Year end tax planning typically involves finding ways to defer income and accelerate deductions to reduce current year tax, but at the end of 2010 (December 31, 2010) U.S. Taxpayers are scheduled to experience the largest tax increases in nearly 17 years and the first increase in capital gains taxes in 24 years!  As a result of these pending tax changes, this year we may have to flip our usual planning scenario and instead of deferring income and accelerating deductions we may wish to accelerate income and defer deductions (other than itemized deductions). 

I use the word “may” in the preceding paragraph, because I am writing this article on November 4, 2010, two days after the midterm elections that resulted in a giant shift of power in the House of Representatives.  Just in case you had not yet heard, the Republican Party won a landslide victory gaining 60 new seats in the House of Representatives.  As a result of the elections, the Republican Party will officially have control as of January 3, 2011, but until then, the current line up of Members of the House of Representatives will return November 18, 2010 for a “lame duck” session.  Given the landslide victory, President Obama appears to be indicating that he may work with Republicans to extend some of the Bush Tax Cuts.  Clearly, raising taxes in the middle of an economic crisis would only serve to further to delay an economic recovery and may increase the risk of a longer recession.

If the Bush Tax Cuts are allowed to sunset and expire tax rates will automatically go up for all individual taxpayers, including those subject to the lowest tax rates, (i.e., the poorest Americans). At the same time, the dreaded marriage penalty returns. The Obama Administration has proposed extending the tax cuts only to taxpayers in the low to middle income tax brackets while allowing the two highest tax brackets, now 33% and 35%, to return to 36% and 39.6% in 2011.

Additionally, as mentioned at the beginning of this article (if the prior tax cuts expire) taxes on income earned from net long-term capital gains (LTCGs) and qualified dividends also will be increasing from the current maximum rate of 15%. to 20% for taxpayers subject to marginal income tax rates greater than 15%, while dividends will be taxed at the new ordinary income tax rates.

To make matters worse, after 2010 the overall limitation on itemized deduction (i.e., the so-called “Pease limitation”) will be restored. As a result, itemized deductions (other than medical expenses, casualty losses, investment interest, and gambling losses) will be reduced by the lesser of (1) 3% of the amount of the taxpayer’s income exceeding the applicable threshold or (2) 80% of the deductions subject to the limit. Taxpayer’s with AGI in excess of $171,100 will lose $1 of itemized deductions for every $33.33 of AGI in excess of the threshold (subject to the 80% overall limit). As a result, it still makes sense to accelerate itemized deductions to 2010 because pushing these deductions into 2011 may cause them to go unused as a result of the return of the phase-out of itemized deductions. Because there is no limitation on itemized deductions in 2010, this strategy will be unaffected by the acceleration of ordinary income.

After 2010 the $3,650 personal exemption will be fully phased-out for individuals and married couples with adjusted gross income in excess of $289,300/$372,700 respectively (based on 2009 limits). Accelerating income in 2010 will not reduce the amount of personal exemptions any taxpayer can claim.

There are a number of other Bush era tax cuts that normally would be extended including the inflation-adjusted AMT exemption, nonrefundable personal tax credits, and above-the-line deduction for qualified higher education tuition and fees. Given the current climate in Washington, it seems likely that any extension will not include higher income taxpayers.

Adding to this drag on the economy (and individual financial stress) are the pending tax increases resulting from the passage of The Obama Health Care legislation this past year. Starting in 2013 individual and married taxpayers with income in excess of $200,000/$250,000 respectively will pay a 0.9% surcharge on earned income and a 3.8% surtax on investment income (dividends, interest, long-term and short-term capital gains, passive income, rents and royalties).

Finally, the estate tax issues are huge!   If someone passes away in 2010 there is effectively no estate tax due but on December 31, 2010 Cinderella’s carriage turns into a big fat pumpkin.   The Unified Credit (the amount of money you can pass tax free during life, or at death, to beneficiaries tax free) drops from 3.0 million dollars per person (6 million per married couple) to 1.0 million per person (2.0 per married couple).   Moreover, the more liberal members of Congress have been considering passing legislation, which would take the Unified Credit back to $650,000 per person and/or take it all the way down to zero!    The tax on anything over the Unified Credit amount can be as high as 55%.

The return of higher tax rates and reduced deductions and exemptions means that in most cases the decision to accelerate income and defer deductions (other than itemized deductions) to 2011 will be clearly advantageous. This position is further supported if one is having difficulty generating even modest investment returns (thereby reducing the opportunity cost of paying the tax early). But what is most important to remember is to make an appointment to discuss your year end tax planning strategies.  Many tax savings have to be employed before the end of the tax year.  So don’t wait and find yourself doing all the wrong things for 2010.   

Seven strategies for 2010:

  1. Review the value of your gross estate (the value of all your assets, bank accounts, properties, retirement funds, life insurance values) to determine whether you have a taxable estate.  I highly recommend working with a tax attorney as estate planning is one of the highest areas of malpractice of any area of law.   If indeed you have a taxable estate, there is still time before December 31, 2010 to do some planning to take advantage of current Unified Credit amounts and move assets into trusts.  There are various estate planning tools that can allow you to have income for life, or voting control of assets, while removing the assets from your taxable estate before Unified Credit amounts drop.
  2. Accelerate capital gains to 2010 and elect out of installment treatment. The election out of installment basis applies on an all-or-nothing basis. If the taxpayers wants to election out of only part of the gain, multiple notes must be used followed by a pledge to trigger gain. 
  3. Individuals should also consider converting traditional IRA to Roth IRA and make the special election to realize 100% of the income in 2010. This strategy accelerates ordinary income to 2010, but may be disadvantageous from an investment and retirement perspective if the payment of the tax cannot be made with available funds outside of the converted IRA.
  4. Owners of closely held C corporations should review the amount of accumulated earnings and profits (E&P) attributable to their businesses and accelerate its distribution to 2010. If the business does not have available cash to make the distributions, the shareholders could agree to consent dividends (which are treated as cash distributions on the last day of the year followed by a contribution to capital). A better alternative is to make cash distributions and have the shareholders loan the money to the corporation which will facilitate the removal of otherwise doubled-taxed income in the future. 
  5. S corporations should accelerate accumulated E&P from subchapter C years before distributing accumulated earnings of the S corporation. If this by-pass election is made, all distributions during the tax year are taxable dividends to the extent of the corporation’s accumulated E&P. The election applies on a year-by-year basis, only part of the accumulated E&P needs to be distributed. 
  6. Distribute real estate from C corporations to avoid future double tax, take advantage of significantly lower valuations and accelerate taxable dividends to 2010. Distributing real estate from S corporations can be done to accelerate capital gains provided the distribution is made in a manner that avoid ordinary income treatment under section 1239 (i.e., to an individual). 
  7. Convert existing C corporations to LLCs using a statutory conversion. Future double tax can be avoided by accelerating the gain to the current year when the inherent gain on liquidation should be at a low point. Any loss on liquidation will be allowed since the related party disallowance rules do not apply to corporate liquidations.


Remember, that the tax laws are changing very quickly and with the new Congressional make up and a “lame duck” Presidential session we will likely see some quick moves to appease voter / taxpayers before the 2012 elections.  Will we be saved from these taxes in the last days of the year by the preverbal knight on a white horse?   This is yet to be seen.  All I can say is hope is alive and well and as of today (November 2, 2010) at 4:00 p.m. all indications are that some of the Bush Tax cuts may be extended and others will sunset with the dawn of 2011.  As such, any planning based on this article should be checked and double checked with your tax attorney before year end!

As always Kingman Winslow, LLC is here to assist you in your year end tax planning needs.

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Kevin's Story

“The Launch Pad was exactly what I was hoping for. The deep dive into my expectations through your assessments was very valuable. The plan you provided me for my investment future put me at ease and gave me some reassurances that I am heading in the right direction. Launch Pad is definitely something I would recommend to all new investors. Thank you!”

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“My wife Nicole and I wanted to thank you for the 4 hours of dedicated time you set aside for us. The Launch Pad program really helped us find out what our interests were, and you experience and guidance helped us figure out how to go about achieving our goals! We always thought the recommendation you gave us was unachievable, but after our meeting we realize that it is!

The Launch Pad program was extremely insightful, and we thank you for your input and explanations! Also, we look forward to all the subgroups you recommended we attend.

Thanks again! I highly recommend the Launch Pad to any new investor!!! Thanks to this program, we shaved probably 3 years off the learning curve and countless hours of frustration.”


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Kevin's Story

“I took AZREIA’s Launch Pad program with Alan Langston. I found it to be very helpful as a “newbie” to REI.

The program, over 4-hours long, walked me through what my initial strategy and tactics should be for me to reach my goals. It even told me if I should even be an REI to begin with. Yes, it was that detailed.

Best of all Alan showed me how only a single SFH rented out at $2k/mth could get me to my retirement goals in 10 years!”


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Who We Are!

AZREIA, Arizona Real Estate Investors Association, is a professional association that exists to serve the needs of independent real estate investors. We provide market information and analysis, education, networking opportunities, implementation guidance, and support to assist our members in achieving success in real estate investing. Since our founding in 2002, we have helped thousands of real estate investors.

  • We believe real estate investing can help anyone achieve their financial goals. Success is a process and real estate investing over the long-term can provide exceptional results. Your results are dependent on your commitment to success and the effort you put forth in addition to market factors both seen and unseen. Not everyone is willing to commit and do what is necessary (legally, ethically and morally) to succeed. We do not believe in “get rich quick”! Please take our FREE Entrepreneurial Self Assessment to better understand your suitability for real estate investing. It takes about 20 minutes.
  • We believe planning is an essential element to reaching your desired outcome. We feel our Launch Pad program for new investors is an exceptional planning process for new real estate investors that will keep you focused, take months off your development cycle and give you a much better opportunity for success. Launch Pad is available to everyone. It is available for AZREIA members at the small price of $30. Non-members may attend on a space available basis but pay a non-refundable $100 fee to attend.
  • We believe strongly in education and offer reasonably priced education both internally and from respected educators outside of AZREIA. We are not mentors or coaches. We do not offer these type of high cost programs.
  • We believe networking is critical to any investor’s success. Networking with a purpose will help you build or improve your team, understand how others are successful, learn different investing techniques, acquire property, find money partner and much more. We believe networking is the second most important aspect to successful investing falling only behind implementing a well thought out plan. In support of this belief, AZREIA offers several networking opportunities every month.
  • We believe an association should bring purchasing power to its members. AZREIA has exceptional benefits that save our members money, increase their profits and simplify their business.
  • We believe and enforce our strong Code of Ethics. (CLICK TO VIEW)

AZREIA is believed to be the largest REIA in the country. We have been the most highly recognized REIA by the National Real Estate Investors Association. No other REIA has earned the REIA of the Year Award as many times as AZREIA. Additionally, National REIA has recognized AZREIA’s education program, community program and Government Affairs program as the best. National REIA has also honored AZREIA as being the Most Innovative. Locally, the Phoenix and Tucson Business Journals have listed AZREIA among the Top 10 Professional Associations.


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Will real estate investing solve my problem?

Most people consider investing in real estate as a way to solve an issue or issues in their life. The good news is real estate investing can work for anyone. So, the quick answer to the question is yes, real estate investing is a good way to solve many financial issues.

The bad news is many times a person will not take the necessary steps to ensure success in real estate investing. So, while real estate investing will work for anyone, it will not work for everyone. If you are committed and take the necessary actions (legally, ethically and morally) your probability of success is very high.

We encourage all new investors to complete AZREIA’s FREE Entrepreneurial Self Assessment. This 20 minute exercise will help you determine if real estate investing is right for you. Also, you will understand the type of investing most suited to your personal situation. [CLICK HERE to take the Entrepreneurial Self Assessment] Based on your results, you may determine to complete Launch Pad.

At AZREIA, we have a path for all people considering real estate investing to follow as a way to get started and determine if real estate investing will work for you. We call it Launch Pad!

Launch Pad is a planning process that when completed provides most new investors with the following:

  1. Your Optimal Investing Path
  2. Your Preferred Property Type
  3. Your Property Acquisition Plan
  4. Your Funding Plan
  5. Your Educational Plan
  6. Your Team Building Plan
  7. Your Networking Plan
  8. Your Beginning Timeline

We’re sure you noticed that each one of the above eight items begins with “Your”. That is because every investor is different. Your needs are unique to you, so your plan needs to be specifically designed to meet those needs. Also, your plan should fit in with your current life situation.

Here’s the kicker…. Going through the Launch Pad process will also determine if real estate investing will work for you at this time in your life. If so, great! You have a plan to implement. If not, isn’t it better to know that up front and save you a lot of time, money and anguish? At that point, you can consider other ways to solve the problems you are facing.

Consider registering for our next Launch Pad session. You will need to set aside about four hours to complete the process. If you are an AZREIA member, there is a small $30 fee for Launch Pad. Non-members may attend on a space-available basis but pay a non-refundable $100 fee to attend.

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New to Real Estate Investing: How AZREIA Membership Helps Me

Congratulations! Just knowing that real estate investing will help you means you’re off to a great start to achieving your financial goals. As an AZREIA member and new to real estate investing we take all of the guesswork out. You start by completing Launch Pad and then the rest of the items listed below. There is a Launch Pad session about every 30 – 45 days. This process will take months off your development time and gets you started doing deals as soon as possible.

1. Register for and complete Launch Pad – Proper planning is the major differentiator between those who succeed and those who don’t. We are so committed to you getting off to a great start that Launch Pad is included for AZREIA members for just $30. This four-hour session provides most new investors the following eight critical items:

  1. Your Optimal Investing Path
  2. Your Preferred Property Type
  3. Your Property Acquisition Plan
  4. Your Funding Plan
  5. Your Educational Plan
  6. Your Team Building Plan
  7. Your Networking Plan
  8. Your Beginning Timeline

We’re sure you noticed that each one of the above eight items begins with “Your”. That is because every investor is different. Your needs are unique to you, so your plan needs to be specifically designed to meet those needs. Also, your plan should fit in with your current life situation.

Register for the next available Launch Pad session: VIEW CALENDAR

2. Start implementing your Launch Pad Plan immediately! Your personal Launch Pad plan tells you what to do and when to do it. So, schedule the education you need. Begin building your team. Attend the networking sessions important to your plan. Implement your Acquisition Plan. Time to get going! It’s all in your Launch Pad plan!

3. Review the latest Market Update in the Member Resources tab in the Member’s Area of this website. As an investor it is important that you stay informed on the market. Creative real estate investing means being able to respond to market conditions in your negotiations, marketing, acquisitions, pricing, etc. It will take you a while to become comfortable with market trends. Attending the Market Update and Market News segments of AZREIA’s monthly meetings will help you understand trends and directions important to your investing.

4. Optional: View the Success Factors video series by CLICKING HERE. This free, one-hour, six-part video covers several important topics for new investors:

  1. What Will Be Covered
    1. Goal Setting
    2. Getting You Started Quickly
    3. Taking Months Off Your Ramp Up Time
    4. Getting You Connected
    5. Reducing Mistakes
  2. Jumping Right In!
    1. Getting in the Right Mindset to Succeed
    2. Top 5 Success Factors
    3. Separating Fact from Myth
    4. Understanding Different Investing Strategies
  3. Education: Spending Your Dollars Wisely
    1. Education You Need Versus Unnecessary Education
    2. Mentors: What You Need to Understand Before Spending Your Money
  4. It’s All for Nothing if You Don’t Do a Deal
    1. Finding Deals
    2. Getting Money for Deals
  5. Tools for Success
    1. Building Your Team
    2. Leveraging the Market Update
  6. Time to Get Started!
    1. Look Out!
    2. Your Next Steps

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Experienced Investors

Congratulations! You are somewhere along the path to achieving your objectives. Maybe you have rehabbed a couple of houses or acquired a few rentals. Possibly you have already achieved your objectives and are fully living the life you dreamed. Regardless of where you are on your path, an AZREIA membership will benefit you by helping you get to your goals faster, increasing the margins on your current investments and simplifying your business.

Seven Ways AZREIA Will Help You

1. Market Information – Market knowledge sets you apart from your competition. How you use the knowledge and information will be unique to you and your needs. Valued market information will help you adjust your investing to current market conditions, so you don’t miss opportunities. The knowledge you gain from this valuable tool will help you communicate as an expert. It will help you raise money from investors. You will justify pricing and offers based on market trend analysis. The Market Update is invaluable and free to members.

2. Controlling Your Cost & Saving Money – AZREIA members have access to exclusive benefits from dozens of our Business Associates and major national companies like The Home Depot where members can qualify for 2% rebate and receive exclusive pricing on paint, cabinets and appliances. AZREIA members on average save over $1000 per year each through our expansive relationships. Experienced members save many thousands of dollars each year.

3. Simplify Your Business – Real Estate investing is constantly changing. New processes, new technology, new creative techniques are always coming along. AZREIA will keep you at the forefront of it all.

4. Networking – The most successful investors realize the tremendous value of networking. AZREIA makes it simple to network with a purpose. From the structured networking of the Phoenix Real Estate Club designed for experienced investors to achieve results to great networking opportunities at all our strategy based subgroups, we have made networking effortless.

5. Improving Your Team – We know you already have a team in place. You wouldn’t be a successful investor without one. Through AZREIA’s Business Associate Program it is very possible you will improve your team with experts in virtually all of the services and products you will need. You know the value of having an experience, expert team. If you need to upgrade your team, AZREIA can help.

6. Education – You’re successful, so you are smart as it relates to investing. AZREIA’s most successful investors continuously invest in their advanced education. AZREIA’s reputation allows us the benefit to be very picky on the national educators we bring to our members. We realize it is important for you to understand the latest techniques and how to integrate them into your current investing.

7. Two Things Successful Experienced Investors Need To Do – We have found that time constraints often prevent or delay experienced investors from doing two thing that will protect their long term success – proper insurance coverage and exceptional asset protection. AZREIA will assist you in understanding your insurance coverage and asset protection. We are not an insurance company or attorneys and will not give you advice. We will help you to understand what you need to know and the questions you must have answers to in both of these critical areas. There is no reason to work a lifetime for success and give it away in a day. Don’t be “one of those investors” with a story. Preventing the loss of success is possible and something every investor should do.

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Help for Non-Members

Naturally we can help you more if you are an AZREIA member, but there are several things you can do as a non-member.

1. Take our FREE Entrepreneurial Self Assessment. This first step of our Launch Pad program helps you better understand your suitability for Real Estate Investing. It takes about 20 minutes to complete. [CLICK HERE to take the Entrepreneurial Self Assessment]

2. View the Success Factors videos. This free one-hour, six-part video series (CLICK HERE to view) covers several important topics for new investors:

    • What Will Be Covered – Goal Setting, Getting You Started Quickly, Taking Months Off Your Ramp Up Time, Getting You Connected, Reducing Mistakes
    • Jumping Right In! – Getting in the Right Mindset to Succeed; Top 5 Success Factors; Separating Fact from Myth; Understanding Different Investing Strategies
    • Education: Spending Your Dollars Wisely – Education You Need Versus Unnecessary Education; Mentors: What You Need to Understand Before Spending Your Money
    • It’s All for Nothing if You Don’t Do a Deal – Finding Deals & Getting Money for Deals
    • Tools for Success – Building Your Team & Leveraging the Market Update
    • Time to Get Started! – Look Out!; Your Next Steps

3. Take a Launch Pad session. This is free for members, but it is available to non-members for a fee on a space available basis. Launch Pad is a planning process when completed provides most new investors with the following:

    • Your Optimal Investing Path
    • Your Preferred Property Type
    • Your Property Acquisition Plan
    • Your Funding Plan
    • Your Educational Plan
    • Your Team Building Plan
    • Your Networking Plan
    • Your Beginning Timeline

I’m sure you noticed that each one of the above eight items begins with “Your”. That is because every investor is different. Your needs are unique to you, so your plan needs to be specifically designed to meet those needs. Also, your plan should fit in with your current life situation.

Register for the next available Launch Pad session: VIEW CALENDAR

4. Attend AZREIA meetings as a guest. There is a reasonable guest fee which is discounted if you register online.

    • The Market Update is presented at our Monthly Meetings, so you are able to receive this valuable information. (Only members may download and use the charts and data.)
    • You may meet AZREIA Business Associates in the Tradeshow during our Monthly Meetings. This will give you access to exceptional product and service providers that successful real estate investors use.
    • Networking at our Monthly Meetings is unsurpassed. As a non-member you may take full advantage of this opportunity.

5. Please enjoy our Blog of interesting articles by industry experts. Access our blog by CLICKING HERE.

6. The best way we can help you is to convince you to become a member. Our benefits are extensive. Our average registered member receives several hundred dollars in rebates and exclusive AZREIA discounts from The Home Depot. Discounts on education and services/products from our Business associates ensure you save big. Every AZREIA member should receive many times their annual dues back just through our rebates and discounts.

Please consider our “Build-Your-Own” membership plan as a cost-efficient way to fully participate in AZREIA. At only $60 a year under our current promotion and low meeting costs it is an ideal way to get started.

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