New Rules Require Rental Property Owners to Issue 1099s

The recently enacted Small Business Jobs Act, P.L. 111-240, contained one provision that may have escaped the notice of taxpayers who own rental property, but will affect them starting in January. Under the provision, owners of property who receive rental income will be required to issue Forms 1099 to service providers for payments of $600 or more during the year.

The act subjects recipients of rental income from real estate to the same information-reporting requirements as taxpayers engaged in a trade or business. Thus, rental income recipients making payments of $600 or more to a service provider in the course of earning rental income are required to provide an information return (typically, Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income) to the IRS and to the service provider. This provision will apply to payments made after December 31, 2010, and will cover, for example, payments made to plumbers, painters or accountants in the course of earning the rental income.

While rental property owners will not actually issue the required 1099s until early 2012, they need to start keeping adequate records of payments starting January 1, 2011, so they will be prepared to issue correct 1099s. They will also need to obtain the name, address and taxpayer identification number of the service provider, using Form W-9 or a similar form.

The law provides an exception for individuals who can show that the requirement will create a hardship for them. The IRS is directed to issue regulations on this, but has not done so yet, so there is currently no guidance on what constitutes sufficient hardship to qualify for the exception or how a taxpayer would demonstrate that hardship.

The law also contains an exception for individuals who receive rental income of “not more than a minimal amount.” Again, the IRS is directed to issue regulations to determine what constitutes “not more than a minimal amount” but has not done so yet.

If such guidance is not forthcoming before January 1, all individuals who receive rental income should start keeping records of payments to service providers so they are prepared to issue 1099s in 2012.

The law also contains an exception for members of the military or employees of the intelligence community if substantially all their rental income comes from renting their principal residence on a temporary basis.

Information Return Penalties
Taxpayers should also be aware that in addition to creating a new reporting requirement, the act increases the penalties for failure to file a correct information return. The first-tier penalty increases from $15 to $30; the second-tier penalty increases from $30 to $60; and the third-tier penalty increases from $50 to $100. For small business filers (with average annual gross receipts under $5 million), the calendar-year maximum increases from $25,000 to $75,000 for the first-tier penalty; from $50,000 to $200,000 for the second-tier penalty; and from $100,000 to $500,000 for the third-tier penalty. The minimum penalty for each failure due to intentional disregard increases from $100 to $250.

The increased penalties apply to information returns required to be filed on or after January 1, 2011.

Expanded 1099 Reporting After 2011
Currently, payments to corporations are excepted from the 1099 information reporting requirements, but starting for payments after December 31, 2011, businesses (including, now, individuals who receive rental income) will be required to file an information return for all payments aggregating $600 or more in a calendar year to a single payee, including corporations (other than a payee that is a tax-exempt corporation). This change was made by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, which was enacted in March. That act also expanded the information reporting requirements to include gross proceeds paid in consideration for property.

Happy New Year

First, Id like to take a moment to Thank all of our clients, partners, and associates for helping make 2010 a success. 2010 was our first full year operating as Foster Spahr Real Estate and we couldnt have imagined a better start to what we hope will be a long and successful journey.

We see a lot of exciting opportunites and devlopments awaiting our clients in 2011. Interest rates remain at historic lows, housing prices have begun to stabilize, and a heathly level of inventory exists throughout the greater Washington DC area providing our clients wonderful opportunities to find the home of the dreams. Our investor clients should also benefit from the steady supply of foreclosures as the system works through the large inventory created as a result of the downturn.

On the flip side, our clients looking to sell should see a more stable market than has existed in the last 2-3 years and while prices having only begun to marginally stengthen, there should be a larger pool of buyers to market to providing more opportunity to get the properties moved. Our focus for our clients will be on presentation and pricing to make sure your property stands out from the crowd. This will prove to be the best strategy for those looking to sell in 2011.

Another exciting development we would like to announce is the introduction of our REO divison. We will be aggressively working with Asset Managers and Banks to deliver a superior service in getting our clients REO properties sold with quick turnarounds while at the same time, maximizing the realized return on investment. We have put together a full turn-key package and are fully funded to provide a level of service that we hope will set us apart from the competition.
Thank you again for allowing us the opportunity to be your local real estate partner. We look forward to providing you and your referrals with the highest level of service you have come to expect from Foster Spahr Real Estate.

Best wishes for a successful 2011,
Dan Spahr
Pricipal Broker