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Will Real Estate Investors Benefit from Tax Changes?

December 21, 2017

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Will Real Estate Investors Benefit from Tax Changes?

December 20, 2017 | Beth Glavosek | Blue Vault

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Now that the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” has been passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, investors in real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other alternative real estate investments may stand to benefit.

Tax benefits are part of REITs’ appeal, so it’s fair to wonder how any changes in tax code would affect these investments. Here’s a short list of some of the implications.

Reduction in taxes on dividends/distributions

REIT shareholders who now pay the top income tax rate of 39.6% on dividends they receive would see that rate drop to 29.6%, according to Nareit, formerly the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts. “Clearly this is a deduction that will lower the overall tax rate for individuals who invest in REITs,” said Dianne Umberger, REIT lead for Ernst & Young’s National Tax Department, as quoted in the Wall Street Journal this week. Note: the tax rate on any capital gains remains unchanged.

Like-Kind Exchanges Remain for Real Estate

The bill in its current form preserves the tax advantages of 1031 (like kind) exchanges for real estate properties. This is good news for those who need to relocate or upgrade into assets that better meet their business needs. However, 1031 benefits have been eliminated for other categories of investments like art and collectibles.

Asset Depreciation Schedules May Spur New Construction

According to Reis, businesses will be able to immediately expense many asset purchases; after five years of 100% expensing, the rate will phase out at 80%/60%/40%/20% rates over the ensuing four years.

As the implications from this tax bill unfold, Blue Vault will report updates as we receive them.

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