title>Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter Wizard Animation


Tax Guru-Ker$tetter Letter
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Corps and Rentals



Subject: S Corps & Rentals

    I read with interest the e mail about short term housing being a Sch C business. I currently have plans to turn
a vacation home into a short term rental. I approached my tax guy about this problem and he said I could
include the rental in my already existing S Corp (retail) and file Form 8825 on the rental income thus avoiding FICA.
I receive a hefty pay check from the corporation. Can this dual purpose exist in a single corporation?
    Later I got to thinking about the liability issue. Wouldn't the corporation have to own the rental property? On the other hand,
my original corporation operates out of my home. Is my home at risk because the business operates out of it? My tax person
didn't seem sure on these points. What's the best setup?


I can't possibly know enough about your unique circumstances to advise a specific course of action.

However, you mentioned several issues that you need to explore in more detail with your current tax pro, or one with more experience in this area.

First is the fact that a corporation can conduct more than one kind of business and is not restricted to only the original activity.  It is very common for corps to add new business ventures all the time, just as individuals do.  Your existing S corp could operate rental properties.

The issue of avoiding FICA tax only applies of there is going to be a net profit after all expenses, including depreciation.  If you've seen my comparison of C and S corps
you know that profitable businesses can often have lower taxes via a C corp.

Depreciation can only be claimed by the actual owner of the property.  While transferring ownership of your property to a corp might sound like a good idea, the long term effect could be expensive.  Capital gains tax rates are generally higher for corporations than for individuals. 

What some people do is own the property in their own personal names, and then lease it to their corp, which in turn operates the B&B or other rental activity.  Any experienced tax pro should be able to help you with such a configuration.

There are obviously a gamut of pros and cons to every possible scenario, making an easy "one size fits all" answer impossible to find.  Make sure all of these points are covered in your discussions with your tax pros.

Good luck.

Kerry Kerstetter


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