February 27, 2019 | BY Michael Rabinowitsch
The IRS has recently provided clarity for owners of rental properties on how they can qualify for the new 20% pass through deduction.
As per the IRS, in order to qualify for the new 20% pass through deduction, an activity must raise to the level of being a trade or business. An activity is generally considered to be a trade or business if it is regular, continuous, and considerable.
Determining whether a rental real estate enterprise meets these criteria can be difficult. The IRS has therefore provided a safe harbor whereby an enterprise will be treated as a trade or business for the purposes of the 20% pass through deduction if certain conditions are met.
Under the safe harbor, a rental real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business if the following requirements are satisfied during the tax year:
(1) Separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise.
(2) 250 or more hours of rental services are performed per year with respect to the rental enterprise. Note that these hours of service do not have to be performed by you personally.
(3) The taxpayer maintains contemporaneous records, including time reports, logs, or similar documents, regarding the following: (i) hours of all services performed; (ii) description of all services performed; (iii) dates on which such services were performed; and (iv) who performed the services. Such records are to be made available for inspection at the request of the IRS. The contemporaneous records requirement does not apply to the 2018 tax year.
For purposes of the safe harbor, rental services include:
- Advertising to rent or lease the real estate
- Negotiating and executing leases
- Verifying information contained in prospective tenant applications
- Collection of rent
- Daily operation, maintenance, and repair of the property
- Management of the real estate
- Purchase of materials
- Supervision of employees and independent contractors.
Some types of rental real estate are not eligible for the safe harbor.
Accordingly, it is very important to maintain contemporaneous records to qualify for the 20% pass through deduction.
Please contact a Roth&Co adviser for further information or discussion about the new safe harbor rule.
real estate - tax reform - corporate tax
February 04, 2019 | BY admin
As you likely know by now, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) reduced or eliminated many deductions for individuals. One itemized deduction the TCJA kept intact is for investment interest expense. This is interest on debt used to buy assets held for investment, such as margin debt used to buy securities. But if you have investment interest expense, you can’t count on benefiting from the deduction.
There are a few hurdles you must pass to benefit from the investment interest deduction even if you have investment interest expense:
1. You must itemize deductions. In the past this might not have been a hurdle, because you may have typically had enough itemized deductions to easily exceed the standard deduction. But the TCJA nearly doubled the standard deduction, to $24,000 (married couples filing jointly), $18,000 (heads of households) and $12,000 (singles and married couples filing separately) for 2018. Plus, some of your other itemized deductions, such as your state and local tax deduction, might be smaller on your 2018 return because of TCJA changes. So you might not have enough itemized deductions to exceed your standard deduction and benefit from itemizing.
2. You can’t have incurred the interest to produce tax-exempt income. For example, if you borrow money to invest in municipal bonds, which are exempt from federal income tax, you can’t deduct the interest.
3. You must have sufficient “net investment income.” The investment interest deduction is limited to your net investment income. For the purposes of this deduction, net investment income generally includes taxable interest, nonqualified dividends and net short-term capital gains, reduced by other investment expenses. In other words, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends aren’t included. However, any disallowed interest is carried forward. You can then deduct the disallowed interest in a later year if you have excess net investment income.
You may elect to treat net long-term capital gains or qualified dividends as investment income in order to deduct more of your investment interest. But if you do, that portion of the long-term capital gain or dividend will be taxed at ordinary-income rates.
Will interest expense save you tax?
As you can see, the answer to the question depends on multiple factors. We can review your situation and help you determine whether you can benefit from the investment interest expense deduction on your 2018 tax return.
tax reform - individual tax
June 13, 2018 | BY admin
The massive changes the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made to income taxes have garnered the most attention. But the new law also made major changes to gift and estate taxes. While the TCJA didn’t repeal these taxes, it did significantly reduce the number of taxpayers who’ll be subject to them, at least for the next several years. Nevertheless, factoring taxes into your estate planning is still important. (more…)
estate planning - tax - tax reform
June 06, 2018 | BY Esther Wolman
The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) involves several changes to the rules governing choice of accounting method for businesses.
Specifically the gross receipts threshold for Cash Basis Accounting has been raised. The details and qualifications for this law change are outlined below. (more…)
tax - tax reform - cash basis accounting
May 31, 2018 | BY Samuel Goldschmidt
Prior to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), income earned by U.S. shareholders of a foreign corporation has generally not been subject to U.S. tax until the income is distributed as a dividend to U.S. shareholders.
The TCJA however, has introduced two significant changes to the taxation of income earned by a foreign corporation owned by U.S. shareholders.
tax - income tax - tax reform - foreign income