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How to Establish A Company Structure for Real Estate Portfolios

Any business decision you make, especially directly related to your finances and business structure, should be made with a defined cost, benefit and purpose. The focus should be on maximizing your time and money by focusing on how much money you are saving versus the time it took to save that money.

One of the first decisions an investor makes when structuring a real estate portfolio is which entity is best suited for their investment goals. There is no “one size fits all” investment strategy that works for all real estate investors. However, there are common types of entities that are most used to invest in real estate.

Limited Liability Company

A limited liability company, also known as an LLC, is typically the best entity for real estate and mortgage investors that follow a “buy and hold” strategy for their investments. When an investor buys and holds real estate property, it is considered a capital asset. In most states, including North and South Carolina, the ownership of real estate does not enact the transaction of business. This choice is typically the most beneficial for long-term investors.

Limited Partnership

To have a limited partnership, there must be one or more general and limited partners for the purpose of a business venture. Typically, the general partners are responsible for managing the investment while limited partners handle the capital invested into the partnership.

One of the advantages of this entity ability to invest funds and let the general partner manage the everyday tasks associated with the operation. In addition to the limited liability and duties that investors have, there are also tax benefits, such being able to pass through tax losses, providing greater diversification, and allowing flexibility in allocating gains and loses amount partners.

S Corporation

Flipping properties has become quite the trend in recent years and is a great way for investors to profit. When real estate properties are flipped, they then are considered an inventory and the investor is technically a dealer. However, a real estate dealer is vastly different from a real estate investor.

For real estate investors that flip properties, it is best to form an S Corporation, as this allows them to avoid self-employment or social security taxes on a portion of the profits received from flipping real estate.

Multiple Entities

In the situations that real estate investors plan to flip some properties and hold others for a longer term or are syndicating funds and will be managing properties, they should consider forming at least one S corporation and at least one LLC to own property long term. Mixing real estate investment strategies in the same entity should never be done as it can lead to problems.

Additional Company Documents

After your CPA has established your Articles of Organization and EIN to set up your companies, they will also draft your company’s operating agreement and resolutions.

An operating agreement is a key document used by LLCs because it outlines the business’ financial and functional decisions including rules, regulations and provisions. The purpose of the document is to govern the internal operations of the business in a way that suits the specific needs of the business owners. Once the document is signed by the members of the limited liability company, it acts as an official contract binding them to its terms.

An operating agreement is similar in function to corporate by-laws, or analogous to a partnership agreement in multi-member LLCs. In single-member LLCs, an operating agreement is a declaration of the structure that the member has chosen for the company and sometimes used to prove in court that the LLC structure is separate from that of the individual owner and thus necessary so that the owner has documentation to prove that he or she is indeed separate from the entity itself. Most states do not require operating agreements. However, an operating agreement is highly recommended for multi-member LLCs because it structures your LLC’s finances and organization and provides rules and regulations for smooth operation.

A resolution is a written document that describes some action by the owners or managers of a company. Corporations are required by state law to make resolutions, which are routinely prepared regarding the actions of the board of directors and sometimes regarding shareholder actions. Although an LLC is not required by law to make resolutions, sometimes there are practical business reasons for an LLC resolution.

Professional CPAs can assist investors with setting these companies up by advising on your optimal structure and filing the applicable documents. Contact your local CPA to learn more.

Here at Camuso CPA, we do have the ability to offer advisory on your optimal structure and preparation services for the applicable documents along with other powerful tax planning tools to our clients.

If you are interested into how this service might benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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What To Do If You Still Have Not Reported Cryptocurrency Taxes This Year

With an exponential gain in value and thousands of businesses now accepting it as a form of payment, Bitcoin has quickly become one of the trending topics throughout the country. While there are various types of cryptocurrency out there, Bitcoin is currently the most popular form of digital currency (also known as virtual or cryptocurrency) throughout the world and is able to be exchanged for U.S dollars, Euros, and other real currency. In addition, Bitcoin can be traded for other virtual currencies, such as Ripple or Ethereum currency.

Whether people use cryptocurrencies to pay for products and services or strictly for investment purposes, they may not be aware that they have a possible taxable impact. If you have not reported your cryptocurrency taxes this year, you are not alone. In this article, we are going to review cryptocurrency and taxes, as well as what to do it you still have not reported them.

Before diving into the details of digital currency and taxes, we wanted to ensure our readers that while this article provides helpful and detailed information, it does not constitute professional financial counsel and should not be used as a replacement for tax advice from professional CPA firms. As such, we recommend reaching out to local CPA firms for individualized service that is tailored to your unique tax situation.

Do You Have To Pay Cryptocurrency Taxes?

In the past, many cryptocurrency investors pocketed profits and avoided taxation by selling virtual currency and putting the money made back into other digital tokens. This method, and loophole so to speak, is known as a like-kind exchange. However, with the value of cryptocurrency taking off this past year, along with the profits of investors, the IRS is holding it down come tax season. In addition to closing this loophole that many crypto holders used, the IRS has stated that cryptocurrency is considered property and that selling digital currency should be reported as a capital gain or loss. But what does this mean? Well, this means that selling certain virtual currencies in exchange for another virtual coin, or even using cryptocurrency to buy goods and services, is considered taxable and therefore should be reported come tax season. It is mandated by law that you pay taxes on those earnings.

What Happens If You Do Not Report Cryptocurrency Capital Gains?

Some cryptocurrency investors, despite the IRS’s warnings, still choose to hide their profits by not reporting their capital gains from virtual currencies. This is no surprise, especially after a past survey revealed that over 35 percent of cryptocurrency owners claimed they do not plan on reporting any gains or losses on their tax return. What many investors in this percentage may not be aware of is that not reporting their capital gains and losses is a form of blatant tax fraud. Purposefully hiding profits and failing to report capital gains can enable the IRS to enforce numerous penalties, such as criminal prosecution, which is generally used in more extreme cases that involve larger profits and capital gains. Those that commit this tax fraud can potentially face up to five years in prison. What’s more, there is generally a fine up to $250,000. Similarly, crypto investors that purposely file a false tax return to hide capital gains may have to pay a $250,000 fine, as well as face up to three years in prison.

Of course, keeping track of all of the transactions made with virtual currency is not always easy. There are not any promises that distributed digital currency exchanges are going to send a Form 1099 that details your trades as well as your profits and losses. Not to mention, if virtual coins were used to pay for goods and services, that is a taxable transaction that you will have to handle entirely on your own. While crypto transactions can be complex, the IRS and government fully expect us to comply with the set tax guidelines for cryptocurrency. Failing to do so can lead to further complications and issues down the like.

What If You Didn’t Report Capital Gains From Cryptocurrency?

Failing to report your capital gains is something that happens more often than people think, whether it is accidental or purposely. However, reporting these gains is the law and should be done to avoid any trouble. If you failed to report any income or capital gains on your taxes, or if you are uncertain whether or not you compiled within the guidelines set by the IRS, there are certain steps you can take to reduce the risk of being fined, or worse, facing criminal penalties. The right thing to do in this situation is to file your tax return immediately and pay as much tax owed as possible to avoid any additional penalties. While it is dependant on which reporting requirements you are subject to, in addition to the nature of the noncompliance, if you did not report your capital gains it may be best to:

  • Create a corrected Form W-2 using Form W-2c if you paid people with cryptocurrency
  • File a corrected Form 1099-MISC if you paid independent contractors with digital currency.
  • File an FBAR, or a Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts to disclose foreign digital currency wallets.
  • Enroll in the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program to help reduce any potential fines and penalties and avoid jail time.
  • Get help from a local tax consultant.

While taking these steps can potentially help reduce any fines and penalties, or even protect you from criminal prosecution, if you still have not reported your cryptocurrency income and capital gains, it is vital that you discuss your situation with an experienced tax CPA that specializes in Bitcoin and other digital currencies. If you have questions about reporting virtual currencies on your taxes, a certified CPA should be able to assist you.

What Happens If You Owe and Do Not File or Pay Your Taxes?

When your taxes are late or not paid, the IRS will assess a  failure-to-pay penalty. This penalty goes into effect after the regular due date. Typically these penalties are a certain interest charge of the balance due for each month or part of a month you are late.

Once the IRS discovers that your taxes are late, they will begin to send you computer paragraph (CP) notices. These notices will show how much you owe and demand immediate payment. If no actions are taken, the notices will continue to pop up in your mailbox for two to six months. If you avoid the notices and still do not pay the owed taxes, the following can occur.

Tax Levy

When the IRS seizes your assets, it is known as a tax levy. A tax levy only happens when all forms of communication and arrangements are ignored. The final notice will be sent at least 30 days before further action is taken.

Wage Garnishment

A wage garnishment, also known as a wage levy, is when the IRS contacts your employment provider and demand a portion of your paycheck. This will occur during every pay period until the taxes are paid in full or a payment agreement with the IRS is reached.

Bank Levy

A bank levy is when the IRS contacts your bank. When this happens, your bank will instantly freeze your accounts so you are unable to take money out. If arrangements are not made, the bank will send money to the IRS about three weeks later. This of course is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Asset Seizure

The IRS has the ability to seize various assets like vehicles, houses, boats, and other assets if the owed taxes are not paid and an agreement has not been reached. This is something you will want to avoid, as getting seized property back can often be a long and difficult process.

Passport Revocation or Suspension

Many people don’t know this, but the IRS can revoke or suspend the passports of delinquent taxpayers who owe more than $50,000 in taxes (including interest and other non-payment penalties). Not to mention, the State Department will likely not issue or renew your passport if you owe more than 50K.

Criminal Prosecution

If you continue to file a tax return year after year, or you avoid paying the taxes that you owe you could be faced with criminal charges. Criminal prosecution is typically tied to tax evasion or tax fraud and since the government prefers working with non-compliant taxpayers. Since proof of intent to defraud is hard to prove, the IRS looks will generally search for patterns of abuse before taking any case to a criminal investigation

Again, if you fail to pay your taxes, most of these penalties and negative consequences can be prevented by working with a tax professional or the IRS directly.

 

If you searching for local CPA firms in Charlotte to assist you with reporting cryptocurrency income and capital gains, contact Camuso CPA. Whether you need tax preparation services, assistance with properly reporting gains and income from virtual currencies on your taxes, cryptocurrency portfolio analysis, or any other service provided by a certified accountant, Camuso CPA can help.

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Portugal Provides Highly Anticipated Tax Clarity for the EU

The Portuguese Tax Authority (PTA) is one of few countries that has taken specific steps to create a framework defined framework for cryptocurrency taxation, helping to provide a great amount of clarity on the murky subject.

This came a result of an unidentified company seeking guidance on whether or not its token was covered by value added tax (VAT) exemptions similar to what are offered for legal tender. The announcement, like most tax provisions, contain general provisions and exemptions as noted below:

Transactions that contain a token could, in principle, be considered as a critical transfer of goods and result in a VAT liability. However, the PTA acknowledged that the digital coins could be eligible for the legal tender VAT exemption.

The PTA explained that the exemption would only be applicable in instances where the transfer of the tokens occurs in an alternate form of payment. This means that, the tokens most likely would be exempt if they are exchanged using a defined legal currency.

Since the VAT system is used among all European Union (EU) member states, the decision by the PTA most likely will be mirrored throughout EU states. This is a large step forward for the global crypto-community who is looking to move the industry forward by aligning with new regulations for mainstream adoption.

Are you looking for a CPA in for cryptocurrency tax help? Give Camuso CPA a call today. We also offer a host of other tax services for your benefit. For more information on how our services can help you, please do not hesitate to give us a call at your earliest convenience. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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AICPA Requests Further Guidance From IRS on Cryptocurrency

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants which is the world’s largest association of accounting professionals asked the IRS to issue immediate, updated guidance regarding the tax treatment of cryptocurrency transactions.  The first IRS tax guidance for cryptocurrencies was introduced March 2014, few CPAs have done comprehensive analyses of the record-keeping and enforcement challenges that will arise from the IRS designation of Bitcoin as property rather than currency.

The AICPA’s submission to the IRS includes suggested Frequently Asked Questions that address the following areas:

  1. Expenses of obtaining virtual currency
  2. Acceptable valuation and documentation
  3. Computation of gains and losses
  4. Need for a de minimis election
  5. Valuation for charitable contribution purposes
  6. Virtual currency events
  7. Virtual currency held and used by a dealer
  8. Traders and dealers of virtual currency
  9. Treatment under Sec. 1031
  10. Treatment under Sec. 453
  11. Holding virtual currency in a retirement account
  12. Foreign reporting requirements for virtual currency

The lack of guidance around the taxation of cryptocurrencies pose uncertainties to the taxation of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology transactions. Additional guidance is largely overdue. Our team along with industry participants are awaiting answers and clarification from the IRS.

Are you looking for a CPA in for cryptocurrency tax help? Give Camuso CPA a call today. We also offer a host of other tax services for your benefit. For more information on how our services can help you, please do not hesitate to give us a call at your earliest convenience. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Cryptocurrencies as Property & Why People Haven’t Been Reporting

Here at Camuso CPA, we offer cryptocurrency tax services in Charlotte. Cryptocurrencies are an exciting new currency medium that is fast gaining popularity. However, as a new monetary medium, there is a lot of grey area come tax season. The last thing any good investor wants is to be scrutinized by the IRS, and that is fast becoming a real possibility as cryptocurrencies become more mainstream. Here, we will go over why many people haven’t yet reported their cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS, and why they should.

Why haven’t people been reporting their cryptocurrencies?

According to the personal financial service Credit Karma, only about 0.04 percent (or 100 citizens out of 250,000) of United States citizens reported their cryptocurrency transactions to the IRS as of February 13. The Tax General Manager of Credit Karma, Jagjit Chawla, did not express surprise at this low number, stating that people with more convoluted tax situations (like those performing cryptocurrency transactions) generally file later in the season. However, he added that the numbers did seem low considering how mainstream cryptocurrencies have become.

Cryptocurrencies as property

Back in March of 2014, the IRS began providing some guidance for the taxation of Bitcoin, one of the most popular and mainstream cryptocurrencies. Because of these guidelines, cryptocurrencies are treated as property rather than currency. Like all taxed property, when you report cryptocurrency to the IRS, what you owe will be based off of the price you bought it at, the price you sold it at, and the change in value between when you bought and sold it. Many experts believe this is not the ideal designation for cryptocurrencies, and may even become a deterrent in their adoption. Trader Brandon Williams, for instance, told CNBC that he thought it would be better to treat cryptocurrencies as currency.

In fact, Williams also argued that the small amount of cryptocurrency traders who have filed them in their taxes is due specifically because of the difficulties of treating cryptocurrencies as property rather than currency. For instance, he states that if a person makes more than two trades a day, they can expect to spend three to four hours every two weeks just tracking gains and losses while taking into account volumes and volatility.

With such a laundry list of tasks necessary just to file taxes properly, it’s no wonder most cryptocurrency traders haven’t filed yet. However, they must file if they don’t want to be audited by the IRS. Due to the novel and complicated nature of cryptocurrencies, the best and most efficient way to ensure you have your taxes done properly is to hire a professional CPA knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies.

If you are looking for qualified crytpocurrency tax services in Charlotte, Camuso CPA can help! Please feel free to give us a call for more information about our cryptocurrency and other tax services. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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1099-K From Coinbase: What To Do

Here at Camuso CPA, we offer cryptocurrency tax help in Charlotte. Cryptocurrencies are a new monetary medium that are taking the world by storm, and are becoming more widely accepted each and every day. Unfortunately, come tax season, that can leave earners in the dark with how to report income from this new currency medium. That is where we come in! We have the knowledge base and experience necessary to navigate the tricky tax regulations for cryptocurrencies. For more information, feel free to give us a call. In the meantime, we’ll go over your 1099-K from Coinbase, and what to do with it.

What is a 1099-K?

A 1099-K is a form used for tax purposes to report both credit card and other third party payments that you received during the last tax year. Any third party payments made for over 20,000 dollars, or that has made 200 or more transactions, must legally be reported on a 1099-K. If you have been using the cryptocurrency market Coinbase, they should send you a 1099-K once you meet those requirements.

Your 1099-K doesn’t include all pertinent tax information. For instance, the gross amount reported does not include adjustments, gains, or losses that may need to be reported to the IRS. Put another way, the 1099-K lists the dollar amount and date of each cryptocurrency transaction. Because it only lists these totals, it cannot be used to determine how much you will need to pay in capital gains taxes.

What is I didn’t get a 1099-K from Coinbase?

If you did not meet the requirements listed above, then Coinbase did not send a 1099-K. However, this does not mean that you do not have to report your capital games come tax season. Any and all cryptocurrency investments, as well as the spending of cryptocurrencies on goods and services, are subject to taxation.

Reporting Cryptocurrency

To report cryptocurrency, you need to figure out your cost basis, which is the amount you paid for the cryptocurrency when you purchased it. Like almost all capital assets, the tax rate depends both on the price you acquired and sold your cryptocurrency for, but also the time that elapsed between buying and selling, and the changes in the cryptocurrency value during that time. While some investors do try to do their own cryptocurrency taxes, the regulations are still being worked on, and are constantly changing. This can create problems with your taxes, and nobody wants to deal with problems when it comes to the IRS. Instead, you can hire out to a professional CPA who specializes in cryptocurrencies, like you’ll find here at Camuso CPA.

Want cryptocurrency tax help in Charlotte? We can help! Please feel free to give us a call at your earliest convenience for more information about how our tax services can benefit you. We offer many other CPA services for you to take advantage of as well. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Accelerate Your Financial Retirement With Cash Balance Plans

How it Works

Cash balance plans offer owner-employees in professional practices a vehicle to defer tax on income more than the annual contribution limits of traditional Sec. 401(k) and profit sharing plans. Professional practices currently account for the highest use of cash balance plans, with the highest concentration in the medical field. Cash balance plans are appealing to this demographic of doctors, dentists, lawyers, and accountants because these professionals often larger annual salaries and get a later start in accumulating personal retirement savings.

Benefits

One valuable method of tax deferral is contributing to a retirement plan. Federal tax limits on contributions to Sec. 401(k) and profit sharing plans limit benefits that can be realized from this tax-planning strategy. The maximum contribution into defined contribution plans is $54,000 in 2017.

Since cash balance plans are considered defined benefit plans contributions are not subject to this federal tax limit. The limitation on cash balance plans is on the annual payout the plan participant may receive at retirement. To optimize tax deferral and retirement savings, a cash balance plan can be used in conjunction with a Sec. 401(k) plan and a profit sharing plan.

Additional Benefits

Cash balance plans offer the added benefit of allowing the taxpayer to make significant retirement contributions over a compressed period.

Important Considerations

Owner-employees of professional practices can realize significant tax savings by using a cash balance plan but should undertake a comprehensive retirement and business analysis with a top-tier firm like Camuso CPA to determine whether it is appropriate for them.

Entities with established cash balance plans must pay into them every year, so cash balance plans are more suitable for established practices with a steady cash flow.

Although the annual pay-in does not have to equal the sum of the principal credits, the business must still meet the same minimum funding requirements as other defined benefit plans.

Cash benefit plans can also be costly to administer since businesses bear the costs of working with actuaries to determine pay-in amounts in addition to costs of general fund management.

When establishing a cash balance plan, it is also important to consider the effect of participation by non-owner employees during financial planning.

Consult with a trusted CPA before executing investment decisions or initiating any substantial changes to your retirement and investment plans. CPAs know your finances better than any other advisor and should have the expertise and network to offer valuable, preemptive recommendations. Investors and business owners of all types should look for an advisor that serves as a partner; an ideal CPA is a financial expert with companies within your industry that can provide ongoing financial and business advice when you need it most.

Camuso CPA PLLC’s focus and specialization delivers a unique perspective on best industry practices to provide the most value to clients. Contact us today for financial and tax planning and get your finances in order: https://www.camusocpa.com/contact/#/

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Common Questions Regarding Charitable Remainder Trusts

Do I have to take the income now?

You can set up the trust and take the income tax deduction now, but postpone taking the income until later. By then, with good management, the trust assets could have appreciated considerably in value, potentially resulting in more income for you

How is the income tax deduction determined?

The deduction is based on the amount of income received, the type and value of the asset, the ages of the people receiving the income, and the Section 7520 rate, which fluctuates.

It is usually limited to 30% of adjusted gross income, but can vary from 20% to 50%, depending on how the IRS defines the charity and the type of asset. If you can’t use the full deduction the first year, you can carry it forward for up to five additional years. Depending on your tax bracket, type of asset and type of charity, the charitable deduction could possibly reduce your income taxes by 10%, 20%, 30% or in some cases even more.

Who should be the trustee?

You can be your own trustee. But you must be sure the trust is administered properly—otherwise, you could lose the tax advantages and/or be penalized.

Most people who name themselves as trustee have the paperwork handled by a qualified third party administrator.

However, because of the experience required with investments, accounting and government reporting, some people select a corporate trustee (a bank or trust company that specializes in managing trust assets) as trustee. Some charities are also willing to be trustees.

Before naming a trustee, it’s a good idea to interview several and consider their investment performance, services and experience with these trusts.

 

Sounds great for me. But if I give away the asset, what about my children?

If you are concerned about replacing the value of the assets that you place into the charitable remainder trust for your children you can take the income tax savings, and part of the income you receive from the charitable remainder trust, and fund an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) or what is referred to as a Wealth Replacement Trust. The trustee of the insurance trust could then purchase enough life insurance to replace the full value of the asset, or more, for your children or other beneficiaries from the income generated.

 

What are my income choices?

You can receive a fixed percentage of the trust assets which is referred to as a unitrust. The amount of your annual income will fluctuate depending on investment performance and the annual value of the trust.

The trust will be re-valued at the beginning of each year to determine the dollar amount of income you will receive. If the trust is well managed, it can grow quickly because the trust assets grow tax-free. The amount of your income could increase assuming the value of the trust grows.

Sometimes the assets contributed to the trust, like real estate or stock in a closely-held corporation, are not readily marketable, so income is difficult to pay. In that case, the trust can be designed to pay the lesser of the fixed percentage of the trust’s assets or the actual income earned by the trust. A provision is usually included so that if the trust has an off year, it can make up any loss of income in a better year.

You can elect instead to receive a fixed income, in which case the trust would be called a charitable remainder annuity trust. This means that, regardless of the trust’s performance, your income will not change.

 

Who can receive income from the trust?

Trust income, which is generally taxable in the year it is received, can be paid to you for your lifetime. If you are married, it can be paid for as long as either of you lives.

 

The income can also be paid to your children for their lifetimes or to any other person or entity you wish, providing the trust meets certain requirements. In addition, there are gift and estate tax considerations if someone other than you receives it. Instead of lasting for someone’s lifetime, the trust can also exist for a set number of years (up to 20).

 

Do I have to take the income now?

No. You can set up the trust and take the income tax deduction now, but postpone taking the income until later. By then, with good management, the trust assets could have appreciated considerably in value, potentially resulting in more income for you

 

How is the income tax deduction determined?

The deduction is based on the amount of income received, the type and value of the asset, the ages of the people receiving the income, and the Section 7520 rate, which fluctuates. (Our example is based on a 3.0% Section 7520 rate.) Generally, the higher the payout rate, the lower the deduction.

 

It is usually limited to 30% of adjusted gross income, but can vary from 20% to 50%, depending on how the IRS defines the charity and the type of asset. If you can’t use the full deduction the first year, you can carry it forward for up to five additional years. Depending on your tax bracket, type of asset and type of charity, the charitable deduction could possibly reduce your income taxes by 10%, 20%, 30% or in some cases even more.

 

What kinds of assets are suitable?

The best assets are those that have greatly appreciated in value since you purchased them, specifically publicly traded securities, real estate and stock in some closely-held corporations. (S-corp stock does not qualify. Mortgaged real estate usually won’t qualify, either, but you might consider paying off the loan.) Cash can also be used.

 

Who should be the trustee?

You can be your own trustee. But you must be sure the trust is administered properly—otherwise, you could lose the tax advantages and/or be penalized. Most people who name themselves as trustee have the paperwork handled by a qualified third party administrator.

 

However, because of the experience required with investments, accounting and government reporting, some people select a corporate trustee (a bank or trust company that specializes in managing trust assets) as trustee. Some charities are also willing to be trustees.

 

Before naming a trustee, it’s a good idea to interview several and consider their investment performance, services and experience with these trusts. Remember, you are depending on the trustee to manage your trust properly and to provide you with income.

 

For more information on charitable remainder trusts, or questions about getting CPA tax help in Charlotte, give us a call today.

 

 

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Real Estate Divestment Tax Strategy: Charitable Remainder Unitrusts

For many individuals and investors, real estate represents the largest portion of their net worth. Real estate has been a popular investment tool both for income and long-term appreciation. Individuals or businesses intending to divest real estate have several options.

These include outright sale or donation, bequest, bargain sale, charitable gift annuity, charitable remainder trust and retained life interest. Some of the alternatives provide an income stream and may result in charitable tax deductions and the avoidance of capital gains tax.

WHAT IS A Charitable Remainder Unitrusts?

Charitable remainder unitrusts can be an effective tool for converting real estate into higher income producing assets. Charitable remainder unitrusts may accept real estate as an asset, and then pay the net income generated by the property to the trust beneficiaries or sell the property and then pay a fixed percentage of the value of the assets.

A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable trust that provides for and maintains two sets of beneficiaries. First is the income beneficiary. The income beneficiary receives a set percentage of income from the trust for life or a term of up to 20 years. The second is the charitable beneficiary. This could be one or more charitable organizations that receive the principal of the trust after the income beneficiaries pass away.

A CRUT can sell a property, reinvest the proceeds into a diversified portfolio of securities, and pay a percent of the trust value, all without any capital gains tax liability for the donor. This is a very useful tool to strategically minimize real estate taxes.

BENEFITS

Since the first beneficiary is the income beneficiary, the amount of income generated is of importance to the donor. The amount of income depends upon the payout percentage chosen and the amount of income generated within the trust. The remainder of the trust must be at least 10 percent of the fair market value of the assets transferred to the trust. That market value is determined at the time of transfer and based on the original amount of the appraised value.

The amount paid out to the income beneficiary can be 5 percent to 50 percent of the trust funds each year as long as the appropriate amount remains in the trust for the charitable beneficiary. A higher payout percentage will lower the charitable income tax deduction.

A charitable remainder trust is outside of the estate and additional assets can be added after it is established. The charitable deduction available depends on the type of property contributed and the type of charity named as the charitable beneficiary. Any deductions not used in the year of contribution can be carried forward five years.

Charitable Remainder Trusts aren’t something a investor can do internally, but rather require a CPA.

Here at Camuso CPA PLLC, we do have the ability to offer charitable remainder unitary trusts strategies along with other powerful tax planning tools to our clients. If you are interested into how this service might benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answers any questions you have.

Your personal and business finances are the foundation of your success. Contact Camuso CPA today to build your dedicated financial team: https://www.camusocpa.com/contact/#/

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What Is Cost Segregation?

Here at Camuso CPA PLLC, cost segregation is just one of the services that we provide at our firm. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, cost segregation is simply the act of identifying the assets of a business, their value, and then classifying those assets in regards to the federal tax code. It can be beneficial for many businesses, but it also has potential drawbacks. Cost segregation studies used to only be available for companies that were over a certain size with huge buildings, but nowadays much smaller companies can qualify.

Benefits

Some of the benefits possible from cost segregation include:

  • An increase in your cash flow
  • Lessened current tax liability
  • A deferral of taxes to a later date
  • The option to reclaim depreciation deductions that you missed from previous years without having to amend your tax returns

Engineering Based Cost Segregation

This type of cost segregation allows commercial real estate owners to reclassify their real property as personal property. What this does is make you depreciable tax life shorter.

The items that get identified in an engineering based cost segregation study include just about every range of building components you could think of: electrical installations, mechanical components, finishes, plumbing, etc. These get reclassified into more “shortly lived” asset categories, which can mean big savings for the business.

Time Value of Money (TVM)

Time Value of Money is an important concept in cost segregation: the whole process rests on it. Basically, the principle just states that a dollar today has more worth than a dollar at a later date. While inflation might make you think the opposite, remember that this dollar isn’t sitting buried in a suit case, but is going to be invested in the business. With cost segregation, this same property of the dollar applies to tax deductions, ie: a tax deduction today has more value than a tax deduction in the future.

That is the crux of cost segregation. You’re not actually necessarily saving a ton from lowering your depreciation, however because you have more cash now to invest in your business, the Time Value of Money results in a large net gain of profit.

Cost segregation studies aren’t something a business can do internally, but rather need a CPA for. And not just any CPA at that. The IRS Cost Segregation Audit Techniques Guide states ““Preparation of cost segregation studies requires knowledge of both the construction process and the tax law involving property classifications for depreciation purposes. In general, a study by a construction engineer is more reliable than one conducted by someone with no engineering or construction background. Experience in cost estimating and allocation, as well as knowledge of the applicable tax law, are other important criteria.”

Here at Camuso CPA PLLC, we do have the ability to offer cost segregation studies to our clients. If you are interested into how this service might benefit your business, please don’t hesitate to give us a call today. One of our friendly and knowledgeable representatives will be happy to answers any questions you have.

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