Tag: partnerships

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.

The New Tax Law and Business Interest Expense

The New Tax Law and Business Interest Expense

The tax legislation known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the Act) places a new limit on the amount of interest expense businesses can deduct on their tax returns. This new limit will punish over-leveraged companies and discourage companies from becoming too leveraged.

Starting in 2018, businesses can only deduct interest based upon a formula contained within the act.

Business Interest Deduction

Under the new tax law, a business’s net interest expense deduction is limited to 30 percent of EBITDA (Earnings before Income Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization). Beginning in 2022 the net interest expense deduction limitation is 30 percent of EBIT (Earnings before Income Taxes).

Businesses with average annual gross receipts of $25 million or less for the prior three years are exempt from this provision. The amount of business interest not allowed as a deduction for any taxable year is treated as business interest paid or accrued in the succeeding taxable year. Business interest may be carried forward indefinitely, subject to certain restrictions.

Real Estate Exception

Real estate is both illiquid and capital intensive, making leverage and the ability to deduct interest important to the industry.  A real property trade or business can elect out of the net interest expense deduction limitations if they use the Alternative Depreciation System (ADS) to depreciate business-related real property.

Taxpayers electing to use the real estate exception to the interest limit must depreciate real property under longer recovery periods prescribed by ADS. Those recovery periods are 40 years for nonresidential property, 30 years for residential rental property, and 20 years for qualified interior improvements. This is compared to recovery periods of 39 years for nonresidential property, 27.5 years for residential rental property, and 15 years for qualified interior improvements.

Application to Partnerships

Most real estate investment vehicles are structured as pass-through entities. The limitations on current interest expense is applied at the operating entity level, and any allowable deduction is included in the non-separately stated income or loss on each partner’s Form K-1. However, any disallowed interest will be carried forward at the partner level.

Aggregation Rules

In groups of related entities, it appears aggregation rules will apply in determining whether the $25 million gross receipts threshold has been exceeded. Additional guidance is anticipated on calculations of the limitation as well as explanations as to how this section will interact with other sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

We’ve Got Your Back

Rather than guessing at how the business interest rules apply to your situation, why not let the experts at KRS CPAs help? Check out the New Tax Law Explained! For Real Estate Investors page and then contact partner Simon Filip at [email protected] or 201.655.7411 for a complimentary initial consultation.

What Is an UPREIT ?

Real Estate Investment Trust basics

An Umbrella Partnership Real Estate Investment Trust (UPREIT) can provide tax deferral benefits to commercial property owners

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) are comparable to mutual funds for real estate investors.

REITs provide an opportunity to invest in large-scale properties and real estate portfolios in the same manner mutual funds offer diversification and professional management to investors in stocks and bonds. REIT investments are touted for diversified income streams and long-term capital appreciation.

Many REITs are traded on major stock exchanges, but there are non-listed public and private REITs as well. REITs are generally segregated into two core categories: Equity REITs and Mortgage REITs. While Equity REITs generate income through rental income streams and sales of the real estate portfolios, Mortgage REITs invest in mortgages or mortgage backed securities tied to commercial and/or residential properties.

Similar to sector-focused mutual funds, REITs have been created to invest in specific real estate asset classes. Some REIT offerings targeting specific asset classes include student housing, nursing homes, storage centers and hospitals.

REIT shareholders receive dividend distributions

Shareholders receive their share of REIT income via dividend distributions. REIT dividend distributions are allocated among ordinary income, capital gains and return of capital, each with a different tax consequence to the recipient.

Most dividends issued by REITs are taxed as ordinary dividends, which are subject to ordinary income tax rates (up to a maximum rate of 39.6%, plus a separate 3.8% surtax on net investment income). However, REIT dividends can qualify for lower rates under certain circumstances, such as in the case of capital gain distributions (20% maximum tax rate plus the 3.8 % surtax on net investment income). Additionally, the capital gains rate applies to a sale of REIT stock (20% capital gains rate plus 3.8% surtax).

What is an UPREIT?

An Umbrella Partnership Real Estate Investment Trust (UPREIT) provides tax deferral benefits to commercial property owners who contribute their real property into a tiered ownership structure that includes an operating partnership and the REIT, which is the other partner of the operating partnership. In exchange for the real property contributed to the UPREIT, the investor receives units in the operating partnership.

When the UPREIT structure is used, the owner contributes property to the partnership in exchange for limited partnership units and a “put” option. Generally, this contribution is a nontaxable transfer.

The owners of limited-partnership units can exercise their put option and convert their units into REIT shares or cash at the REIT’s option. This is generally a taxable event to the unit holder.

Tax deferral opportunities

When a taxpayer sells depreciable real property in a taxable transaction the gain is subject to capital gains tax (currently a maximum of 20%) and depreciation recapture tax (25%). The capital gain tax and depreciation recapture remain deferred as long as the UPREIT holds the property and the investor holds the operating partnership units. The advantage of this structure is that it provides commercial property owners, who might have significant capital gain tax liabilities on the sale of appreciated property, an alternative exit strategy.

It is common for taxpayers to negotiate some sort of standstill agreement where the REIT agrees not to sell the property in a taxable disposition for some period of time, usually five to ten years. If the REIT sell the property in a taxable disposition, it triggers taxable gain to the taxpayer.

The taxable gain is generally deferred when the real estate is transferred to the UPREIT. Generally, the tax deferral lasts until the partnership sells the property in a taxable transaction. However, a taxable event is triggered if the taxpayer converts the operating partnership units to REIT shares or cash.

We’ve got your back

If you have questions about UPREITs or their tax implications, we’re here to help. Contact Simon Filip at [email protected] or 201.655.7411.

2017 Federal Tax Changes Business Owners Need to Know

tips for the 2017 tax season

Tax season is upon us, and with it comes a variety of changes that business owners need to know about. Here’s an overview of some of the most important changes:

New tax filing deadlines

These deadlines apply for 2016 tax filings:

  • C-corporation filings are pushed back to 04/15/17
  • Partnerships, LLCs & S-corporations must file by 3/15
  • Certain 1099 Misc. and W-2’s must be filed with the IRS by 1/31/17

Note that if you are a KRS client, you will receive an email in the next day or so to get you started on your 1099s. Be sure you have all your subcontractor and vendor W-9s completed so that 1099 completion can be done quickly to meet the month-end deadline.

PATH Act eliminates some uncertainty

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH) enacted at the end of 2015, made permanent many business-related provisions that had been up for renewal, including:

  • 100% gain exclusion on qualified small business stock
  • Reduced, five-year recognition period for S corporation built-in gains tax
  • 15-year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements, restaurant property and retail improvements
  • Charitable deductions for the contribution of food inventory
  • As KRS partner Simon Filip said in Five Ways the PATH Act Can Reduce Your Tax Burden, “The PATH Act is a positive thing for a couple reasons. Any tax savings for small business owners is great. Also, it eliminates some uncertainty, which will make it easier for small businesses to plan their tax liability.”

Good news about the Section 179 tax deduction

Section 179 of the tax code defines the deduction a business can take on the price of qualifying equipment purchased or leased during the tax year. Qualifying equipment could include almost any big-ticket item you need to do business, such as a computer, certain software, office furniture or machinery.

The $500,000 deduction regarding equipment purchases less than $2M now permanent.

R&D credit can help reduce tax liability

New changes in R&D credit allows certain businesses to apply the R&D credit to the AMT or possibly offset payroll taxes. The PATH Act made the R&D tax credit permanent, which is welcome news for businesses investing in research and development.

Update on bonus depreciation

Bonus depreciation is a method of accelerated depreciation which allows a business to make an additional deduction of the cost of qualifying property in the year in which it is put into service.

  • 50% deduction of the costs of new equipment continues through 2019, decreasing to 40% in 2018 and 30% in 2019. Bonus depreciation is set to expire by 2020 unless there is further action by Congress.
  • Replaces the bonus allowance for a qualified leasehold improvement property with a bonus allowance for additions and improvements to the interior of any nonresidential real property, effective for property placed in service after 2015.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit extended

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit gives employers a tax credit when they hire unemployed veterans, food stamp recipients and ex-felons. The PATH Act extends the credit through 2019 with an added 40% credit up to the first $6,000 in wages for employers who hire workers that have been out of work for at least 27 weeks.

Revised repair regulations can increase deductions

The IRS issued final tangible property regulations (aka, the “repair regs”) over three years ago. These regs continue to control the accounting for costs to acquire, repair and improve tangible property. They impact virtually all asset-based businesses and have reverberated into 2016, with additional “clean-up” expected in 2017.

For 2016 year-end planning, work with your accountant to see if either a de minimis expensing safe harbor or a remodel-refresh safe harbor can be applied. Both can yield substantial immediate deductions if followed.

We’ve Got Your Back

Tax laws grow increasingly complex and it can be hard to know how to save taxes. At KRS we assist our business clients in minimizing tax liabilities by providing them with comprehensive tax planning, preparation and compliance services. We’ve also developed resource pages, New Tax Law Explained! for Individuals and for Real Estate Investors, to help you stay on top of what you need to know about the evolving tax codes.

Contact partner Maria Rollins at 201.655.7411 or [email protected] if your business needs expert advice and assistance with its 2016 taxes.

Real Estate Trends – Foreign Sellers

Foreign Capital and U.S. Real Estate

Understand FIRPTA withholding rules There have been continued international capital inflows into U.S. real estate assets and the trend is expected to grow. Political uncertainty and global economic factors continue to drive foreign money into the United States, long considered a safe haven.

The U.S. property market is the most stable, transparent in the world, making it an easy investment choice. According to research firm Real Capital Analytics, foreign purchases of U.S. real estate assets rose to $62 billion over the 12-month period ending in October 2015.

It should be expected that these foreign investors will eventually reposition their assets and liquidate certain holdings based upon expected returns and market changes.

Understand the Foreign Withholding Rules

Buyers of real estate from foreign sellers, escrow agents and closing agents who close on such transactions need to be aware of the federal withholding requirements set in the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA).

Under FIRPTA, the buyer of U.S. real estate from a foreign person or entity must withhold tax equal to 10% of the “amount realized” from the sale. The amount realized includes the total amount received for the property including cash, the existing balance of mortgages encumbering the property, and any non-cash personal property.

Withholding under FIRPTA

Withholding is required when the seller is a foreign person (including non-resident alien individuals, partnerships, trusts and estates, and certain corporations domiciled outside of the United States). At or before the closing, if the seller signs a certification of non-foreign status stating under penalty of perjury that he is not a foreign person, the buyer can rely on that unless he has actual knowledge that it is not accurate. If the seller is able to sign the certification, no withholding is required, but the buyer must retain the certification for five years after the transfer.

If the seller is a foreign entity or person, the buyer must withhold the 10% and remit the tax to the IRS within 20 days of the date of closing. If the buyer fails to do so, the buyer is liable to the IRS for the tax that should have been withheld, plus penalties and interest.

Reduced Withholding

If the ultimate tax liability is expected to be zero or less than the required 10% withholding amount, the foreign seller can apply for a withholding certificate to request a reduction in the withholding amount. This is done by filing IRS Form 8288-B.

There are exceptions to the withholding requirements, including property used as a home and 1031 exchanges, but both are not without specific qualifications.

When purchasing real estate from a foreign seller, it is important for buyers to consult with their advisors to ensure compliance under FIRPTA.

At KRS CPAs, our team supporting commercial real estate is knowledgeable about FIRPTA rules and can assist you. Contact me at [email protected] or 201.655.7411.

Why do investors want to participate in Zero Cash Flow deals?

Zero cash flow deals offer tax savingsHint: it’s about deferring taxes

Most zero cash flow Triple Net Lease (“NNN”) investments have two components. First, you purchase a high quality NNN investment with a long-term lease and a tenant with a high credit rating. Next, you obtain zero cash flow financing, where the rents from the tenant equals the debt service. This financing has an amortization period that is typically fixed to the term of the lease and a flat interest rate. Commonly, an investor will put between 10 and 20 percent down, and when the lease’s initial term ends, he or she will have a debt-free building.

Zero cash flow loans are highly leveraged and lenders require a strong credit tenant, which is why drug stores such as Walgreens and CVS are highly sought-after investments for these arrangements.

During the Lease Term

While the real estate investment is not providing current cash flow, the depreciation generated from these investments is structured to more than cover principal payments, leaving a net loss that can be used to offset other taxable income. Refer to my blogs on real estate professionals and passive loss limitations to determine if those losses can be used.

During the term of the NNN investment, principal payments will gradually grow. Once they exceed depreciation, you may be subject to phantom income, which is taxable. (See my previous blog on phantom income.) Prior to reaching this point, an investor should consider disposing of the asset (possibly through a like-kind exchange) or refinancing the property. If you have already reached the point in a zero cash flow deal where principal payments exceed depreciation, tax planning should be undertaken to minimize income taxes.

End of Lease Term

If an investor retains ownership until the end of the lease, the loan will be satisfied and the building will be owned without any debts. If there are options in the lease, it’s possible that the tenant exercises the option and the property will generate cash flow with no debt service. On the other hand, if the tenant decides to move out, it’s reasonable to assume the building will still have value.

While many investors acquire NNN properties for steady cash flow, that is not the only reason investors should consider a NNN deal. Astute investors use NNN investments as a way to minimize their tax exposure. Zero cash flow deals do not provide current cash flow, but can offer tax savings through depreciation deductions and appreciation of the real estate in the long-term.

KRS CPAs can help you establish tax savings with NNN investments. Give us a call at 201-655-7411 or email [email protected].

Will Your Taxable Gain Be Calculated Properly? Make Sure You Are Using The Correct Basis

The rules for basis, or the value of an asset used for computing tax gain or loss when an asset is sold or transferred, can be complicated. Here’s what you need to know.

Background on Basis

When a taxpayer sells an asset, such as shares of stock, capital gains tax may be owed on the difference between the purchase price (basis) and the sales price. For inherited assets, taxpayers receive “step up” tax basis to the value at the time of the benefactor’s death. The Internal Revenue Code allows certain inherited property to receive a new tax basis equal to the fair market value of the property as of the date of death. This means if appreciated inherited property is sold immediately, there will be no capital gain, or later, all pre-inheritance appreciation is excluded from taxation.

taxable gains differ for inherited versus gifted assetsProperty gifted during a taxpayer’s lifetime receives a carryover basis, that is, the gift recipient takes the same basis as that of the donor. This means the recipient of the gift takes the same tax basis in the property as it had when owned by the decedent. Consequently, the increase in value of the property that occurred during the decedent’s lifetime is subject to federal and state taxes when the property is sold.

Basis for Real Estate

Current law provides that the income tax basis of real estate owned by a decedent at death is adjusted (“stepped up” or “stepped down”) to its fair market value at the date of the decedent’s death. Real estate which is gifted causes the donees to have the same tax basis in the gifted real estate as that real estate’s basis would have been in the hands of the donor. There is an exception if the tax basis is greater than the fair market value at the time of the gift.

Partnership Interests

Adjustments to basis do not only occur as a result of death. When a taxpayer purchases an existing partner’s partnership interest, the amount paid becomes the basis for the purchaser’s partnership interest (“outside” basis). The new partner assumes the seller’s share of the partnership’s adjusted basis in its property (“inside” basis), commonly referred to as stepping in the shoes of the partner or capital account. If the partnership’s assets have appreciated substantially, the difference between the new partner’s inside and outside basis can be substantial.

The disparity between the inside basis and outside basis can deprive the incoming partner from depreciation deductions. To remedy this situation, the partnership may make a 754 election, which allocates the purchase price or fair market value of the partnership interest to the new partner’s share of partnership assets. If this election is made, additional depreciation and amortization resulting from the basis adjustment is specially allocated to the new partner, giving him or her additional tax deductions.  A 754 election must be made by the partnership.  Once made, it is binding on all future transfers of partnership interests.

The rules related to tax basis in assets upon death and purchase are complex and should be reviewed with a tax adviser. Contact me at [email protected] if I can assist you.

Foreign Withholding of Income Tax on Real Estate Transactions

Whether a person is considered a “U.S. person” or “non-U.S. person” will determine which income is subject to federal income tax. This also determines withholdings on that income, which may include earnings from real estate trade/business, passive rental income or sale of property.

Basic Rules

Foreign WithholdingNon-U.S. persons are subject to income tax only on their U.S. source income (income earned within the United States). According to the Internal Revenue Service, most types of U.S. source income paid to a foreign person are subject to a withholding tax of 30 percent, although a reduced rate or exemption may apply if stipulated in the applicable tax treaty.

What’s a U.S. or Non-U.S. Person?  A U.S. person includes citizens and residents of the United States. For income tax purposes, U.S. residents include green card holders or other lawful permanent residents who are present in the United States. A person is also a U.S. resident if he has a “substantial presence” in the States.

A non-U.S. /foreign person, or nonresident alien (NRA) includes (but is not limited to) a nonresident alien individual, foreign corporation, foreign partnership, foreign trust, a foreign estate, and any other person that is not a U.S. person. You can read more on these definitions here.

Withholdings on real estate ventures

If you are a non-U.S. person it is important to consult with tax and/or legal counsel to determine if you are subject to withholding. Below are several situations that could require U.S. withholding with respect to real estate.

  • Trade or business – A non-U.S. person is considered to be engaged in a U.S. trade of business if they regularly undertake activities such as developing, operating and managing real estate. If this is the case, the income is not subject to withholding; rather, the non-U.S. person files an income tax return and computes their applicable tax.
  • Passive rental income – Income from a rental property is typically considered passive income (refer to my previous blog on Passive Activity Losses for details). Rental income is subject to a 30 percent withholding tax unless it is reduced under an income tax treaty. The 30 percent withholding rate is applied to the gross rents and is reported on Form 1042-S, Foreign Person’s U.S. Source Income Subject to Withholding.
  • Sale of property – The Foreign Investment in Real Property Act (FIRPTA) requires a FIRPTA withholding tax of 10 percent of the amount realized on the disposition of all U.S. real property interests by a foreign person. A purchaser of U.S. real property interest from a foreign investor is considered the transferee and also the withholding agent. The transferee must find out if the transferor is a foreign person. If the transferor is a foreign (non-U.S.) person and the transferee fails to withhold, the buyer may be held liable for the tax.

Withholding on foreign partners in a partnership

In addition to filing an annual partnership tax return (Form 1065), if a partnership has taxable income that is effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business, it is required to withhold on income that is allocated to its foreign partners.

The withholding rate for effectively connected income that is allocable to foreign partners is 39.6 percent for non-corporate foreign partners and 35 percent for corporate foreign partners (2016 withholding rates). There are tax treaties with many countries that can reduce the withholding requirements and these should be reviewed.

Note that withholding is calculated on taxable income, not distributions of cash. A partnership needs to be aware before distributing cash to foreign partners that there may be a withholding obligation.

Are you a non-U.S. person with real estate interests in the United States? Or, are you a U.S. citizen or resident working or investing in real estate? I can answer your questions regarding tax issues around passive income losses and other real estate financial considerations; contact me at [email protected] or (201) 655-7411.