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Monday February 17, 2020

Case of the Week

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 8

Case:

Karl Hendricks was a man with the golden touch. Throughout his life, it seemed every investment idea that he touched turned to gold. By far, Karl was most successful with real estate investments. It was definitely his passion.

Amazingly, Karl continued to buy and sell real estate at the age of 85. For instance, about three months ago, Karl discovered a great investment property. It was a "fixer-upper" commercial building in a great area. While other nearby buildings sold for over $2 million, the seller needed to sell quickly and was asking just $1 million.

The condition of the building turned many buyers away. It was being sold "as-is," but Karl was not deterred. He could see great potential with the building and knew it would not take much to get it to market condition. Therefore, Karl swooped in, bought the building for $1 million and instantly hired contractors to refurbish the place.

After three months of hard work refurbishing the building, the place looked like new! In the end, Karl invested $250,000 in the building bringing his total investment in the property to $1.25 million. One month after the completion of the work, Karl was contacted informally by a company that expressed an interest in the building — a $2 million interest! This was no surprise to Karl. He knew the building was another great buy.

After Karl learned about the benefits of a FLIP CRUT, he eagerly wanted to move forward. It looked like the perfect solution. (See Part 1 for this discussion.) However, there was still one question in Karl's mind.

Question:

Karl took depreciation on the building for several months. Although the amount of depreciation was not significant, Karl wondered, "What are the tax consequences when transferring depreciated property into a FLIP CRUT?"

Solution:

It is not uncommon for a donor to own real estate that he or she has depreciated, such as rental or commercial property. As a result, there may be some depreciation-related capital gain issues or depreciation recapture issues.

If a donor has taken accelerated depreciation, the depreciation recapture rules require a donor to realize ordinary income upon sale of the depreciated property in an amount equal to the excess of accelerated depreciation over straight-line depreciation. See Sec. 1250. So, if Karl elected to sell the property himself, some of the gain would be recaptured as ordinary income.

For gift planning purposes, any gift of the accelerated depreciation property will be subject to the income tax reduction rules. See Sec. 170(e). Basically, the initial fair market value charitable deduction will be reduced by the ordinary income recapture component. In this case, Karl did not take any accelerated depreciation, so the depreciation recapture rules will not affect his FLIP CRUT charitable deduction.

Although Karl did not depreciate his property on an accelerated schedule, he did depreciate the building on a straight-line basis. As a general rule, if a donor has long-term capital gain attributable to straight-line depreciation, it is subject to a higher capital gain tax rate of 25% instead of 15% or 20%. This 25% tax rate is not as beneficial as the lower tax rate. However, it is better than the higher ordinary income tax rates. Also, unlike accelerated depreciation, the transfer of property subject to straight-line depreciation does not reduce a donor's charitable deduction if the depreciation-type gain is long term.

With respect to charitable gifts, a gift of depreciated property to a FLIP CRUT will not trigger any income tax to Karl. Instead, the trustee will take Karl's cost basis and properly account for the tax characteristics of the property when sold using the four tier accounting rules. As a result, Karl may receive some depreciation-type gain as unitrust payouts in the future (depending on the trust investments and performance).

In this case, Karl's depreciation gain attributed to straight-line depreciation is short term because he held the property for less than twelve months. Unfortunately, Karl will not enjoy the benefits of the 25% tax rate but instead will realize short-term capital gain income at his ordinary income tax rate. Moreover, Karl's charitable deduction is subject to the reduction rules under Section 170(e). This is due to the short-term capital gain nature of the property. (See Part 2 for a discussion of the reduction rules.)

In the end, the depreciation issue is not a significant factor in the outcome and benefits of Karl's FLIP CRUT. Proudly, Karl moves forward to a successful financial and charitable conclusion. He funds the FLIP CRUT and enjoys capital gains savings, a lifetime income stream and an $825,000 income tax deduction.

Published May 24, 2019
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Previous Articles

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 7

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 6

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 5

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 4

Exit Strategies for Real Estate Investors, Part 3

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Shelby Harder, 2018
Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy
Roher Auld Scholarship

"Many students take for granted what a university has to offer. However, I am thankful every single day for the opportunity to attend this prestigious school. At Lawrence, you have the ability to engage in Socratic debates about the world we live in at dinner, play recreational or NCAA sports, and talk one on one with brilliant professors. At Lawrence, you don't just 'learn' a subject, you are immersed in it. You dive into the liberal arts and these professors show you the beauty in it all, and how everything is tied together. I am a Biochemistry major with a soft spot for rocket science, philosophy, and evolution. Lawrence is my dream school, and it would have never been possible without the Dr. Irving Auld and Dorothy Roher Auld Scholarship. I am forever grateful for their generosity."

Juliana E. Olsen-Valdez, 2018
Carroll Family Scholarship

"Lawrence University is a great place for students looking to embrace their multi-interested approach to learning. As a Geology major, I have spent many long hours in laboratories. But, I have also had the opportunity to organize and lead students on outdoor backpacking trips, help build a stronger community for International students, participate in dialogues on campus initiatives, attend dozens of musical events, and study abroad in a field-based geology program, all while taking classes in a variety of academic spheres on campus. Lawrence, as an institution and student body, creates a collective of learners, listeners, and leaders who are continuously evolving their understanding of the world around them. I am fortunate to have the support of the Carroll Family Scholarship, so that I can say I am a part of this exceptional community too!"

Weiqi "Vicky" Liang, 2019
Marian H. Cuff Endowed Scholarship

"Lawrence is a special institution with nice people around the campus. I better myself by trying out different things and using new ways to think critically. Even though I am a Philosophy major, I have successfully taken classes in Anthropology, Biology, Economics, and Government. In addition, I still find many great extracurricular opportunities to explore, such as singing with Viking Chorale, even though I am not a music major. While having the great experience of volunteering at the elderly center last year, I became an elder advocacy coordinator at the Volunteer Community Service Center. At Lawrence, I've learned to handle difficult academic problems while looking forward to exploring possible opportunities. I am very grateful to be awarded the Marian H. Cuff Endowed Scholarship for every year I have been here, and appreciate that the scholarship has provided this wonderful Lawrence experience to me."

Anthony Cardella, 2018
Ansorge Family Scholarship

"I am so excited that I am able to attend Lawrence University. I know that I will make great progress studying piano with Dr. Michael Mizrahi. Since being at Lawrence I've already made a lot of progress and I really love it here. I am so grateful for the Ansorge Family Scholarship that made it possible for me to come to Lawrence because without it, I might not have been able to afford the cost of attending a school that is a great fit for me and a place where I will learn so much and go so far."

Milwaukee-Downer Scholarships and Professorships

Some of the many recipients of Milwaukee-Downer scholarships gather for a photo with Carolyn King Stephens M-D'62 and Marlene Crupi-Widen M-D'55 in January 2014 at the annual scholarship luncheon.

Rosamund Victoria Bille Adler Scholarship
Dr. Charles E. Albright Scholarship
Helen Daniels Bader Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Scholarship
Catharine Beecher Endowed Fund for Downer Women
Bessie A. Bell Scholarship
Berk Scholarship
Frederick C. Best Scholarship
Beta Study Club Scholarship
Lynde Bradley Scholarship
Lucia R. Briggs-Alumnae Scholarship
Edith Lange Brooks Scholarship
Anne Barman Caldwell Scholarship
Alice Miller Chester Scholarship
City of Milwaukee Student Funds Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1940 Fund
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1942 Fund
College Endowment Association Scholarship
Janet Cope Crawford Scholarship
Jessie Mabbott Daniels Scholarship
F. T. Day Scholarship
Rufus Dodge Scholarship
Julia P. Ely and Hannah R. Vedder Memorial Scholarship
General Endowed Scholarship - M-D College
Dr. Alfred W. and Mrs. Ada F. Gray Scholarship
Berenice E. Hess Scholarship Endowment
Lucille Ray Hibbard Scholarship
Belle Austin Jacobs Scholarship
Helen McDermott Jurack and Ronald J. Mason Scholarship
Marjorie S. Logan Scholarship
Nellie Maxwell Scholarship
S. Annabelle & Paul McGuire Scholarship
Memorial Scholarship Fund - Milwaukee-Downer
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1953 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1955 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1956 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1957 Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Class of 1958 and 1959 50th Reunion Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer Club Scholarship
Milwaukee-Downer/Lawrence College Consolidation 50th Anniversary Scholarship
Francis Evelyn Kelley Morgan Memorial Scholarship
O'Neill-Anderson Family Scholarship Endowment
Elizabeth A. Olson Scholarship
Gilbert Haven Peirce, Sr. and Emma Elizabeth Manor Peirce Milwaukee-Downer Scholarship
Aleida J. Pieters Scholarship
Matilda Siefert Puelicher Scholarship
Elizabeth Ann Richardson Scholarship
William M. Ross Memorial Scholarship
Elizabeth Rossberg Scholarship
Charles Frederic Sammond Scholarship
Mildred L. Schroeder Scholarship
Sivyer Educational Fund for Women
Marion Merrill Smith Scholarship
Dr. Elizabeth A. Steffen Scholarship
W. Mead and Elizabeth McKone Stillman Scholarship
Strzelczyk Family Scholarship
Clare Scherf Sweetman Scholarship
Raymond H. and Jane K. Taylor Scholarship
Jerline E. Walfoort Memorial Scholarship
Barbara E. Wehr Fund
Harmony Weissbach Scholarship
Martha and Frances Wheelock Scholarship
James G. and Ethel M. Barber Professorship of Theatre and Drama
T. A. Chapman Professorship in Music
Alice G. Chapman Professorship in Physics
Alice G. Chapman Librarianship
Milwaukee-Downer College and College Endowment Association Professorship

Angela Small Fry Intia, 2019
Maurine Campbell Scholarship

"Thanks to the Maurine Campbell scholarship, I have been able to attend the amazing school that is Lawrence University. With the help from this scholarship, I have been able to pursue my dream career in chemistry working with the outstanding and extremely helpful faculty here. Even outside of chemistry I take the time for exploration into my interests and want to give back through my work as a resident life advisor, stock room assistant, and student supervisor at Bon Appetit. Everything I have learned here, academically or not has forever molded the person I am today."

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