Top Tax Advantages of Investing in Real Estate

Are There Tax Benefits to Investing in Real Estate? 

Diversifying your portfolio makes sense. Also, you've discovered the potential of purchasing rental properties to generate a valuable and recurring cash flow, all while requiring minimal effort. 

Did you know it can also brighten your financial outlook during tax season? Real estate investors enjoy tax perks like write-offs, deductions, incentives, etc. Discover the tax benefits of real estate investing and unlock ways to optimize your annual savings.

Key Points

  1. Real estate investments may produce big profits, but only sometimes big taxes. 
  2. Real estate investing can magically ease your tax burden, making it much more manageable.
  3. Maximize your income from renting apartments or selling real estate while keeping most of your earnings intact. 

Tax Benefits to Investing in Real Estate in the US

Absolutely! Investing in real estate in the US comes with some sweet tax perks. These perks can trim your taxes and shrink your tax bill. Here are a few key ones:

1. Real Estate Deductions

Investing in real estate can help shrink your tax bill, adding to the long list of financial perks it offers. Deduct expenses tied to property operations, upkeep, and management.

  1. Property-related taxes and insurance
  2. Interest on a mortgage
  3. Fees for property management
  4. The building's upkeep expenses

Did you know? You can deduct a big chunk of your operating expenses for your real estate investment company. Among the qualified business costs include, but are not restricted to:

  • Promoting
  • Office area
  • Business supplies, such as computers, stationery, and business cards
  • Accounting and legal costs
  • Travel

Your taxable income is reduced by each of these deductions, potentially saving you money on your tax bill. Assume you have a $25,000 rental income and $8k in related, allowable costs. 

This indicates that you have $17,000 in taxable revenue from your real estate company. TIP: Keep complete, precise records and receipts to verify your costs if the IRS audits you.

2. Capital Gains

Selling real estate for a profit triggers capital gains taxes. Short- and long-term should be considered. Each affects your tax position differently.

  • An example of a short-term gain would be selling an asset for more than it cost in the first year. Selling may be your only choice, but it may hurt your taxes. The gain is considered normal income.

  • Suppose you make $100,000 from your employment and sell an investment property for $100,000, your taxable income doubles. When you file as a single in 2020, your income moves you to the next tax bracket, which may raise your taxes.

  • You will realize long-term capital gains when you sell an asset you have owned for a year or more. Hold off on selling until your purchase anniversary to save extra since long-term capital gains are taxed far less than ordinary income.

  • If you earn little, you may not pay tax. Imagine filing a combined tax return with $75,000 in annual income. Your income level's 0% tax rate exempts long-term capital gains. This means you may keep all property selling proceeds.

3. Depreciation Deduction

Depreciation reduces taxable income for real estate investors. Investors can deduct property depreciation from their taxable income to offset property deterioration. 

According to the IRS's timetable, the structure will depreciate over time. Residential properties average 27.5 years, and commercial properties average 39 years.

Your real estate may qualify for an annual depreciation deduction. Say you own a $500,000 business building. Land location is immaterial. Property taxes will subtract $12,820 from gross income if you divide $500,000 by 39.

4. 1031 Exchange 

A 1031 exchange lets investors sell a property and reinvest the earnings in a comparable property to avoid capital gains taxes. You must pay income taxes on depreciation deductions and capital gains taxes on investment property sales. You can avoid depreciation recapture tax by using the 1031 exchange. 

You can defer real estate sales taxes by buying an investment property that is at least as valuable as the one you sold. Use the 1031 exchange regulations as often as you like, but you'll still pay taxes if you use sale profits to buy a cheaper home or take them as cash.

5. Passive Income and Pass-Through Deductions

Real estate firms with sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, or S corporations can take pass-through deductions. Pass-through companies can deduct 20% of qualifying income.

Say you manage rental properties through a real estate limited partnership. Your business earns $25,000 annually, which you may deduct from taxes.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act's pass-through deduction lasts until 2025. Unless the government passes new laws, this deduction will be eliminated after that year.

6. Opportunity Zones

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created real estate investor opportunity zones. Buying property in economically challenged areas may delay capital gains taxes. Government-designated opportunity zones often need expansion and higher-paying jobs.

Investments in opportunity zones have three tax advantages. First, before selling your investment, capital gains taxes won't be required until 2026. If you invest for five or seven years, your capital gains will receive a 10% basis step-up or a 15% bonus. Finally, ten years of investing eliminates capital gains taxes.

7. Tax-Deferred Retirement Accounts

An IRA or HSA that allows real estate investments is another way to get into real estate. These accounts allow you to defer investment taxes until you withdraw funds.

Tax Tips for Real Estate Investors

  • Keep track of all expenses and receipts.
  • Understand and utilize tax deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.
  • Take advantage of depreciation deductions.
  • Think about a 1031 exchange if you want to put off paying taxes on your earnings. 
  • Seek individual tax counsel from a tax specialist.
  • Consider utilizing cost segregation to accelerate depreciation deductions and maximize tax savings.
  • Remain current on tax rules and regulations that might affect investments in real estate.
  • Seek guidance from a knowledgeable tax professional or accountant specializing in real estate taxation for personalized advice and strategies.

Final Words

So there you have it - tax benefits of real estate investing! It might be lucrative to invest in real estate without excessive taxes. Property management expenditures and depreciation can reduce income. 

Moreover, clever regulations such as the 1031 exchange and opportunity zone funds have the power to postpone or even eliminate taxes. If you have additional income, use an IRA, 401(k), or other tax-advantaged funds to save taxes. To maximize deductions, know these tactics and consult a tax professional.


What is the interest deductible on a mortgage?

The mortgage interest paid on a mortgage can be subtracted from the taxable income by homeowners through the deduction. You might be able to lower your taxable income using this deduction.

Is there no real estate tax in the United States?

Property taxes are typically not levied by states. Several overlapping jurisdictions may have the power to tax the same asset. These include cities, towns, school districts, utility districts, counties or parishes, and state-specific special taxation bodies. There aren't many states that tax property values.

How does depreciation benefit real estate investors?

Depreciation deductions are advantageous for real estate investors. They can minimize their taxable income and tax obligation by deducting a percentage of the property's value over time as depreciation.

What is a 1031 exchange, and how does it provide tax benefits?

Real estate investors can sell a property and reinvest the earnings into another identical property without paying capital gains taxes right away by using a 1031 exchange, a tax-deferred transaction. This exchange helps defer taxes and allows investors to grow their real estate portfolio.

Also Read:

  1. Average House Price in USA

  2. How to save for a house when renting

  3. Cheapest US Cities to Live

04 Jan, 2024


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