Tag Archives: Real Estate

UBIT? You Bet!


I think the answer to my question. Does Arkansas charge tax on UBIT and UDFI?

in the book 2009 Multistate Guide to Regulation and Taxation of Nonprofits By Steven D. Simpson. Which is found in full online through google books at:


It says that Arkansas does not have IRS code sections 501-529, but that it does tax unrelated business income on income attributable to Arkansas. Since UDFI is Section 514 I assume that there is no state income tax on UDFI. I also believe that attributable to Arkansas means the source of the income is physically inside the state.

This book seems to be a source of answers on UDFI and UBIT for all 50 states or at least a starting place.

I still have the following 3 questions from yesterday in a more simplified form:


1) If you pay UDFI on the sale of a depreciated rental property do you also recapture depreciation at a 25% rate?


2) If my IRA purchases a condo for nightly rental using debt will it owe UBIT on the nightly rental and UDFI on the profit percentage of the debt?


3) In the following  published article you state that UDFI is on Acquisition debt. Does this infer that if I pay cash for the house and then borrow against it later there is no UDFI? In other words is UDFI on all debt or just aquisition debt.




Definition of “Debt Financed Property.” In general, the term “debt-financed property” means any property held to produce income (including gain from its

disposition) for which there is an acquisition indebtedness at any time during the taxable year (or during the 12-month period before the date of the property’s disposal if it was disposed of during the tax year). If your retirement plan invests in a non-taxable entity and that entity owns debt financed property, the income from that property is attributed to the retirement plan, whether or not the income is distributed.





Thanks for the reference and the questions yesterday. Sorry we couldn’t get to all of them on the call.  As far as your questions:

1) I believe the IRA would owe this tax, but I have heard different arguments on this. If you think about it, it wouldn’t make sense to be able to deduct depreciation from current UDFI and then escape it on the sale of the property. However, one CPA told me that if the property had been paid off for more than 12 months so there was no capital gains tax then there wouldn’t be depreciation recapture either. I think this was based on the theory that ‘depreciation recapture’ is really another form of capital gains, technically called ‘unrecaptured section 1250 gains.’ To be honest, I just don’t know.

2) That’s a good question. Certainly running a hotel is considered to be a business operation as opposed to just rental income, so I see where you could assume that the nightly rentals would be UBI and not UDFI. I think that if it is considered to be a business operation then probably all income from that business would be UBI not UDFI. I don’t think you can split the capital gains in that case away and call them UDFI, but once again I’m really not that confident, especially this early in the morning. On the other hand, if it were me I would probably just report it as UDFI and see if the IRS disagreed. There is a lot of ambiguity in this area, unfortunately.


3) Another good question, but this one I can actually help you with. 🙂 Acquisition indebtedness is 1) when acquring or improving the property; 2) before acquring or improving the property if the debt would not have been incurred except for the acquisition or improvement; or 3) after acquiring or improving the property if (a) the debt would not have been incurred except for the acquisition or improvement, and b) incurring the debt was reasonably forseeable when the property was acquired or improved. So most likely in your scenario the debt would still be considered ‘acquisition indebtedness.’


Here is an interesting brain twister: what if my IRA owns a piece of land with no debt which produces no income but which is expected to be sold within a year. If my IRA borrows money to purchase bank stock, which will not be sold for several years, which property is considered debt-financed, the land or the bank stock? If the answer is the bank stock, then can my IRA escape taxation entirely on the gains from the bank stock because the debt will have been paid off from the sales proceeds of the land for more than 12 months prior to the sale of the bank stock?

Using IRA to invest in Laundromat Business?


I appreciate if you can answer my two questions below:

1- Can I use my IRA and invest in a Laundromat business as my down payment and borrow rest from SBA?

2- Can I buy a 2nd home with my SDIRA?


1) Not directly in the IRA, no.  Your IRA is to be invested for your future, not for your current benefit (or to benefit any other disqualified person).  Some people say that you can set up a ROBS arrangement (Rollovers for Business Startup).  This works like this:  a) you set up a C corporation; b) you appoint yourself the sole director and officer; c) you have the corporation adopt a 401(k) plan; d) you roll your IRA into the 401(k) plan; e) you, as trustee of the 401(k) plan, purchase all of the shares of the C corporation; and (f) you hire yourself to run the corporation.  If this sounds a bit complicated to set up and a little expensive, that’s because it is.  The IRS has issued some guidance on concerns it has with ROBS arrangements, so if you go down that path you will need to work with someone who is very knowledgeable about this area and can satisfactorily address the IRS’ concerns.  Investing your retirement money into what is essentially a start up business certainly can be risky.  I would encourage you to do some research on ROBS arrangements and do some soul searching before setting this up.  Many companies offer to set up ROBS arrangements.  One such firm in Houston is DRDA, Inc., www.borsaplan.com.  I am not qualified to make a judgment as to the validity of the structure, so that is something you must decide for yourself.  Good luck!


2) Self-directed IRAs do buy real estate all the time.  However, if you are asking can you buy a second home which you intend to use periodically personally then the answer is no, for the same reason the first answer is no.  You cannot either directly or indirectly gain a personal benefit from your IRA’s assets, other than in the form of a distribution from the IRA.


Good luck with your investments, and let me know if you have any further questions.


Have a great day!


How many Real Estate transactions can I complete in a calendar year?



With my Quest Roth IRA and utilizing the PPT, how many real estate transactions can I complete in a calendar year. Specifically optioning  a property then, assigning the option and pocketing the assignment fee.





There is nothing that indicates a specific limit on how many such transactions you can do BUT (and it’s a big BUT) there are some potential areas of concern.  An IRA is meant to be for investments only, and not necessarily for running a business.  So if you are in the business of buying and selling property, or buying and selling options on property, then your IRA may be subject to unrelated business income tax on its profits from that business.  So how many can you do before it’s considered to be a business?  Nobody knows.  It has to do with intent, and volume, and how exactly the business is handled.  The best hint I can give you is that if you would report your activity as business income outside of your IRA, then it is almost certainly business income inside your IRA, and taxes will be owed by your IRA on its business profits. You should consult with your CPA on this issue.


Another issue you will want to consult with your CPA on is the tax filing requirements for your personal property trust.  My experience has been that many people using trusts ignore completely the tax filing requirements for trusts.  If your trustee is using Optional Filing Method 1 instead of filing a 1041 for the trust, then you don’t have to report anything to the IRS, but you will want to make sure that option is available for your trust activity reporting and that the conditions for using this option are acceptable to you.  I did write an article on this topic and if you like I can send you a copy of it.  Or you can just look it up on my blog at www.irawebadvisor.com.


A bigger issue involves who is doing the activity.  If you are essentially running a business inside of your Roth IRA, then you may be considered to be contributing your services to the Roth IRA.  This has the potential to be considered by the IRS as an excess contribution under IRC Section 4973, or a prohibited transaction under the prohibited transaction rules of IRC Section 4975(c)(1)(C) (the provision of goods, SERVICES, or facilities between a plan and a disqualified person).  It may also be considered an abusive Roth transaction which falls under IRS Notice 2004-8, in which case it is a listed transaction that you must specifically report in order to avoid severe penalties.


If it sounds like I’m trying to scare you off of using options, I am not.  I am simply pointing out that you cannot donate your personal services to your Roth IRA where the IRS will never get its share of the money.  You may make as much money as you like on your INVESTMENT activity.  You may even own a business in your Roth IRA, but you personally cannot run that business, and the business must pay taxes on its income, either through the entity that owns the business or directly by the Roth IRA if the entity running the business is non-taxable.  There is often a very fuzzy line between investment selection (which is no problem) and providing services.  Some people are willing to dance closer to the line than others, and there are no definitive answers.  The analysis is very fact specific, so there is no bright line answer to your question.


One thing I think is fair to say is that “piglets get fed but hogs get slaughtered.”  By that I mean that too much of a good thing can cause the IRS to take the position that what might otherwise be investment activity changes its character to business activity.  The higher the dollar amount involved the higher the level of interest by the IRS will be if they audit.  Generally it is a good idea to have more than just one type of investment activity to avoid the appearance that you are simply creating options as inventory to be sold off for a profit.


As you know I cannot give you tax, legal or investment advice.  Hopefully the information above will give you and your tax or legal advisors some areas to analyze.  Good luck with your investments, and have a great day!


Any Loops Holes Around Prohibited Transactions of Real Estate for Personal Use in an IRA?

Question: I am looking for a custodian for a client who wants to make a real estate investment in his IRA.  Quest IRA, Inc. was referred to me by my accountant.  I have a couple questions about the limitations of use of the property by the owner.

Specifically, the accountant mentioned there are some tricky provisions about using the investment for personal use, but it would appear from the articles on the Quest IRA, Inc. site that the property cannot be used at all by the owner, as a vacation home for example.  Is that the bottom line on the issue or are there a few loopholes with the provision?

Answer: Thank you for your inquiry.  Unfortunately, no, there are no loop holes to the restrictions against personal use.  Statutorily, Internal Revenue Code Section 4975 contains the prohibited transaction rules, which prevent, among other things, the direct or indirect:

(c)(1)(A) sale or exchange, or leasing, of any property between a plan and a disqualified person;

(c)(1)(C) furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a plan and a disqualified person;

(c)(1)(D) transfer to, or use by or for the benefit of, a disqualified person of the income or assets of a plan;

(c)(1)(E) act by a disqualified person who is a fiduciary whereby he deals with the income or assets of a plan in his own interests or for his own account;

Your client, as the owner of the account, is considered a fiduciary and a disqualified person, and of course the IRA is included within the definition of a plan under the statute.  Your client’s spouse, lineal ancestors (Mom, Dad, etc.) and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) and their spouses, plus any corporation, partnership, trust or estate in which any of the above owns or controls 50% or more of are all disqualified persons and cannot enter into a transaction with or benefit from a transaction with your client’s IRA.

The prohibited transaction rules are intended to make sure that all transactions within the IRA are on an arms-length basis and that no disqualified person directly or indirectly benefits from the transaction except, of course the IRA owner when he or she takes a distribution from the IRA.

If we can assist you or your clients, please let me know.  Have a great day!

Would it be a prohibited transaction if I only owned 25% of the entity???


I’ve just finished reading a 102 page pdf document which contained articles authored by you concerning Self-Directed IRAs.

I’m confused as to whether or not my particular circumstance would fall under the prohibited transaction category.

I’m employed by XYZ Company, a manager of commercial real estate assets.

XYZ Holdings is under contract to acquire a 50 unit student housing asset in Austin, TX for $4.65 million.  With closing costs and renovation costs, the total costs of the transaction are $5.0 million.  We are financing the acquisition with a $3.75 million loan from KeyBank, and raising the remaining $1.25 million through a friends and family private placement equity raise.

The loan from ABC Bank is an 18 month bridge loan which is full recourse to me and my partner.  However, once we implement some improvements to the asset and increase the net cash flow generated by the property, we will refinance into a non-recourse permanent loan.

As compensation for finding this transaction and sponsoring the deal, my partner and I will receive 25% of the ownership in the entity which owns the asset.  The equity investors who invest the $1.25 million of equity will receive the remaining 75% of ownership in the entity which owns the asset.

XYZ Management Company will manage the asset at some point in the future, but not initially.  I’m technically an employee of XYZ Management Company, but not an owner of XYZ Management Company.

I would like to invest an existing traditional IRA of mine, which has a balance of approximately $160,000, as a portion of the $1.25 million of required equity capital, thus giving me a limited partner position in the ownership entity, in addition to my sponsorship promote equity position.

Is the proposed IRA investment acceptable, or would this be considered a prohibited transaction?

Thank you for your assistance on this issue.


Unfortunately, this would be a prohibited transaction.  You cannot use your IRA for your personal benefit now, and clearly having your IRA invest in a  project that you receive a 25% personal interest in would violate the rules.  The goal of the prohibited transaction rules overall is to make sure that transactions in your IRA are on an arms-length basis.  We would love to assist you with your self-directed IRA needs if you identify an investment that fits within the parameters of the law.  Good luck with your project, and have a great day!

(Quincy’s Most Frequently Read Articles)

Questions about Real Estate in a self-directed IRA and about paying or receiving management fees?


I have done a pretty good amount of learning about self-directed IRA’s and investing locally in real estate and have talked extensively with Equity Trust and Pensco.  Just learned about your company through a Sacramento real estate investing club and perused a powerpoint you put together.

I had 2 questions for you:

1) I have heard mixed things about whether or not you can pay yourself a management fee from property you purchased with your own self-directed ira funds.  Do you have some clarification as to the perception of the IRS on this issue?  I’ve heard that you can get a letter from a local respected industry professional to verify the amount but I’ve also read this could be perceived as commingling.  (I am aware of the strict rules of keeping all funds separate in all other regards).

2) How does your company compare to Equity Trust with regard to monthly and other fees?


Thank you for your inquiry.  The answer to your first question is no, you absolutely may not take any kind of management fees for property owned by your IRA.  When people tell you that, they are misunderstanding Internal Revenue Code Section 4975(d)(2), which is often referred to as the “reasonable compensation exception.”  They may also be looking at IRS Publication 590, which in attempting to explain in plain English the rules makes the statement that taking unreasonable compensation for managing an IRA is a prohibited transaction.  This statement is simply a summary of 4975(d)(2), which many people misinterpret.  What people conveniently tend to ignore is that you have to read the whole statute to understand the rules, and 4975(d) starts out with the phrase “except as provided in subsection (f)(6)…”  Unfortunately, 4975(f)(6) voids the reasonable compensation exception for IRA beneficiaries, which means you are not able to take advantage of the reasonable compensation exception for your own IRA property.  Some people still want to cling to this idea anyway, but the Treasury Regulations for Section 4975 explicitly state “However, section 4975(d)(2) does not contain an exemption for acts described in section 4975(c)(1)(E) (relating to fiduciaries dealing with the income or assets of plans in their own interest or for their own account) or acts described in section 4975(c)(1)(F) (relating to fiduciaries receiving consideration for their own personal account from any party dealing with a plan in connection with a transaction involving the income or assets of the plan).  Such acts are separate transactions not described in section 4975(d)(2).”  Sections 4975(c)(1)(E)-(F) make it a prohibited transaction for a fiduciary to directly or indirectly benefit from the income or assets of the IRA, and you are a fiduciary of your self-directed IRA.  The final result of this legal somersaulting is that the IRA owner cannot be compensated.  Anyone advising you otherwise does not fully comprehend the rules.

The details of the above analysis and many other things you need to know about self-directed IRAs may be found in the book that I co-wrote with Dyches Boddiford and George Yeiter entitled “Real Estate Investment Using Self-Directed IRAs and Other Retirement Plans.”  You may want to obtain a copy of the book for your future reference. Contact Ryan Kimura (Ryan@QuestIRA.com) for a copy. It retails for $19.99 including shipping and handling.

With regards to your second question, I refer you to our fee schedule, which is included in the EZ IRA Starter kit attached.  In some instances we would be cheaper than Equity Trust Co. and in others we would be more expensive.  However, we feel that our knowledge base and more personal service cannot be beat at any price.

Quest IRA, Inc. Application with Fee Schedule