Tax Act Changes Affecting Real Estate

By now, you have been bombarded with summaries and articles on the 507-page tax bill, formerly known as the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” of 2017, and signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 22, 2017 (the Act). Of all the massive changes included in the Act, those affecting real estate owners, investors and developers may be the most difficult to navigate. In all cases, significant number-crunching will be required to decide on how to react to and take advantage of the changes. Many decisions will be delayed until the IRS and Treasury have a chance to digest the changes and tell taxpayers (through regulations and notices) what is and is not permitted in terms of planning. This article offers a preliminary take on how the new §199A deduction, the new 30% limit on business interest expense, changes to the like-kind exchange and cost recovery rules and other provisions work and interact to inform real estate investment and development decisions.

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