Is It A Mezzanine, Or A Work Platform? Words Matter.

Feb 28, 2023
metal industrial platform

Learn the difference between an industrial mezzanine and a work platform, and why calling your elevated platform a mezzanine could cost you money in taxes, code compliance, and depreciation.

When it comes to elevated platforms in industrial settings, people often use the term "mezzanine" to refer to any elevated platform. However, this could be a costly mistake if the platform is not actually a “mezzanine” according to your local regulations.

What’s The Difference? 

The primary difference between an industrial mezzanine and a work platform is whether or not the structure is considered part of the building. If the platform is considered part of a building rather than capital equipment, it may have code compliance, bathroom requirements, handicap access, and tax rate and depreciation issues.

It all comes down to intention. If the structure is typically used like most warehouse or industrial operation facilities, you aren't dodging taxes or accessibility rules - you're applying them correctly. Your local regulators need to clearly understand why the structure is being built and what it's for.

To avoid these issues, it’s often better to call your elevated platform project names such as a work platform, elevated platform, storage platform, equipment platform, or similar. These terms are more accurate and descriptive than the overly inclusive, and sometimes inaccurate word "mezzanine."

Depreciation Treatment

Using accurate and descriptive terminology is especially important when federal depreciation dollars and property taxes are at stake. Capital equipment depreciates over seven years rather than 31, so if you want to take advantage of federal depreciation dollars, it's important to make sure your structure is classified correctly. Of course it’s always best to discuss tax strategy with your accounting department to get the final word.  

Property Taxes

In some areas, mezzanines are considered part of the square footage of the facility, and platforms aren't. This can have a significant impact on property taxes every year. By calling your platform a work platform or equipment platform, you may be able to avoid paying extra property taxes.

Building Code

It's essential to adhere to local building codes and tax laws whenever you execute an elevated structure project. Just calling these projects something different won't change the need to follow the rules, but being clear about the type of structure and function can save you headaches as you move forward.

Talk To A Local Mezzanine Professional 

In the end, the difference between an industrial mezzanine and a work platform comes down to whether or not the structure is considered part of the building. It's crucial to use accurate and descriptive terminology to avoid costly mistakes with federal and local laws. Talk to a professional at Raymond West today to understand the best approach in your local market.