What is a REIT? REIT Tax Advantages CPA Firms Atlanta GA

The Basics Of Reit Taxation

Return of capital, or net distributions in excess of the REIT’s earnings and profits, are not taxed as ordinary income, but instead applied to reduce the shareholder’s cost basis in the stock. When the shares are eventually sold, the difference between the share price and reduced tax basis is taxed as a capital gain. Another portion of REIT dividends may consist of capital gains. This occurs when the company sells one of its real estate assets and realizes a profit. Whether the capital gains are deemed short-term or long-term depends on the length of time the REIT company owned that particular asset before it was sold. If the asset was held for less than one year, the shareholder’s short-term capital gains liability is the same as their marginal tax rate.

  • Though they weren’t taxed on the corporate level, they are taxed on the individual level.
  • Return of capital, or net distributions in excess of the REIT’s earnings and profits, are not taxed as ordinary income, but instead applied to reduce the shareholder’s cost basis in the stock.
  • These distributions are commonly made by way of dividend payments.
  • Similarly, the REIT may issue debt obligations .
  • All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or economic conditions.
  • Capital gains distributions occur when a REIT sells real estate assets and realizes a profit.

For provisions relating to excise tax based on certain real estate investment trust taxable income not distributed during the taxable year, see section 4981. The aggregate amount of dividends designated by a real estate investment trust under subsections and with respect to any taxable year may not exceed the dividends paid by such trust with respect to such year. For purposes of the preceding sentence, dividends paid after the close of the taxable year described in section 858 shall be treated as paid with respect to such year. Not to worry – the 1099-DIV form will parse out how much of your total distributions will be subject to ordinary income tax versus capital gains tax . Real estate investment trusts (“REITs”) allow individuals to invest in large-scale, income-producing real estate. A REIT is a company that owns and typically operates income-producing real estate or related assets.


Globally, REITs are available in as many as 37 countries and have surpassed $1.7 trillion in market capitalization. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market or economic conditions.

However, a REIT that issues multiple classes of debt may be subjected to unfavorable tax consequences, much like those applicable to the holder of a residual interest in a REMIC. However, most investors are likely still better off holding REITs in non-taxable accounts such as 401s and Roth IRAs.

REITs, dividends and UK tax

Prior to forming Streitwise, Mr. Karsh was an Acquisitions Analyst for Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and the Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds, where he was responsible for underwriting, structuring and executing value-add and opportunistic transactions. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Basics Of Reit Taxation

If the REIT held the property for more than one year, long-term capital gains rates apply; investors in the 10% or 15% tax brackets pay no long-term capital gains taxes, while those in all but the highest income bracket will pay 15%. Shareholders who fall into the highest income tax bracket, currently 37%, will pay 20% for long-term capital gains. Avoiding the two tiers of taxation imposed by the Code on “regular” or “C” corporations is an important business planning technique in the United States. The C corporation is taxed on its income with no deduction for its dividends paid to shareholders,13 a nd the shareholder is taxed on the dividends received from the corporation.14 T hus, generally the dividend is taxed to both the corporation and the shareholder. If the partnership goes public in order to obtain capital, its income will similarly be subject to two tiers of income tax.

Understanding fees and taxes

In turn, REITs typically don’t pay any corporate income taxes because their earnings have been passed along as dividend payments. For REITs, dividend distributions for tax purposes are allocated to ordinary income, capital gains and return of capital, each of which may be taxed at a different rate. All public companies, including REITs, are required early in the year to provide shareholders with information clarifying how the prior year’s dividends should be allocated for tax purposes. Ahistorical recordof the allocation of REIT distributions between ordinary income, return of capital and capital gains can be found in theIndustry Datasection. In addition, a portion of the dividend may be listed as a nontaxable return of capital.

  • The non-qualified nature of most REIT dividends means that the majority of their payouts are generally taxed at ordinary income rates rather than the lower long-term capital gains rate that applies to qualified dividends.
  • A copy of the prospectus must be made available to you in connection with any offering.
  • Since their introduction in 1960, REITS have grown in popularity and are commonplace in real estate property ventures, including multi-family residential, industrial, retail, office, self-storage, single-family housing and others.
  • 1099-DIV form summarizing the growth of the principal investment as well as the cumulative dividend payouts for that tax year.
  • REITs are subject to the normal stamp duty land tax rules in relation to property transactions.
  • Those dividends are therefore not taxed at the corporate level before distribution.
  • Statements contained in this sales material that are not historical facts are based on our current expectations, estimates, projections, opinions or beliefs.

A capital gain dividend shall be treated by the shareholders or holders of beneficial interests as a gain from the sale or exchange of a capital asset held for more than 1 year. That means investors may have sold out of their REIT stake at a loss. Filers can subtract up to $3,000 worth of capital losses from their taxable income per year.

Why Are REIT Dividend Yields so High?

Moore Colson, an Atlanta-based Certified Public Accountant, is a top award-winning tax, audit and consulting firm that focuses on serving the needs of mid-market and Fortune 500 companies. In addition to providing employee benefit plan and 401 audits, we offer innovative and practical solutions to the real estate, construction, healthcare, transportation, manufacturing and convenience store industries.

The Basics Of Reit Taxation

Lower rents and occupancy rates may negatively impact REITs. REITs can serve as an effective hedge against rising inflation rates.

The presence of a REIT is very attractive to tax-exempt investors. While these investors are generally exempt from paying federal tax by definition, many may still be subject to unrelated business income tax on their share of debt-financed real estate income. For dividends categorized as ordinary income, the rate at which you are taxed will vary based on your income and tax bracket. For example, if your taxable income was $50,000 in 2021, you’d be taxed at a rate of 22% for ordinary income distributions paid that year. Publicly-traded REITs are registered with the SEC and are publicly traded on a stock exchange. Non-exchange traded REITS are registered with the SEC, but are not publicly traded.

We cannot ensure the accuracy of the data provided from any Solicitor. “EisnerAmper” is the brand name under which EisnerAmper LLP and Eisner Advisory Group LLC, independently owned entities, provide professional services in an alternative practice structure in accordance with applicable The Basics Of Reit Taxation professional standards. EisnerAmper LLP is a licensed CPA firm that provides attest services, and Eisner Advisory Group LLC and its subsidiary entities provide tax and business consulting services. If you invest directly into a REIT, the REIT will issue you a 1099-DIV.

Compliant REITs are not required to pay corporate taxes. The REIT shareholders remit tax on ordinary and capital gain dividend income at their respective tax rates. REIT investors can deduct up to 20% of ordinary dividends before income tax is assessed. In exchange for the requirement that REITs https://turbo-tax.org/ distribute nearly all of their taxable income, federal law allows REITs to deduct the dividends paid to shareholders. Those dividends are therefore not taxed at the corporate level before distribution. If REITs retain any taxable income, they pay corporate tax just like other corporations.

As such, it is imperative you speak with your trusted business advisor. Nevertheless, the REIT structure can be an advantageous component of a real estate enterprise.

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