           
          calculation method, as opposed to period length alone, such                 
          carries insufficient weight when balanced against severely                  
          limiting the intended relief.                                               
               We therefore hold that the filing of returns for the years             
          ended in 1996 and 1997 which depreciated the gas stations as 15-            
          year property did not result in an unauthorized change in                   
          petitioner’s method of accounting.  Petitioner’s change in MACRS            
          classification is excluded from the definition of a change in               

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