Incorporation and Rental Property
Ask the Real Estate Lawyer: Real Estate Law Q&A
By Ilyce R. Glink and Samuel J. Tamkin
Summary: What are the advantages of putting rental property into a solely-owned corporation? Can incorporation somehow help pay down a mortgage faster? Ilyce Glink and Sam Tamkin provide real estate advice to a reader whose accountant recommends incorporation.
Q. Last year I purchased a home that is presently rented. I have been paying down the mortgage and want to be mortgage-free within 8 years. My accountant convinced me to quit claim the property to my solely-owned corporation.
He says that if I hold the property inside my corporation, I could pay down mortgage, collect rent, pay insurance premiums and real estate taxes with untaxed funds.
What are the ramifications of doing what he proposed down the road?
(article continues below useful links)
A: Itís hard to second guess what your accountant had in mind when he suggested that you transfer your rental property into your corporation. He may be trying to protect your assets by having your rental property be held by a corporation.
When you own property in a corporation, an owner may shield himself or herself from various kinds of personal liabilities and to a degree there is wisdom in the transfer proposed by your accountant.
You did not mention whether your accountant set up your corporation in such a way for tax purposes that the tax liabilities and gains from the corporation flow directly to your personal tax return. Depending on how many properties you own and what business you are in, your accountant may be trying to create a business for you in which you may be entitled to greater tax benefits by holding the property in a corporation.
Since you donít seem to completely understand what your accountant has proposed, you should talk to another accountant or real estate attorney for a second opinion. And, you should ask both your accountant and attorney all of the questions you have relating to future tax benefits or problems of having your corporation own the property rather than you personally.
Samuel J. Tamkin is a Chicago-based real estate attorney. Ilyce R. Glinkís latest book is 50 Ilyce R. Glinkís latest book is The REAL U Guide to Bank Accounts and Credit Cards. If you have questions for them, write: Real Estate Matters Syndicate, PO Box 366, Glencoe, IL 60022 or contact them through Ilyceís website www.thinkglink.com