Re: Taxes owed after selling rental property
Level 15

Investors & landlords


@Pam190417 wrote:

I am selling rental property to a family member only for what I owe on the mortgage. What taxes if any will I owe.  I owned the property for 17 years.

You may want to see an accountant.  There are two issues:


1. When selling a rental property to anyone not related to you at fair market value, you pay capital gains tax on your gain.  Your gain is the difference between the selling price and your adjusted cost basis.


You can reduce the selling price by certain transactional costs of selling, such as real estate commission and transfer taxes.  


Your adjusted cost basis is, roughly speaking,

The price you originally paid

Plus the cost of permanent improvements you made (such as replacing the roof or furnace)

Minus any depreciation you took or could have taken as a rental expense.


Let's assume you paid $50,000 originally and made $30,000 of improvements, and took $25,000 of depreciation, and you are selling for $200,000.  Your adjusted cost basis is $55,000 so your gain is $145,000.  The part of the gain that is attributed to depreciation is taxed as ordinary income, with a cap of 25%.  This is called depreciation recapture, and the rate will depend on your other income, possibly 15%, 22% or 24%.  The rest of the gain is taxed as a long term capital gain, at a rate of 15% or 20%, depending on your other income.


Your gain has nothing to do with the amount of the mortgage or the amount of proceeds you actually receive.


2. In the case of selling to a relative at below market value, some special rules apply, which I am not familiar with.  You may be required to pay capital gains tax as if you had sold the property at full market value to a stranger.


What exactly is the relationship?  


I will ask for some help for this part of the question.  @Carl @Hal_Al 


*Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute legal or tax advice.*
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