March 2023

4C — March 2023 — Owners, Developers & Managers — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal

O wners , D evelopers & M anagers By Jeffrey Clayman, CPA, JD, LLM, Withum Game of Loans: Managing Risk in Real Estate Through Tax Hedges

B orrowing from a bank during a time of rising interest rates may seem counter-in - tuitive and potentially come with risk. One of the most ef - fective ways to manage that risk is to enter a tax hedge with a third party. In a traditional tax hedge, a taxpayer borrows money from a bank at a variable rate. Sub - sequently, it enters a “swap” with a third party. Under the Jeffrey Clayman

terms of the swap, both parties agree to make periodic pay - ments computed by applying a specific rate to a notional amount. In most cases, the no - tional amount would be equal to the loan the taxpayer took from the bank. In a tax hedge, the taxpayer who is paying the variable rate to the bank would pay the counterparty a fixed rate based on that loan amount. The counterparty to the swap would pay the tax - payer the variable rate which the taxpayer would then remit to the bank. When the taxpayer nets the payments, the cumula - tive effect is for the taxpayer

to wind up paying a fixed rate on the loan borrowed from the bank. The following examples detail the above stated rules. The Swap Sandor is an interest rate speculator and believes that interest rates are on the rise. Arya is also an interest rate speculator and believes that interest rates will decrease. Both need cash. Sandor decides to enter an interest rate swap with Arya. He will pay her a fixed interest rate on a stated amount while she will pay him a variable interest rate on that same stated amount. At the end of the year, based on the cash

flows, one of them will win and the other will lose. The loser will remit to the winner the necessary amount of cash to cover the swap. Because Sandor did not enter an underlying loan, the transaction would not be considered a tax hedge. It would be considered specula - tive. Only swaps entered along with an underlying loan will receive beneficial tax treatment from the IRS (discussed below). As speculators, both Sandor and Arya would be taxed at less preferential rates. The Hedge Jon decides he wants to purchase a property and goes

to his local bank. Jon is un - able to obtain a loan paying a fixed interest rate. The bank does offer Jon a loan with a variable rate of interest. Jon consults his friend Sam who informs Jon that interest rates may increase within the next few years. So, agreeing to a variable interest rate could prove risky. Jon decides to enter an interest rate swap with Ramsay. Ramsay be - lieves that interest rates will decrease. He agrees to pay Jon a variable interest rate while accepting Jon’s remit - tance of the fixed interest rate. So, Jon essentially winds up paying a fixed interest rate on the loan borrowed from the bank. When the loan and swap are taken together, this transaction will not be con - sidered speculative. Because this transaction is considered a tax hedge, Jon will receive preferential tax rates. Jon must be aware that there is a specific identification require - ment for tax hedges. If this requirement is not followed, taxpayers can be taxed at less preferential tax rates. If properly identified, Jon can terminate his swap through cancelation, assignment or offset. If not properly identi - fied, Jon could be subject to very harsh “whipsaw” rules that can impute capital loss treatment, as opposed to or - dinary loss treatment. Jeffrey Clayman, CPA, JD, LLM is senior tax man- ager at Withum. MAREJ Woodmont Props. expands construction team with two hires FAIRFIELD, NJ — Wood- mont Properties welcomed Thomas Anderson as Senior project manager and Ryan Doyle as project manager. The two will oversee the con - struction of several of Wood - mont’s multifamily develop - ments. “We’re thrilled to welcome Thomas and Ryan to the Wood - mont family as we continue to expand our multifamily port - folio in 2023,” said Eric Wit- mondt , Woodmont Proper - ties’ CEO. “Each professional possesses a novel skillset and wealth of industry knowledge, and we are confident that they will directly contribute to Woodmont’s current and future endeavors.” MAREJ

YOUR LIABILITY INSURANCE UNQUESTIONABLY HAS A POLLUTION EXCLUSION That means no protection against direct and indirect liability losses, and property devaluation, caused by mold, bacteria, legionnaires disease, oil spillage, lead, and many more pollution-related claims. E. B. Cohen Insurance and Risk Management has solutions and coverages to fill this gap in your security.


Made with FlippingBook Annual report maker