Do I benefit from depreciation?
Our accountants use the MACRS method for depreciation purposes and each property will be depreciated over 27.5 years. This means that even though you might be earning income from rents as well as appreciation (on paper, because the property value has gone up), the value of the property is actually reducing on paper for tax purposes.
This can sound confusing and counter intuitive, but it is one of the main advantages of owning and investing in real estate in the U.S.
If you’ve made $100 in income from rents, but the property on paper depreciated (for tax purposes only) by $1000 and you owned 10% of the holding entity, then you would actually benefit from a paper loss of $100, which would negate your rental earnings completely.
As a result, even though you’ve physically received $100 for the year, you actually incur $0 in nominal income tax liability for that year through ownership in the property.