The taxpayer must prove that the underlying economic transaction was not concocted to avoid or reduce tax liability. In the Gregory Vs. Helvering case, the Supreme Court actually uses the word ‘sham’.
Recourse debt is a legal right drafted into a loan agreement allowing the lender to seek the right for damages in case of default on the loan. Recourse debt identifies the party for recourse and this party must sign the document in order to bind itself to the lender. In most situations, the recourse is to a third party that will derive some form of benefit from the loan.
In the arsenal of capitalizing a business operation, long term debt serves as one of the primary sources of capital. If you are an owner of a small business, you need to understand the relationship this source has to the overall financial status of the company. Too much debt and the owner is burden by the cash outlays to service.
Real Estate Investment Trusts are corporations, trusts or associations that act as agencies in real estate and associated mortgages. This is a specialized tax segment and it requires recognition by the Internal Revenue Service to operate as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). In general, the REIT pays little to no income taxes and acts very similar to a pass-through entity for tax purposes. All REITs must comply with Code Section 856 which addresses compliance for this privileged tax advantage. Typically, REITs file Form 1120-REIT for tax purposes.
A secondary advantage for REIT status is the ability to raise capital via syndication. Section 856(a) and (b) require a minimum of 100 shareholders or owners of interest in the business entity. This allows for a more advantageous management situation by having a more formal elected board of trustees or directors. In addition, it allows for greater ease of transfer of ownership with the respective investors.
To fully appreciate the Real Estate Investment Trust, you should become acquainted with the history behind REITs. From there, there are unique advantages associated with REITs and an investment in one. As with all business situations, there are some disadvantages and you should be aware of them. The following sections cover these three topics and I’ll finish off with my own conclusion.
The process of collecting a large pool of investors, each contributing or investing a small amount of dollars for a highly focused project is referred to as crowdfunding. The crowd is financing the project or goal. This is very similar to how large non-profits address significant events worldwide. A good example is the American Red Cross addressing disaster relief in the aftermath of a major natural tragedy.