The Internal Revenue Code contains several provisions allowing owners of real estate to both defer when their taxes are due and to classify a portion of what might otherwise be treated as income as capital gains, which are taxed at a lower rate. These benefits make real estate investing more tax efficient than investing in other income-generating products such as corporate bonds.
For example, suppose Jane invests $100,000 in the equity of a real estate asset paying 6% in annual distributions, and sells that position after 5 years at the same price. Jane receives $6,000 in distributions each year, but only owes taxes on a portion of those $6,000 payments in the years she receives them.
A portion of the distributions Jane receives is not considered income earned by the asset and is not taxable. This is primarily because the asset is permitted to claim depreciation, and because of a special additional 20% deduction available under Section 199a of the tax code.
If the taxable portion of the distributions Jane receives is 20%, she pays ordinary income taxes on $1,200 in the years she receives the $6,000 payments, and then realizes a capital gain of $24,000 (5 years x $6,000 x 80% not yet taxed) when she sells, which is taxable as a capital gain in the year she sells.
By contrast, if Jane buys a taxable bond at the same price with the same pre-tax yield, she owes ordinary income taxes on the full amount of each distribution in the years they are received.
Jane thus pays taxes on her real estate equity income both later and at a lower rate than on her taxable bond income. This generates a better after-tax return on her real estate investment compared to her taxable bond. If she pays ordinary income taxes of 37% and long-term capital gains taxes of 23.8%, she realizes significantly higher after-tax annual returns over 5 years with her real estate investment than with an investment in a taxable bond with the same pre-tax return.
Note that the precise benefits of real estate investing will vary depending on the investor’s tax profile, the amount of depreciation still available at the time of the initial investment, and other factors. Consult your tax advisor for more information.
As you think about diversifying your portfolio into Real Estate, or building onto your existing Real Estate holdings, it’s important to understand basic concepts related to Real Estate valuation. This brief overview reviews a few of the fundamental methods used to value a real estate asset.
At LEX, our mission is to empower wealth creation by solving real estate’s access and liquidity problems. Learn how investing in real estate can help you create wealth and generate income.
LEX offers a new way to invest in individual commercial real estate buildings. While we’ve designed our platform to be simple and intuitive, it’s important that our investors understand how the LEX investment process works, and how deals arrive on LEX. Here’s a brief overview of the lifecycle of a LEX deal, and what the various “stages” of assets shown on the LEX platform mean.
Our mission at LEX is to empower wealth creation by solving real estate’s access and liquidity problems. Real estate deserves liquidity, and all investors deserve access. Solving these two problems in the real estate market will enable a new generation of more widespread wealth creation.
The following feature was originally published on Bisnow.com and written by Julia Troy, in collaboration with the LEX team. We are republishing a version of it on the official LEX Blog with permission below.
Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have generally been the best available option for individual investors eyeing commercial real estate. Is that changing?