Cost Segregation

Your Real Estate May Entitle You To Substantial Tax Savings

Many Jones & Roth clients who own real estate have benefited from a cost segregation study, which separates cost components of a building into their proper asset classifications and recovery periods.

Cost segregation allows building owners to front-load depreciation deductions into the early years of asset ownership. This has the potential to defer taxes and increase shorter term cash flow

Jones & Roth combines the expertise of tax accountants with engineering and construction experts to deliver an optimized cost segregation solution.

Cost Segregation Team

Jim Christian, CPA

Jim Christian, CPA

Partner and Shareholder


Recent News

Home-Related Tax Breaks Are Valuable on 2017 Returns, Will Be Less For 2018

Home-Related Tax Breaks Are Valuable on 2017 Returns, Will Be Less For 2018

Home ownership is a key element of the American dream for many, and the U.S. tax code includes many tax breaks that help support this dream. If you own a home, you may be eligible for several valuable breaks when you file your 2017 return. But under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, your home-related breaks may not be as valuable when you file your 2018 return next year.

2017 vs. 2018

Here’s a look at various home-related tax breaks for 2017 vs. 2018:

Property tax deduction. For 2017, property tax is generally fully deductible — unless you’re subject to the alternative minimum tax (AMT). For 2018, your total deduction for all state and local taxes, including both property taxes and either income taxes or sales taxes, is capped at $10,000.

Mortgage interest deduction. For 2017, you generally can deduct interest on up to a combined total of $1 million of mortgage debt incurred to purchase, build or improve your principal residence and a second residence. However, for 2018, if the mortgage debt was incurred on or after December 15, 2017, the debt limit generally is $750,000.

Home equity debt interest deduction. For 2017, interest on home equity debt used for any purpose (debt limit of $100,000) may be deductible. (If home equity debt isn’t used for home improvements, the interest isn’t deductible for AMT purposes). For 2018, the TCJA suspends the home equity interest deduction. But the IRS has clarified that such interest generally still will be deductible if used for home improvements.

Mortgage insurance premium deduction. This break expired December 31, 2017, but Congress might extend it.

Home office deduction. For 2017, if your home office use meets certain tests, you may be able to deduct associated expenses or use a simplified method for claiming the deduction. Employees claim this as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, which means there will be tax savings only to the extent that the home office deduction plus other miscellaneous itemized deductions exceeds 2% of adjusted gross income. The self-employed can deduct home office expenses from self-employment income. For 2018, miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2% floor are suspended, so only the self-employed can deduct home office expenses.

Home sale gain exclusion. When you sell your principal residence, you can exclude up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples filing jointly) of gain if you meet certain tests. Changes to this break had been proposed, but they weren’t included in the final TCJA that was signed into law.

Debt forgiveness exclusion. This break for homeowners who received debt forgiveness in a foreclosure, short sale or mortgage workout for a principal residence expired December 31, 2017, but Congress might extend it.

Additional rules and limits apply to these breaks. To learn more, contact us. We can help you determine which home-related breaks you’re eligible to claim on your 2017 return and how your 2018 tax situation may be affected by the TCJA.

Tax Reform Update for Nonprofit Organizations

Tax Reform Update for Nonprofit Organizations

With the recent tax reform legislation of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), there are many questions about how the changes impact Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs). We have summarized several key provisions that most directly affect NPOs. Unless otherwise noted, all of these provisions were effective on January 1, 2018.


Standard Deduction Increase
For 2018, the standard deduction will be $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, $18,000 for unmarried individuals with at least one qualifying child, and $12,000 for single taxpayers. The standard deductions were increased substantially from 2017. While this provision directly benefits most individual taxpayers, NPOs could be negatively affected by this change. With an increase to the standard deduction, as well as less favorable itemized deduction regulations, there are less incentives for individuals to itemize their deductions. Charitable contributions are among the deductions includable when taxpayers elect to itemize. There is some concern by NPOs that since some taxpayers will no longer be receiving a tax benefit for their charitable deduction, they may be less inclined to donate. On the other hand, individual taxpayers may have more disposal income as a result of the tax reform, which may increase charitable contributions. As for the actual impact on NPOs, only time will tell for certain.

Cash Contribution Limitations
The previous tax regulations allowed for individuals to deduct cash charitable contributions up to 50% of their Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). The TCJA increased that threshold to 60% of AGI. While the 10% increase is substantial, the pool of taxpayers whom give 50% (or 60%) of their AGI is very limited.

Estate Tax Changes
Under the TCJA, each individual can transfer up to $11.2 million from their estate tax free. This is more than double the exemption limits for 2017. This may impact charitable contributions, particularly bequests because large bequests are oftentimes utilized as a strategy by high-wealth individuals to avoid estate taxes.

Athletic Event Tickets
In the past, taxpayers have been able to deduct, as a contribution, 80% of the value of a contribution made to an educational institution to secure the right to purchase athletic event tickets. With the TCJA, this special rule has been repealed, and thus donors no longer benefit from this deduction.

Membership Dues
Previously, businesses were able to deduct a portion of the cost of entertainment and recreation expenses as long as the business demonstrated there was a direct relationship between the expense and the active conduct of business. Under the TCJA, no deduction will be allowed for membership dues with respect to any club organized for business, pleasure, recreation, or other social purpose. Non-profit member-based organizations may see a reduction in dues as a result, given that these membership expenses are no longer allowable business deductions.


Income generated from a trade or business regularly carried on by the organization that is not substantially related to the performance of the organization’s tax-exempt function is considered unrelated business income and is generally taxable.

Separate Computation of UBTI for Each Trade or Business
The TCJA now requires the tax-exempt organization to compute its unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) separately for each trade or business. The organization’s UBTI is the sum of the amounts (not less than zero) computed for each separate unrelated trade or business. A net operating loss (NOL) deduction is allowed only with respect to the trade or business from which the loss arose. Thus a NOL arising from one unrelated trade or business activity may no longer be used to offset net income from a separate unrelated trade or business activity. NOLs arising in years beginning before January 1, 2018 that are carried forward to a taxable year beginning on or after that date are not subject to these rules. Additionally, NOL carrybacks are no longer allowed and carryovers will be limited to 80% of the taxable income.


Private Foundations
Private foundations are subject to a 2% excise tax on their net investment income, subject to a reduction to 1% if certain distributions are made by the foundation. This remains unchanged in the TCJA.

Private Colleges
In the past, the 2% excise tax on net investment income (mentioned previously) did not apply to public charities, including colleges and universities. Under the TCJA, a 1.4% excise tax on net investment income will apply to private colleges and universities for which there are at least 500 tuition-paying students and assets valued in excess of $500,000 per full-time equivalent student. However, state colleges and universities are exempt from this provision.


Kari Young - Nonprofit CPA & Business AdvisorKari Young, CPA is a senior manager and a key member of the Jones & Roth Nonprofit Team and Assurance Services Department. She is also a member of the firm’s quality control team and the Form 990 Task Force. She holds expert knowledge in nonprofit audits and reviews, federal single audits, consulting services including internal control review, and informational return preparation services.


Laura McKay, CPALaura McKay, CPA is a manager and key member of the Jones & Roth Nonprofit Team and Assurance Services Department. She has extensive experience working with both nonprofit and commercial businesses and manages many of the firm’s largest and most complex audit engagements. Laura is highly involved in the development and instruction of firm-wide continuing education and the firm’s Form 990 Task Force.

Size of Charitable Deductions Depends on Many Factors

Size of Charitable Deductions Depends on Many Factors

Whether you’re claiming charitable deductions on your 2017 return or planning your donations for 2018, be sure you know how much you’re allowed to deduct. Your deduction depends on more than just the actual amount you donate.


Type of gift

One of the biggest factors affecting your deduction is what you give:

Cash. You may deduct 100% gifts made by check, credit card or payroll deduction.

Ordinary-income property. For stocks and bonds held one year or less, inventory, and property subject to depreciation recapture, you generally may deduct only the lesser of fair market value or your tax basis.

Long-term capital gains property. You may deduct the current fair market value of appreciated stocks and bonds held for more than one year.

Tangible personal property. Your deduction depends on the situation:

• If the property isn’t related to the charity’s tax-exempt function (such as a painting donated for a charity auction), your deduction is limited to your basis.
• If the property is related to the charity’s tax-exempt function (such as a painting donated to a museum for its collection), you can deduct the fair market value.

Vehicle. Unless the vehicle is being used by the charity, you generally may deduct only the amount the charity receives when it sells the vehicle.

Use of property. Examples include use of a vacation home and a loan of artwork. Generally, you receive no deduction because it isn’t considered a completed gift.

Services. You may deduct only your out-of-pocket expenses, not the fair market value of your services. You can deduct 14 cents per charitable mile driven.

Other factors

First, you’ll benefit from the charitable deduction only if you itemize deductions rather than claim the standard deduction. Also, your annual charitable donation deductions may be reduced if they exceed certain income-based limits.

In addition, your deduction generally must be reduced by the value of any benefit received from the charity. Finally, various substantiation requirements apply, and the charity must be eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

2018 planning

While December’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) preserves the charitable deduction, it temporarily makes itemizing less attractive for many taxpayers, reducing the tax benefits of charitable giving for them.

Itemizing saves tax only if itemized deductions exceed the standard deduction. For 2018 through 2025, the TCJA nearly doubles the standard deduction — plus, it limits or eliminates some common itemized deductions. As a result, you may no longer have enough itemized deductions to exceed the standard deduction, in which case your charitable donations won’t save you tax.

You might be able to preserve your charitable deduction by “bunching” donations into alternating years, so that you’ll exceed the standard deduction and can claim a charitable deduction (and other itemized deductions) every other year.

Contact us if you have questions about how much you can deduct on your 2017 return or what your charitable giving strategy should be going forward, in light of the TCJA.