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Flipping Houses Has Become A Fascinating—And Sometimes Very Fulfilling—Way To Make Money. By Taking An Ordinary House And Making It Extraordinary, You Can Make A Ton Of Cash From Improving It! All It Takes Is A Bit Of Hard Work, Style, And The Initial Investment—And Voila!—Success. Welcome To FlippingBasics.com, Your Free Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Flipping Houses. Here, You'll Find Free Resources, Articles, And Information On Our Helpful, Easy-To-Use Site.

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Flipping Has Tax Consequences
If you are looking at making a quick hundred-thousand on real estate flipping, you may find it is quick, but not as lucrative as you thought. With housing prices on the rise across the nation, flipping has become the hottest investment trend. You buy a property and quickly resell it at a higher price. Most people even believe flipping to be more lucrative than the stock market. Plus, you get the rush of making a deal. Plus there is a physical object to look at to judge your investment by. But if you aren't careful when flipping that real estate, your investment strategy could be a party that the IRS attends. Bill Rucci of Rucci, Bardaro and Barrett says that many of today's real estate...
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Tax Tips For Real Estate Investors Using Ira Funds

Stephen Nelson

You’ve seen the advertisements and news articles. IRA funds can be used to make real estate investments. But before you jump on this bandwagon, make sure you understand some of the tax planning angles related to this opportunity.

Passive Loss Deductions

Almost always, an important component of your real estate profits comes from the tax savings associated with depreciation. These paper losses, referred to as passive losses by the Internal Revenue Code, can save both small and professional real estate investors thousands of dollars a year in income taxes. Unfortunately, passive losses from depreciation and related, similar tax deductions won’t benefit real estate investors investing through IRAs.

Capital Gains Preferences

If you sell an investment for a profit—whether a stock or real estate—you get a tax break because your profit gets taxed at a preferential capital gains tax rate. In the best case scenario under current tax law, for example, your capital gains get taxed at 15% rather than at 35%.

Unfortunately, by putting real estate inside of an IRA, you lose this benefit. In effect, the appreciation you enjoy from your real estate investment gets taxed at your marginal income tax rate rather than at the capital gains rate. (Fortunately, the tax gets paid when you withdraw the money.)

Note: This “problem” also exists for other investments that produce capital gains, such as stocks and mutual funds that invest in stocks.

Unrelated Business Income Tax

In certain special circumstances, an IRA needs to pay income taxes on the profits it generates. These taxes, called unrelated business income taxes, essentially put the IRA investor in the same position as a regular taxable investor.

For example, if you’re developing and then flipping properties inside your IRA, you may actually be an active trade or business. And in this case, your real estate investment—even though it’s inside an IRA—may be subject to income taxes. (Your IRA custodian is supposed to report your taxable income and tax liability, and then pay the taxes but many don’t…)

And here’s another example of a situation where the unrelated business income tax can trip you up. If you borrow money to invest in real estate—the typical situation in any leveraged real estate investment—the profit you earn on the money you’ve borrowed is treated as unrelated business income. Accordingly, that profit is subject to unrelated business income tax.

Unrelated business income inside an IRA is taxed according to trust taxation rules, which means that as soon as you’ve made much money at all, you’re taxed at the highest marginal tax rates. Ouch.

Closing Caveats

Real estate is a great investment. And real estate belongs in any investor’s portfolio. But you need to think carefully about buying into the idea of using your IRA to make real estate investments. If you do decide to invest in real estate through your IRA, first consult with your tax advisor.

About the Author :

Delaware LLC formation author & CPA Stephen L. Nelson has written more than 150 books. Formerly an adjunct tax professor at Golden Gate University—the nation’s largest graduate tax school—Nelson is also the author of QuickBooks for Dummies. Copyright © by 2006 by Stephen L. Nelson, CPA. Contact him at http://www.llcsexplained.com/doityourself_Delaware.htm.

This article is distributed by: www.iSnare.com

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If you like the article above, you may be interested in the following article which is also related to Flipping Houses...

Flipping Houses: 5 Keys to Making Money in a Buyer's Market
Many real estate market analysts' reports scare away beginning real estate investors. For instance, you may have read my article on a recent study conducted by Global Insight and National City. That study came to the conclusion that a significant number of America's housing markets are, in the words of the study itself, "extremely overvalued." Experienced investors know this negative report translates to good news in five ways: Less competition from home buyers Extremely motivated home sellers Cooperative real estate agents Hungry loan officers Un-harried closing agents The question remains: How do you still make money flipping houses in a buyer's market? Here are five keys to open the door to your dream investment portfolio: 1. Research and Keep Records Become the EXPERT in your targeted geographical location. For beginners, this means choosing ONE area or neighborhood. Keep records of the following statistics: * How many houses for sale in your specific area? * How many sold last month? * How many days did the house sit on the market? * What did the house sell for? * How much of a discount? * What concessions did the sellers make? Call the sales agent and ask if the owner provided seller's closing costs or seller financing. Follow your real estate market. Look at houses for sale. Don't merely rely on statistics from a real estate agent, your loan officer, or closing agent. When you get a list of comparable sales, check the houses out. Drive around on "Open House" weekends and see how the houses present themselves. Whoever said "knowledge is power" knew what they were talking about when it comes to buying and selling real estate. When you know the heartbeat of your market, you will know which property will make...
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