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Avoid Capital Gains Tax on Your Rental Property

March 20, 2024
Rental Property
Avoid Capital Gains Tax on Your Rental Property

Dallas and Fort Worth landlords! If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve poured your heart, soul, and a decent chunk of your savings into your rental property.

While you may love the detail you’ve put into perfecting your property, in all honesty, nobody wants to see those hard-earned profits gobbled up by Uncle Sam in the form of capital gains tax.

At Classic Property Management, our property managers help landlords make the most of their financial investment, including saving on annual taxes.  Let’s dive into some tried-and-true strategies to help you keep more of your well-deserved cash in your pocket.

What is Capital Gains Tax?

First things first, let’s tackle what capital gains tax actually is.

In a nutshell, it’s the tax you pay on the profit you make when you sell an asset (like a rental property) that has increased in value since you bought it.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, we hate to break it to you, but the tax rate can vary depending on how long you’ve owned the property and your overall income level.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), short-term capital gains (assets held for less than a year) are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate, which can be as high as 37% for the top bracket. Ouch! Long-term capital gains (assets held for more than a year) have a more favorable tax rate, ranging from 0% to 20%, depending on your taxable income.

The Cost of Capital Gains Tax

Now, let’s talk numbers. Let’s say you purchased a rental property in Dallas for $200,000 a year ago, and you recently sold it for $300,000. That’s a tidy profit of $100,000, right?

Before you start celebrating, let’s dig into the details. If you’re in the highest tax bracket and that’s considered a short-term capital gain, you could be looking at a whopping $37,000 in taxes. That’s more than just a little bit of money, and we’re here to help you avoid these financial losses. Don’t worry! Everything’s legal!

Strategies for Avoiding Capital Gains Tax

So, what’s a savvy Dallas or Fort Worth landlord to do? Well, there are a few strategies our rental property accounting team can help you employ to minimize or even eliminate your capital gains tax liability.

Hold for the Long-Term

Hold onto that property for the long haul. As mentioned earlier, long-term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than short-term gains.

By holding onto your rental property for more than a year before selling, you could potentially save thousands in taxes.

Principal Residence Exclusion

Take advantage of the principal residence exclusion. If you’ve lived in your rental property as your primary residence for at least two out of the five years before selling, you may be able to exclude up to $250,000 (or $500,000 if you’re married filing jointly) of your capital gains from taxation. Talk about a sweet deal!

1031 Exchange

Reinvest your gains with a 1031 exchange. This nifty little tax code allows you to defer paying capital gains tax if you reinvest the proceeds from the sale of your rental property into another “like-kind” investment property. It’s like hitting the snooze button on your tax bill!

The Power of Professional Property Management

If avoiding capital gains taxes sounds great but you aren’t sure where to start, that’s where a we come in!

Not only can we help you maximize your rental income and keep your properties in tip-top shape with our maintenance services, but we can also connect you with top-notch tax professionals who specialize in helping landlords navigate the complicated world of real estate taxes.

With over 30 years of experience in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Classic Property Management has a deep understanding of the local market and the unique challenges landlords face.

When you have us on your side, we can work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy that takes advantage of all the legal tax-saving opportunities available to you.

And let’s not forget about the peace of mind that comes with having a dedicated team handling the day-to-day management of your properties. Trust us to help you focus on growing your real estate portfolio and building long-term wealth. We can even handle sometimes uncomfortable details like tenant screening and rent collection.

Manage Your Property the Classic Way, With Classic Property Management

At the end of the day, while legally avoiding capital gains taxes is great, the key to successful real estate investing isn’t just about making money – it’s about making smart choices that will set you up for long-term financial security.

If you’re ready to set yourself up for success as a landlord, reach out to Classic Property Management. We can help you explore your options for minimizing capital gains tax and making your properties the best they can be.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.