Short Sale update- mortgage cancellation relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
On January 1- the Senate and the House passed H.R.8 which is the bill to deal with the fiscal cliff.
So we have another year to be doing short sales with the mortgage balance being forgiven for tax purposes. In reality the debt relief act did not apply for IRS purposes to investors and second home owners. Most homeowners who are losing their homes are insolvent anyways so the IRS debt relief is not a huge benefit to them. It is used more as a political angle for special interest groups.
In other real estate related taxes as part of the new legislation there were a few changes:
There is a deduction for mortgage insurance premiums for income tax filers who make below $110,000. The deduction for mortgage insurance premiums is extended through the end of the year of 2013 and it’s also retroactive to cover 2012. New
Leasehold improvements for qualified leaseholds on commercial properties – 15 year straight-line cost recovery has been extended to the end of 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
The energy efficiency tax credits for homeowners who make energy improvements on their existing homes is extended to the end of 2013 and made retroactive for the year 2012 with a tax credit of 10% up to $500.
Now here come my liberty busters and you will get some of my commentary here to:
There’s a permanent repeal of the “Pease Limitation”. Under the new H.R 8 legislation the agreement permanent repeals the limitations that reduce the value of itemized deductions except for it has been reinstituted for high income filers.
The high-income filers are those who make more than $250,000 and joint income tax filers who earn over $300,000. These are also going to be indexed for inflation and they will rise over time. The amount of your adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3%. This amount is then used to reduce your total itemized deductions.
My biggest question always comes about taxation – is it fair to charge some people more taxes than other people? And why? What is there in our constitution that states that people can be treated differently based on their production? The biggest problem with this provision is that married couples are basically punished because if they were instead single people living together filing separately they could each get a $250,000 threshold for a total of $500,000 instead of $300,000. Again, I am married and would like to have equal benefit as two roommates living together but I don’t want special treatment. Just treat everyone equally.
Now in a lot of places in the country a couple would be living very well with the family of four at $300,000 annual income but they certainly would not be considered rich in most of the urban cities of this country. In fact, after they pay their state taxes (which we do not have in Florida) they are already being taxed at 60%. Do the math. Living in Manhattan with a family of 4 is not going to get very far on $120,000 annually to live on. I have not even gone into running a small business. That is a whole other topic of which I can discuss from experience on.
The only fair tax is a fair tax and that’s certainly not going to be implemented anytime soon.
Capital gains. Capital gains rate is going to be staying the same at 15% for those individuals up to $400,000 and $450,000 for joint filers. After that amount the gains will be taxed at 20%. For real estate capital gains the 250/500K exclusion for sale the process principal residence remains in place.
My opinion is that the money you invested is money you already paid tax on, so in essence, you are getting double taxation on your investments. I think this is cooked up by the banksters, wall streeters and the politicians to try to force you to keep your money in your investments because before you take it out, you are going to think twice. But for retired people they don’t have a choice. This is a huge disservice to retired people. Again, this is not treating everyone fairly in our tax structure.
Again we’re treating different people differently which is very unfair and is punishing people who want to take proactive measures for their own retirements and their own wealth.
The ever popular and unpopular estate taxes you are taxed when you die. Your family has to pay taxes when you die on whatever you left behind under these circumstances.
The first $5 million in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. So we made a little bit of progress there but again we are not treating people fairly across the board and equally as Americans.
Anything over $10 million will be taxed at the rate of 40% up from 35% and those exemptions are going to also be indexed for inflation.
Needless to say I am not happy at all about the H.R.8 legislation. I believe there are too many special interests involved and too many people wanting to get back scratched along with government not making sound spending cuts and not working on the deficit. There is a total lack of responsibility on the part of our leaders. For every $42 in spending they are getting they are only cutting $1 of spending! DO THE MATH!!! How does that equate to financial responsibility. I would be out of business if I ran my business like that.
I am sure that NAR is happy with the outcome because they are a special interest group that lobbies for real estate interests. But whenever you get into I want this, the other side says, but I want this. As long as government makes deals with special interest groups and their cozy pals in big companies nothing will be fair. But if NAR really stands for “under all is land” and we must protect private property then NAR needs to stand to protect ALL private property. Taxation on private property especially real property violates the very principles of private property rights.
authored by Katerina Gasset