RE Business News

Big Win for Realtors in IRS 20% Income Deduction

On Wednesday, August 8, the IRS released its proposed guidance on the new 20 percent business income deduction.  A wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed and those operating through partnerships, LLCs and S corporations, can take 20 percent off the top of any income received through pass-through businesses, provided annual income doesn’t exceed $157,000 for those filing individually, or $315,000 for married couples.

The calculation will depend on how your business is structured. Other limits could also come into play, but the basic structure is very favorable to you as a small business or independent contractor.

The key development from Wednesday’s announcement is the IRS’ new recognition of eligibility for a wide range of real estate professionals, including, as previously stated, those who are self-employed and who are operating through partnerships, LLCs or S corporations.

Realtors were integral to the favorable interpretation in the proposed guidance. Your association made a forceful case—both in a detailed letter sent to the agency on June 19 and in a face-to-face meeting with IRS officials in early August—that certain limitations on the deduction, based on income, were not intended by Congress to apply to real estate professionals. And that’s the interpretation the IRS has taken in its proposed guidance.

As Bloomberg News reported on August 7, “the National Association of Realtors … met with OMB (Office of Management and Budget) and Treasury Department officials to discuss proposed rules outlining computation of the new write-off for pass-throughs.”

NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall had this to say about Wednesday’s annoucement:

Over the past several months, the National Association of Realtors® has worked with the IRS and Treasury Department to ensure real estate professionals can benefit from the Section 199A 20% deduction for pass-through businesses.

We were pleased with yesterday’s announcement, and believe this new 20% deduction will have a significant, beneficial impact on real estate professionals and America’s small businesses. Specifically, we anticipate the deduction to become available to a wide range of real estate professionals, including those who are self-employed as well as those operating through partnerships, LLCs, and S corporations.

This ruling is a victory for many of our 1.3 million members, those who represent all aspects of residential and commercial real estate. NAR continues to review all relevant information in the recently released proposed regulations on Section 199A, and will communicate with our members as new details emerge.

The new deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017. That means you’ll be able to claim it for the first time on your 2018 federal income tax return, beginning next year.

Look for detailed NAR guidance by mid September. It’s a complicated provision, and how it works for you is going to depend on many factors unique to your business structure and your income. As always, consult with your accountant or tax attorney on how this deduction should be applied in your situation.

Nanny Cam – Secret Recordings in Homes

The legal hotline was recently asked if a listing agent knows that a seller has a surveillance system installed in their home – do they have to tell potential buyers that they are being recorded? YES!  It is a crime in Massachusetts to secretly hear or record another individual without their knowledge and consent pursuant

Pittsfield School Districts by Street

When entering a school for the City of Pittsfield … PLEASE don’t guess, check the “school directory by street name” to confirm that you are sharing accurate information.  It’s a very important piece of information that buyers rely on and we have seen errors that have created problems in a deal where there shouldn’t have
Live Massachusetts Real Estate Continuing Education Classes - 2 credits each, Berkshire County MA

Classroom Education – August, September, October

Mark your calendars, and register for any or all of the following classes happening in August, September and October.  Classes will be held in the Board Office conference room.  Seating is limited so please be sure to register early. August 16:  Fair Housing:  9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.  This is the 50th anniversary of the

SJC Declines To Uproot Law On Tree Responsibility

A few weeks ago, in Shiel v. Rowell, the Court was asked to overrule centuries-old common law that a landowner may not be held liable for damage caused to a neighbor’s property from a healthy tree. In an opinion interspersed with amusing tree puns, the justices declined to uproot precedent, and reaffirmed the “Massachusetts Rule”

Anne Meczywor to be Installed as 2019 President of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS

Congratulations to Anne Meczywor, broker-associate at Roberts & Associates Realty, LLC in Lenox on her upcoming installation to the position of President of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS.  Please join us in giving her a hearty WHOOP-WHOOP and a big shout out for achieving this prestigious position within the REALTOR family.  The Berkshires are prouder
MAR Legal Hotline

Crack down on Escrow Account Handling

We would like to start this Legal Hotline question with an announcement that MAR General Counsel Mike McDonagh has accepted a position as CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Subcontractors, effective September 1.  MAR will be on the hunt for a new led counsel and we will rely on Catherine and Justin until a replacement

Cortney Dupont Named 2018 Berkshire County REALTOR of the Year

We are happy to announce that 2018 President, Cortney Dupont, has been chosen 2018 Realtor of the Year by a committee of her peers.  This honor is bestowed upon a REALTOR that goes above and beyond in their volunteer service in the REALTOR organization including local, state and national levels, those who give back to the community and believe in the ideals and importance of the REALTOR organization and our impact on the Berkshire community.

Cortney has been a member of the Board since 2009, and became active with the association when she first joined the Board of REALTORS Board of Directors in 2016 as the Vice-President.  She served as President-Elect in 2017 and is the President of the board this year.

Cortney has spent countless hours traveling on our behalf, attending meetings and conferences, and serving on critical MLS Committees. She has led by example and actively serves the local association on many, many key task forces, committees and workgroups for the Board.

In her words, “…mentoring our new agents one-on-one…most satisfying AND necessary.  It’s a wonderful way to always refresh our code of ethics for myself and keep current on every law dictating our business from being allowed to install a dock at the water’s edge to where a carbon monoxide detector should be placed.  As all of you who know me…new agent training, education and being the best we can be is my #1 goal as President of the Board.”

Please join us as we wish Cortney congratulations .. send her a message, a card, a text:

Cortney Dupont
Cohen & White Associates
P.O. Box 1650
Lenox, MA 01240
Office – (413) 637-1086
Mobile – (413) 429-5000
cortney.dupont@gmail.com
http://www.cohenwhiteassoc.com

 

Local Association Activities
President, Berkshire County Board of REALTORS – 2018
President-Elect, Berkshire County Board of REALTORS – 2017
Vice-President, Berkshire County Board of REALTORS – 2016
Ex-Officio, Multiple Listing Service – 2018
75th Anniversary Planning Workgroup – 2016
Volunteer Bartender, REACT Battle of the Bartenders – 2017
Finance Committee  – 2017/2018
Investment Committee  – 2017/2018
Government Affairs Committee  – 2017/2018
Housing Summit Workgroup – 2018
Chair, Leadership Development Workgroup – 2017/2018
New Agent Skills Development Committee – 2017/2018
Personnel Committee – 2017/2018
Professional Standards Committee – 2017/2018
Structure Analysis Workgroup – 2018
MLS Think Tank – 2017/2018
MLS Vendor Selection Workgroup – 2018
MLS Collaboration Workgroup – 2018
Volunteer Tyler Street Better Block Project – 2017
State Association Activities
State Director – 2016-2018
REALTOR Day on Beacon Hill – 2018
REALTOR Day on Capital Hill – 2016/2017
Graduate – MA Leadership Academy – 2017
MAR President Meetings – 2018
MA Conference & Tradeshow – 2016-2018
National Association Activities
National Legislative Meetings – 2016-2018
National Annual Convention – 2016-2018
National Leadership Summit – 2017
Civic Affairs Activities
Board of Directors, Golden Knight Youth Basketball League of South County
Coach – Golden Knight Youth Basketball League of South County
Coach – Golden Knight Youth Basketball League of South County traveling team
Coach – Youth soccer
Coach – High School soccer
Coach – Youth softball
Coach – High School softball
Coach – JV basketball
Coach – varsity basketball
Coach – league basketball
Member of Tanglewood Business Partners
Volunteer Boston University Program
Member of Lenox Chamber of Commerce
Volunteer guide for Venfort Hall
Volunteer Elizabeth Freeman Center
Mentor fostering support for local girls
Volunteer Construct, Inc
Volunteer fundraising for 6-8 local athletes annually
Food drives for local churches
Purchase holiday gifts for underprivileged athletes
Sing at local nursing homes
Serve meals for area senior citizens
Volunteer of the Year for Golden Knight Association
Business Accomplishments
Instrumental in the team marketing Cohen & White Associates, Inc.
Real Estate business mentor at Cohen & White
Referrals generated from satisfied buyer and seller clients

Licensee Liable for Wire Fraud Losses

This week, NAR legal reports that a Kansas federal court upholds jury verdict that determined that the buyer’s representative was 85% responsible for the buyer’s losses, which occurred when the buyer transferred purchase money to fake account after buyer’s representative allegedly forwarded email containing false wiring instructions to the buyer. WOW A real estate buyer

Get My Home Pics Off the Internet!

So, your new buyer wants their home photos OFF THE INTERNET!  They typically ask their agent (or us) to please remove them from the MLS.  Well, no… removing the listing photos from the MLS does not achieve the owner’s ultimate goal.  But we do try to help! First, know that access to MLS photos can
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