Real Estate and the AMT: Rental Or Investment Property

The Alternative Minimum Tax is a very important consideration for taxpayers who own real estate because just about every tax rule applying to real estate is different for the AMT than it is for the Regular Tax. This article on Real Estate and the AMT will address those situations where the individual holds the real estate as an investment, typically as rental property. The differences in tax treatment between the Regular Tax and the AMT can be significant.

Interest expense

Interest paid on the mortgage taken out to acquire the property is fully deductible, both for the Regular Tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax. Unlike itemized deductions that allow a tax benefit for what amounts to personal expenses, the tax law generally allows all deductions a taxpayer has to make in the pursuit of business income. Thus, the limitations discussed in the previous article on home mortgage interest do not … Read More

AMT & Disposition of Business Or Rental Property

In our last article we talked about the alternative minimum tax item, resulting from depreciation of business or rental property. A direct corollary of that issue is the AMT item that results from any subsequent sale or other disposition of such property. Critical to minimizing a taxpayer’s AMT is an understanding of the relationship between these two items.

When property is disposed of, a taxpayer calculates the gain or loss based on the difference between the selling price and his tax basis. For something like a stock or a bond, tax basis is the amount originally paid for the investment – that is all that is needed. This same concept also applies to the sale of business or rental property, but with one important difference – depreciation. In the case of depreciable property, tax basis is the amount originally paid, but then reduced for any depreciation taken.

The tax basis … Read More