Month: December 2017

How Tax Reform Impacts Real Estate

How Tax Reform Impacts Real Estate

The Senate and House have passed similar tax reform plans, but the bill is not yet finalized. Legislators are still working to create a unified bill, and the real estate industry can expect significant changes under the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Key changes include:

Temporary 100% Bonus Depreciation

House Bill:

Modifies existing bonus depreciation rules under the “PATH Act” by increasing the rate to 100% through the end of 2022. It also makes bonus depreciation applicable to both new and used property, where it currently applies only to new property. The 100% bonus depreciation will not apply to real property trade or business (i.e., commercial and residential real estate).

Senate Bill:

Similar to the House bill, except the 100% bonus depreciation will apply only to new property and to real property trade or business.

Section 179 Expensing

House Bill:

The Section 179 expense limitations for 2018 will increase from $500,000 to $5 million while the phase-out limitations for assets placed in service will be increased from $2 million to $20 million.

Senate Bill:

The Section 179 expense limitations for 2018 will increase from $500,000 to $1 million while the phase-out limitations will increase from $2 million to $2.5 million. Qualified real property eligible for 179 expensing will be expanded to include improvements to certain buildings systems including roofs, HVAC, fire and alarm systems, and security systems.

Real Estate Recovery Periods

House Bill:

No changes to current depreciation recovery periods of 27.5 years for residential and 39 years for non-residential real property.

Senate Bill:

Nonresidential real and residential rental property depreciable lives would be shortened to 25 years.

Like-Kind (1031 Exchanges)

House bill:

1031 exchanges will continue for real property, but not for tangible personal property. CAUTION: The proposed rules will trigger 1245 recapture for tangible personal property.

Senate Bill:

Same as House bill.

An updated version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act must be approved by both the Senate and House before going to the president to be signed into law.

We’ve Got Your Back

At KRS, we’ve been tracking tax reform legislation closely and are ready to assist you in your tax planning and preparation when it is finally signed into law. Don’t lose sleep wondering what impact the tax changes will have on your real estate holdings. Contact me at 201.655.7411 or [email protected].

Update: Tax reform has now been passed into law. Stay up-to-date on how it impacts real estate investors by checking out the New Tax Law Explained! For Real Estate Investors.

Investing in Foreign Real Estate? Here’s What You Need to Know

Investing in Foreign Real Estate? Here’s What You Need to Know

Much is written about tax compliance and withholding imposed upon a foreign entity or person owning real estate in the United States. The fact that many U.S. taxpayers own real estate outside of the country is often disregarded.

The intent of this post is to touch upon some of the differences of which an investor or potential investor in foreign real estate should be aware.

Depreciation and foreign property holdings

One of the main differences in holding a U.S. rental property compared to a foreign rental property is depreciation. The Internal Revenue Code requires any tangible property used predominantly outside the U.S. during the year to use the Alternative Depreciation System (“ADS”). Residential rental property located in a foreign country must use ADS, resulting in depreciation over a 40 year recovery period compared to the 27.5 year recovery of U.S. residential property.

1031 exchanges aren’t allowed

I have discussed the tax deferral afforded by entering into a 1031 like-kind exchange in previous posts. However, the Internal Revenue Code does not allow taxpayers to exchange U.S. investment property for foreign investment property.  U.S. property is limited to the 50 states and the District of Columbia only. Property located in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, is not like-kind to property located within the United States. There are limited exceptions, under certain circumstances for property located within the U.S Virgin Islands, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Taxpayers can obtain deferral afforded by a 1031 exchange when trading U.S. property for U.S. property, but not U.S. property for foreign property. However, foreign property is deemed liked-kind when exchanged for other foreign property, thus qualifying for 1031 exchange treatment.

Preventing double taxation

If a taxpayer operates a property abroad as a rental property, taxes will be owed in the country where the property is located. To prevent double taxation, a U.S. taxpayer can claim a credit on the U.S. tax return for taxes paid to the foreign country relating to the net rental income. It is important to note that a taxpayer cannot claim a credit for more than the amount of U.S. tax on the rental income.

The foreign tax credit is also available if the property is sold and there is any capital gains tax in the foreign county.

Additional reporting obligations

A U.S. taxpayer may have additional filing obligations with their tax return as a result of the foreign rental activity.

For example, if a U.S. taxpayer establishes a foreign bank account to collect rent and the aggregate value of the account is $10,000 or more on any given day, an FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) is required to be filed.

If the property is held in a foreign corporation, Form 5471 (Information Return of U.S. Persons with Respect to Certain Foreign Corporations) is required to be filed. If the property is held in a Foreign LLC, then Form 8858 (Information Return of U.S Persons with Respect to Foreign Disregarded Entities) may be required.

We’ve got your back

Don’t go it alone if you’re an investor in foreign real estate. Contact me at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 for assistance with tax planning for your international holdings.