Today’s Flash Back Friday comes from Episode 367, originally published in March 2014.
Mike Murphy of the CPA firm Murphy, Murphy, & Murphy is one of the lauded experts invited to speak at the 2014 version of Meet the Masters of Income Property Investing back in January. The topic is one near, dear, and feared by property investors – real estate taxes.
There’s an old saying, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Taxes are a fact of life. Although the prospect of dealing with taxes is not especially appealing, Jason has been extolling the tax benefits associated with rental real estate for years. As America’s most tax-favored asset, it can put money back in your pocket (or keep it from ever leaving in the first place) better than anything else.
Mike delves into a topic that often confounds our best attempts to understand it. According to current U.S. tax laws, virtually any funds an investor directs toward maintaining or improving an investment property can be tax deductible. Some deductions can also apply to periods of vacancy – the so-called Passive Activity Loss Break – as well as non-cash write-offs for the simple depreciation of the structure itself, calculated over the period of almost three decades.
An important point Murphy makes early is that an investment property is broken down into two components: land and the structures on the land. While the cost of the land itself isn’t tax deductible, the structure is, which means the residential building you buy in order to rent out to a tenant. Tax breaks flow from the structure, and here are several you need to understand as an investor.