Video: Real Estate Right Now | Real Estate Professionals
October 04, 2021 | BY ALAN BOTWINICK & BEN SPIELMAN
Roth&Co’s latest video series: Real Estate Right Now. Presented by Alan Botwinick and Ben Spielman, co-chairs of the Roth&Co Real Estate Department, will cover the latest real estate trends and opportunities and how you can make the most of them. This episode discusses real estate professionals.
Watch our quick 1-minute video:
REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS IN DETAIL:
Qualifying as a real estate professional potentially allows a taxpayer to deduct 100% of all real estate losses against ordinary income. It also helps the taxpayer avoid the 3.8% Section 1411 net investment income tax on qualifying rental property income.
For many real estate businesspeople, especially those who own several rental properties, acquiring Real Estate Professional status can create thousands of dollars in tax deductions resulting in a zero tax liability at the end of the year.
How does one qualify as a Real Estate Professional?
Under the IRS’s Section 469(c)(7)(B), one can qualify as a real estate professional if two conditions are met:
- The taxpayer must prove that he or she spends more time “materially participating” in real estate activities than in non-real estate activities.
- The taxpayer must spend at least 750 hours per year “materially participating” in real estate activities
The IRS wants to know that the taxpayer is active in real estate activity and is not a passive investor. A taxpayer can try to establish material participation by satisfying any one of the seven tests provided in IRS Publication 925. The taxpayer may elect to aggregate all of his or her interests in rental real estate to establish material participation.
Passive or Non-Passive Income?
According to the IRS, non-passive income is money that you actually work for. It’s generally reported as W-2 or 1099 wages. Passive income is the money you earn without any particular labor, like interest, dividends…and rental income.
IRS Code Section 469 defines all rental activities, regardless of the taxpayer’s level of participation, as passive activity; and the taxpayer may only offset losses from a passive activity against income from a passive activity.
However, Section 469(c)(7) was later added to the law to avoid unfair treatment to those actually participating in the business of renting, selling or developing real estate. This provision provides an exception for ‘qualifying real estate professionals’ and allows them to treat rental activities as non-passive.
So, the rental activity of a taxpayer who qualifies as a real estate professional under Section 469(c)(7) is not presumed to be passive and will be treated as non-passive if the taxpayer materially participates in the activity.
Bottom line? As a qualified real estate professional, one can deduct of rental losses against his or her non-passive income.
Qualifying as a real estate professional can also be advantageous to taxpayers with rental income. A net investment income tax imposed in Section 1411 levies an additional 3.8% surtax on, among other matters of investment income, all passive income of a taxpayer. A taxpayer who qualifies as a real estate professional with rental income may choose to represent that rental income as non-passive and may be able to avoid this 3.8% surtax.
Does your business activity define you as a Qualified Real Estate Professional? Contact us for advice on how to take advantage of this significant status and how to minimize your real estate tax burden.
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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, nor should it be relied upon for legal or tax advice. If you have any specific legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, please consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.