Real Estate


Property taxes are levied on the value of real property, including land, buildings, and any improvements made to the property. The amount of tax owed is based on the assessed value of the property and the tax rate set by the local government.

Property tax bills are typically issued annually by the local tax authority and are due by a specified date. Failure to pay property taxes on time can result in penalties and interest charges.

Smart Ways to Pay Real Estate Taxes as a Real Estate Investor

In the world of investing, real estate is a popular avenue for individuals looking to build wealth and secure their financial future. Real estate investing offers numerous benefits, such as passive income, property appreciation, and tax advantages. However, it’s crucial for real estate investors to understand the tax implications involved in their investments and find smart ways to pay real estate taxes.

Understanding Real Estate Investing

Real estate investing involves the purchase, ownership, management, rental, or sale of properties to generate income. Real estate investors acquire properties with the goal of generating returns through rental income or capital appreciation over time.

Benefits of Investing in Real Estate

Investing in real estate offers several advantages that make it an attractive investment option. First and foremost, rental income provides a consistent cash flow, which can supplement or even replace your regular income. Additionally, real estate properties tend to appreciate in value over time, allowing investors to build equity. Lastly, real estate investments offer tax advantages that can help reduce your overall tax liability.

Tax Strategies for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors can employ a variety of tax strategies to minimize their tax burden. One common strategy is to take advantage of deductions and tax benefits available for real estate investors. By understanding the tax code and identifying deductible expenses, investors can reduce their taxable income. Some common deductions include mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, and property management expenses.

Maximizing Tax Savings as a Real Estate Investor

Maximizing tax savings as a real estate investor requires careful planning and proactive tax management. It’s crucial to keep meticulous records of all income and expenses related to your real estate investments. By tracking your expenses, you can accurately calculate your taxable income and identify potential deductions. Additionally, consider working with a qualified tax professional who specializes in real estate investing to ensure you’re maximizing all available tax benefits.

Capital Gains Tax

Capital gains taxes are taxes imposed on the profit earned from the sale of an investment property or any other asset that has appreciated in value. When a real estate investor sells a property for a higher price than what they initially paid for it, they realize a capital gain.

Did you know that to calculate how much tax you will be paying as a result of your capital gains over the year, determine your personal income for the year, and then add 50% of the amount of capital gained in the year to create one complete personal income total.

There are two ways that an individual can go about reporting their capital gains, which all depends on factors related to your specific situation. You can either claim a capital gains deduction or declare a capital gains reserve, which applies to you if you are receiving payments over a period of time, rather than all at once.

To report eligible capital gains from all sources, a Schedule 3 form must be filled out.

Remember, you can also reduce your capital gains if you also have capital losses from other investments.

Deductions and Tax Benefits for Real Estate Investors

Real estate investors are eligible for a variety of tax deductions, which can help reduce their taxable income. Some common deductions include mortgage interest, property taxes, repairs and maintenance expenses, insurance premiums, and professional fees. It’s essential for investors to keep accurate records and receipts to substantiate their deductions in case of an audit.

Utilizing Tax Benefits as a Real Estate Investor

In addition to deductions, real estate investors can also take advantage of various tax benefits, such as depreciation. Depreciation allows investors to deduct a portion of the property’s value each year as it is expected to decline in value due to wear and tear. By depreciating their properties, investors can reduce their taxable income and ultimately lower their tax bill.

Utilizing Depreciation for Tax Savings

Depreciation is a tax benefit that allows real estate investors to deduct a portion of the property’s value over time due to wear, tear, and obsolescence. By depreciating their properties, investors can offset rental income and reduce their taxable income. Depreciation is based on an assigned useful life for the property, which must be determined in accordance with the tax code and regulations.

Maximizing Depreciation Deduction as an Investor

To maximize the depreciation deduction, real estate investors should engage with a qualified tax professional who can help establish an accurate depreciation schedule. Proper record-keeping and documentation are essential to substantiate the depreciation deduction claims. Additionally, it’s crucial to stay updated with changes in tax laws and regulations to ensure compliance and take advantage of any new depreciation opportunities.

Maximizing Tax Benefits on Rental Properties

Investing in rental properties offers unique tax advantages for real estate investors. Understanding the tax rules and regulations surrounding rental income is essential to maximize tax benefits. Rental income is considered taxable income and must be reported on your tax return. However, rental property expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, maintenance costs, and property management fees, can be deducted to offset the rental income.

Optimizing Tax Savings on Rental Income

Real estate investors can further optimize tax savings on rental income by actively managing their rental properties. By keeping meticulous records of income and expenses and conducting regular property inspections, investors can ensure they are accurately reporting rental income and are eligible for all available deductions.

The Importance of Mortgage Interest Deduction

Mortgage interest deductions are one of the significant tax benefits available to real estate investors who finance their properties using a mortgage. By deducting the interest paid on the mortgage, investors can significantly reduce their taxable income. Mortgage interest deductions apply to both primary residences and investment properties, as long as they meet the tax code’s requirements.

How to Benefit from Mortgage Interest Deduction

To benefit from mortgage interest deductions, real estate investors must ensure they meet the tax code’s criteria. This includes itemizing deductions on their tax return and maintaining proper records of mortgage interest payments. It’s advisable to consult with a qualified tax professional who can guide you through the specific requirements and help maximize your mortgage interest deduction.

So what does this have to do with you?

Take Advantage of Paying Your Taxes in Installments if Possible

If paying your property taxes in one lump sum is a financial burden, consider taking advantage of installment payment options offered by your local tax office.

Payment options

Many local tax offices allow property owners to divide their tax bills into smaller monthly or quarterly payments. This can make budgeting for property taxes more manageable and help avoid any financial strain.

Pay your local tax office

When paying your property taxes in installments, it’s essential to follow the instructions provided by your local tax office. They will specify the due dates and acceptable payment methods for each installment. Failure to comply with the payment schedule can result in penalties or interest charges.

I’ve broken down further how to Pay the CRA in another article.

Whether you’re a residential builder, a commercial land developer, a property manager, or a real estate investor, as experienced real estate accounting professionals we provide a customized approach to each and every client with the goal of improving profitability, managing cash flow better, and improving operational efficiency – everything your business needs to stay ahead of the competition. Richardson Miller LLP is here to help you with all your accounting needs.

I have often heard from entrepreneurs that it is difficult to obtain a mortgage to buy a home. Business owners can be viewed as a higher risk than the typical employee. As a result, obtaining financing at a preferred mortgage rate is challenging.

Here is a list of my favourite mistakes to avoid:

1. Failing to Plan Ahead

There are many factors to consider when you’re buying a house. You’ll need to coordinate your corporate tax plan, your personal income levels to qualify for a mortgage as well as your personal tax situation. Failing to plan can lead to painful tax bills and less than ideal mortgage arrangements.

2. Not Paying Yourself Enough

Let’s be honest. A huge benefit of being incorporated is having the ability to keep your personal income low and defer that personal tax bill. Many entrepreneurs pay themselves only what they need to live on. If you’re planning a significant purchase of a new home, that previous personal income may not be high enough to qualify for a mortgage on the home that you want. Consider what your income needs to be in order to afford that home you’re hoping to purchase.

3. Paying Yourself Too Much

Perhaps you’ve opted to inflate your personal income because you wanted it to be high enough to qualify for a mortgage. You report a giant dividend from your company that resulted in a large deficit in the equity section of your balance sheet. Sadly, your mortgage broker is going to see that you’ve declared income that you actually didn’t have and you aren’t going to get that mortgage.

4. Giant Spikes in Draws from Your Corporation

You’ve paid yourself a minimal salary and all of a sudden, you need to draw substantially more to be able to pay the down payment for your house. You’ve typically paid yourself $60,000 annually but suddenly need $250,000. This giant spike may put you in the most unfavorable personal tax brackets when you were barely utilizing the pleasant brackets in previous years. For tax purposes, you’re far better off smoothing out the personal draws over a number of years. In this example, take $155,000 each year instead of $60,000 then $250,000.

5. Failing to Pay Yourself Consistently

Dividends or a salary doesn’t really make a huge difference in the mortgage realm as long as you’re relatively consistent about your compensation plan.

6. Not Participating in the Home Buyers Plan

If neither you nor your spouse have lived in a home that you’ve owned in the last four years, you may qualify to use your RRSPs under the Homes Buyers Plan (HBP) as part of your down payment. After March 2019, CRA allows you to withdraw up to $35,000 for your down payment. Be sure to check out the CRA website for the latest criteria and rules around this program. Don’t have $35,000 in your RRSP yet? Bump up your wage from your corporation and make a contribution to your RRSPs. Have this money sit in your RRSP account for at least 90 days before you withdraw it under the HBP in order to get the deduction on your personal tax return.

7. Not Filing your Personal Taxes

Your mortgage broker will need a copy of your personal tax return along with your Notice of Assessment. Not having this paperwork readily available can delay approval of your financing and potentially cost you your dream home.

8. Not Paying Your Personal Taxes

Your mortgage broker will require proof that your personal taxes have been paid as part of your mortgage application. If you’ve paid yourself a giant dividend from your corporation in order to get that income high enough to get the mortgage but now can’t afford the personal taxes on the dividend—you’re still not getting your mortgage.

9. Not Hiring a Qualified and Experienced Mortgage broker

Not all lenders are the same. As an entrepreneur, you have unique circumstances that take a specific skill set to fully understand. Example: My client is an owner of a successful trucking operation. He wanted to buy a vacation property and the mortgage representative at his bank was not cooperating. I supplied my client with a list of my top mortgage brokers and he had his financing arranged within the week.

Do you need help creating a corporate plan with homeownership in mind? We’re happy to help!