Tax and Investment Knowledge for Real Estate Investors

 As the financial and tax landscape evolves Century 21 wants you to know that we constantly strive to be able to offer insights that have value to you. Part of that effort is to provide occasional comment and direction from outside sources here on our website. Look for attributed comment here.

 For more specific insights into your Pensacola portfolio please drop us an email or pick up the phone. We are in the trenches in our local market every day and always ready to discuss your changing investment position.
 Jordan McDowell
 Broker Associate
 Century 21 Amerisouth

May 26, 2016

From Office of Douglas Tidwell,
Emerald Coast Title, Pensacola, FL

NOTE: A local case that can illustrate some advantage to holding investment properties in a corporations versus being held by a person. Emphasis added.

   I wanted to bring this to your attention, and you may want to circulate this email. A case came across my desk today that we will have little to no involvement in, but it teaches a lesson that’s better to learn from someone else’s mistake than your own.

From what I can gather, a husband and wife owned an investment property (in their own names) that they rented out. At some point in time, the house burned down and killed some or all of the tenants in the fire. Now, a big firm in town is suing the husband and wife personally. I can’t see the complaint, but it’s probably safe to say that the firm is pursuing them for negligence, and other monetary tort claims related to the loss of life.

                This case really stresses how important it is to put investment properties into a corporation (LLC or whatever). In this case, if the big firm were to obtain a judgment against the husband and wife that exceeds the subject property value, the judgment will apply to other assets owned by the husband and wife to satisfy it. Conversely, if the investment property was in an corporation, the judgment could only attach to property held by the corporation(99.9% of the time). The judgment could not attach to them personally.

May 26, 2016

From NARPM Headquarters

NOTE: Up until recently most property managers would use arrest and conviction records to exclude applicants from elegibility from rental houses. The guidelines below are based on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling anout "Disparate Impact". Jordan MCDowell

HUD Issued Fair Housing Guidance

HUD issued fair housing guidance this week in another effort to expand housing protection to individuals convicted of crimes.  On April 4, HUD issued a guidance document that could extend protections for individuals with criminal histories. This guidance builds on similar policies issued by HUD last year that only applied to public and federal-assisted housing.

The new guidance may prohibit the use of arrest records to deny residency.  Housing denials based on convictions may have to consider the nature and severity of the incident and often this will be based on a case by case basis. The guidance seeks to end blanket exclusions of prospective residents based on criminal history in favor of an approach that is more narrowly tailored to achieve property safety and security goals of neighbors and maintenance staff.

Those with criminal histories are not a protected class under the Fair Housing Act (FHA), HUD has crafted this policy using disparate impact theory. Disparate impact allows fair housing complaints to proceed where actions have a discriminatory result even if there was no intent to discriminate.

NARPM® and a coalition of other housing advocates raised questions about the operational impacts of disparate impact theory in last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling, which identified this and other screening practices as a potential source for FHA liability.

January 27, 2016

From  Hart and Associates:

Under FIRPTA, non-U.S. investors are subject to U.S. taxation on gains from the disposition of real estate in the United States. Prior to the PATH Act, FIRPTA required the withholding of 10 percent of the gross proceeds of a sale of real estate, regardless of whether the actual amount of tax due was more or less than 10 percent. The PATH Act increased the withhold rate from 10 percent to 15 percent, effective on sales occurring at least 60 days after Dec. 18, 2015. However, the 10 percent rate still applies when the purchaser acquires a personal residence and also for sales in which the purchase price does not exceed $1 million.
Best Regards,
Richard Hart EA, CAA
Hart & Associates
Tax Consulting, Preparation & IRS Audit Representation
Offices in Nevada, New York and California