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Buy real estate without paying tax on earnings

I own an s-Corp doing computer programming. Annual revenue roughly 100k. It’s sitting in a bank account. Can my s-Corp use that money to buy assets(real estate) worth 100k and show 0 income for the year?

Personal Finance & Money Asked on November 14, 2021

1 Answers

One Answer

As noted in the comments above by Dilip Sarwate - you'll have to depreciate your real estate.

More specifically, you can review a couple of IRS publications such as Publication 535 (2019), Business Expenses which goes into some detail about what is considered a deductible expense.

The shorter answer is in Deducting Business Expenses where the text explains that assets need to be capitalized, which means that they are not deducted all at once because they actually add to the value of the business.

You must capitalize, rather than deduct, some costs. These costs are a part of your investment in your business and are called capital expenses. Capital expenses are considered assets in your business. In general, there are three types of costs you capitalize.

  • Business start-up costs (See the note below)
  • Business assets
  • Improvements

This is because, while a true expense such as paying a licensing fee or buying toner for your printer results in a net loss to the total company value, purchase of an asset is a value-neutral action at the moment it is completed. It's not an expense so much as it is a transformation - you went from having your value in cash to having your value in real estate, but there was no change in company value. Thus, it is not an expense.

Answered by Istanari on November 14, 2021

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