Tax Reform – First Filing Season

October is the time for fall, football and pumpkin-spiced everything. (Here in the south, it’s a time for the heater in the morning and air-conditioner in the afternoon.) What else rounds out the blissfulness of fall? Tax deadlines! October is the extended filing deadline for the 2018 tax season.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017 with many of its provisions taking place in 2018. As a refresher, below is a list of some of the major components relating to real estate business owners and investors. For a complete overview of the tax reform changes, check out my last blog here.

  • Expanded Bonus Depreciation – an increase from 50% depreciation to 100% bonus depreciation of certain items with a 15-year life or less
  • Qualified Business Income Deduction – 20% of the taxable income generated from a business could be eligible for a deduction pending multiple limitations
  • Property Tax Deduction – remained in place for real property trade or businesses
  • Interest Expense from Loans – remains deductible for entities generating less than $25 million in gross receipts and are not considered a tax shelter
  • 1031 Exchanges – real estate continues to benefit from 1031 exchanges

With our first filing season behind us, we’ve seen firsthand how these reforms resulted in significant tax savings for our investors. In 2018, we completed a $6 million development that yielded over $1.8 million in year one depreciation expense. Prior to the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, only $900,000 of depreciation would have been allowed in year one, with the remaining amount spread across 5, 7 and 15 years.  

For individuals, many investors benefitted from the new Form 1040: Line 9 – Qualified Business Income Deduction. This tax revision now offers some tax relief for rental real estate entities rising to the level of a trade or business. The deduction, referenced in bullet point #2 above, provides a 20% deduction from taxable income generated from your qualified trade or business investments. This new deduction has brought about substantial tax savings for individuals, sometimes resulting in the thousands of dollars. This deduction will remain in place through 12/31/2025. 

Evidently, real estate investments do provide some tax and asset diversification benefits. When asked about real estate as an investment alternative, Randy Waesche, CFP, of Resource Management, said, “Many of my investors seek real estate as an alternative to stocks and bonds. It adds a level of diversification in asset class, as well as a different risk and return profile. On a risk vs. return basis, investors are seeking real estate for the 6-8% tax-deferred annual distribution that is significantly higher than a short-term municipal bond or ten-year treasury yield. Real estate has many attractive investment qualities. In the low inflation, low growth economic environment we have today, strong tax-deferred returns are attractive for investors. My clients invest tens of millions of dollars in real estate annually.”

As we have previously reported, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act has been beneficial for the real estate industry and we expect it to continue to spur opportunity in the real estate market. At Stirling Properties, we will also continue to find ways to benefit our investors and real estate assets.

Disclaimer: The information contained herein is intended for information purposes only. Individuals should seek advice directly from a qualified professional before making any decisions or taking any action that might affect your personal finances or your business. Stirling Properties is not responsible for any investment or monetary decisions made based on the information provided above and is not a tax advisor. The information provided above was done so with the perceived intent of the legislation and not based on the actual regulations. The actual regulations could yield significantly different results.

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