It’s bad enough when you have to pay tax once to the IRS.
But owners of C corporations can get hit twice: First when the corporation pays tax on its income and second when shareholders taxed on dividends. Buy property personally and lease it back to your company. The rental payments to you won’t be subject to a double tax, because the company can deduct them. You pay tax only at the personal level when you receive the rental payments, and you can offset the rental income with depreciation deductions. This technique works particularly well with real estate. If your company already owns a business building, you can buy it from your company and then lease it right back.
Make sure that you meet these requirements:
• The property’s useful life exceeds the lease term
• Any lease renewal is set at a market value
• You as the buyer reasonably expect to profit from the deal
• The property is sold at a fair price and you assume the risk of losing money
• There’s a valid non-tax business reason for the rental.
Note that it’s generally not a good idea to include a provision allowing the company to repurchase the building. That’s almost sure to draw the IRS’ attention. What happens if you sell the building later after owning it for more than one year? Any gain will qualify as lower-taxed long-term capital gain. You’ll pay tax at a 25% federal rate on gain attributable to depreciation deductions. The rest of the gain will be taxed at a federal rate of only 15% or 20%. You’ll probably owe the 3.8% net investment income tax too, and you may owe state income tax as well.