Month: July 2018

Qualified Joint Venture between Spouses

Qualified Joint Venture between SpousesAn unincorporated business jointly owned by a married couple is generally classified as a partnership for federal tax purposes. However, in 2007, there was an addition to the Internal Revenue Code that excludes from partnership status a Qualified Joint Venture (“QJV”) conducted by a married couple who file a joint return. This was enacted by Congress to alleviate what was considered an unnecessary burden of filing partnership returns where the only members of a business joint venture are a husband and wife filing a joint income tax return.

Definition of a Qualified Joint Venture

QJV is defined as any joint venture involving the conduct of a trade or business if:

  1. the only members of the joint venture are married;
  2. both spouses materially participate;[1] and
  3. both spouses elect the application of QJV treatment.

A qualified joint venture, for purposes of the provision enacted in 2007, includes only businesses that are owned and operated by spouses as co-owners and not in the name of a state law entity (including a limited partnership or limited liability company). If the business is owned and operated by spouses as co-owners, it will not qualify for the election. There are special rules for married couple state law entities in community property states.[2]

Filing requirements for qualified joint ventures

As a result of utilizing the QJV election each spouse should file a separate Schedule C reporting his or her respective share of the items of the venture. There is no prescribed form for making the election.  The election is deemed made on a jointly filed Form 1040 by dividing all items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit between each spouse in accordance with each spouse’s respective interest in the joint venture, and each spouse filing with the Form 1040 a separate Schedule C (Profit or Loss from Business).

QJV implications for real estate

Now that you have the basics of a QJV, you might be thinking, “isn’t this a real estate blog?”

You’re correct, this is a real estate blog.

If you and your spouse each materially participate as defined under the at-risk and passive activity limitations and you file a joint return for the tax year, you may elect to be taxed as a qualified joint venture instead of a partnership. By making the election, you will not be required to file Form 1065 Return of Partnership Income, for any year the election is in effect and will instead report the income and deduction directly on your joint return.

To make this election for a rental real estate business, check the “QJV” box on line 2 for each property that is part of the qualified joint venture.

The confusion surrounding a QJV typically arises in non-community property states, including New Jersey and New York, where spouses jointly own interests in an LLC.  The LLC purchases a rental property, which now needs to be reported on a partnership return instead of Schedule E of the individuals’ 1040s. As noted above, the QJV will not apply to a venture that is in the name of a state law entity.

We’ve got your back

If you are considering not filing a partnership return because of the QJV election, you should contact your preparer to review the rules, especially related to rentals owned by LLCs where spouses are the only members.

With Simon Filip, the Real Estate Tax Guy, on your side, you can focus on your real estate investments while he and his team take care of your accounting and taxes. Contact him at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 today.

[1] IRC Section 469(h).

[2] Rev. Proc. 2002-69.

Tax Implications on Sale of a Partnership Interest

In determining gain or loss on sale of a partnership interest, taxpayers are often surprised to find they have a taxable gain.

For income tax purposes gain or loss is the difference between the amount realized and adjusted basis of the partnership interest in the hands of the partner.

Amount Realized

The amount the partner will realize will include any cash and the fair market value of any property received.  Further, if the partnership has liabilities, the amount realized will include the partner’s share of the partnership liabilities. If the partner remains liable for the debt, the amount realized will not include the partner’s share of the liability.Tax Implications on Sale of a Partnership Interest

Examples of Amount Realized:

Example 1 – Sale of Partnership interest with no debt:

Amy is a member in ABC, LLC which has no outstanding liabilities. Amy sells her entire interest to Dave for $30,000 of cash and property that has a fair market value of $70,000. Amy’s amount realized is $100,000.

Example 2 – Sale of partnership interest with partnership debt:

Amy is a member of ABC, LLC and has a $23,000 basis in her interest. Amy’s membership interest is 1/3 of the LLC. When Amy sells her 1/3 interest for $100,000 the partnership has a liability of $9,000. Amy’s amount realized would be $103,000 ($100,000 + ($9,000 x 1/3).

Gain Realized

Generally, a partner selling his partnership interest recognizes capital gain or loss on the sale. The amount of the gain or loss recognized is the difference between the amount realized and the partner’s adjusted tax basis in his partnership interest.

Example 1 (from above)- Sale of Partnership interest with no debt:

Assume Amy’s basis was $40,000. Amy would realize a gain of $60,000 ($100,000 – $40,000).

Example 2 (from above) – Sale of partnership interest with partnership debt:

Amy’s basis was $23,000. Amy would realize a gain of $80,000 ($103,000 realized less $23,000 basis).

Character of Gain

Partnership taxation establishes the general rule that gain on sale a partnership interest receives favorable capital gain treatment.  However, gains attributable to so-called “hot assets,” which include inventory, depreciation recapture, and accounts receivable of a cash basis partnership are taxed at less favorable ordinary income rates.

To the extent that a sale is attributable to the selling partner’s share of the hot assets, the resulting gain or loss is taxed at ordinary income rates. When real estate is sold to the extent the gain on sale is attributable to depreciation deductions, the resulting gain is treated as unrecaptured IRC §1250 section gain. §1250 gain is taxed at a flat 25% rate.

Like-Kind Exchange

It is important to note that in IRC §1031 (like-kind exchange), non-recognition treatment does not apply to exchanges of partnership interests.

We’ve Got Your Back

If you’re selling your partnership interest, we can help you plan the sale so that you pay no more tax than necessary. Contact Simon Filip, the Real Estate Tax Guy, at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 today.