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?
A: It’s 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 don’t 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.
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