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Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

by Don Martin ~ January 3rd, 2013

Fiscal Cliff

Off We Go….

Here is the latest information on Real Estate Related provisions of the bill passed by Congress.

On January 1, 2013, the Senate and House passed H.R. 8, legislation to avert the “fiscal cliff,” and the bill will be signed by President Barack Obama on January 2, 2013. Below are a summary of real estate-related provisions in the bill.

Real Estate Tax Extenders
Mortgage cancellation relief is extended for one year to January 1, 2014.
Deduction for mortgage insurance premiums for filers making below $110,000 is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
The 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.
The 10 percent Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (up to $500) for homeowners who make energy efficiency improvements to existing homes is extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover 2012.

Capital Gains
The capital gains rate stays at 15 percent for those making up to $400,000 (individual) or $450,000 (joint return). After that, any gains above those amounts will be taxed at 20 percent. The $250,000/$500,000 exclusion for the sale of a principle residence remains in place.
Estate Tax
The first $5 million dollars in individual estates and $10 million for family estates are now exempted from the estate tax. After that, the rate will be 40 percent, up from 35 percent. The exemption amounts are indexed for inflation.

Permanent Repeal of Pease Limitations for 99 Percent of Taxpayers
Under the agreement, so-called “Pease Limitations” that reduce the value of itemized deductions are permanently repealed for most taxpayers, but will be reinstituted for high-income filers. These limitations will only apply to individuals earning more than $250,000 and joint filers earning above $300,000. The thresholds have been increased and are indexed for inflation.
Under the formula, the amount of adjusted gross income above the threshold is multiplied by 3 percent. That amount is then used to reduce the total value of the filer’s itemized deductions. The total amount of reduction cannot exceed 80 percent of the filer’s itemized deductions.
The limitations were first enacted in 1990 (named for the Ohio Congressman Don Pease who came up with the idea)and continued throughout the Clinton years. They were gradually phased out as a result of the 2001 tax cuts and were completely eliminated in 2010-2012. In the absence of this legislation, Pease Limitations would have been reinstituted on all filers, starting at $174,450 of adjusted gross income.


The Stock Market reacted very positively to the bill – now lets see what happens with Real Estate!

See ya ’round the mountains.

1 Response to Real Estate Provisions in “Fiscal Cliff” Bill

  1. JP Real Estate Experts

    Wow, this sounds great! Looks like an even better year could be seen in the property market! Thanks for sharing this!