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Financial Planning / Tax Strategies


Subject:  Re: Low-Income Tax Credits Date:  8/12/2001  8:50 PM
Author:  rensimer Number:  53286 of 128043

I would advise not to buy into any deal whose main selling point is tax benefits rather than the underlying economic soundness of the investment. What Congress giveth this year can just as readily be taken away next year and there is no guarantee that you would be grandfathered after any change in tax law. I know from experience. In 1983 I purchased a low income housing realty partnership; the main selling points were large tax deductions in the up front years and income from the sale of the properties in later years. (Sound familiar?) Shortly thereafter, Congress decided that they were no longer interested in incenting low income housing and radically changed all the rules in mid-game. The deductions were classified as passive, and in my case, as a non direct owner of rental properties, became largely useless. Furthermore, because of the extensive regulation by government agencies of low income housing, the properties were not readily saleable under the new rules, so the partnership continued in existence much longer than was originally planned and the expected income stream from property sales never occurred. Until I finally sold this very illiquid investment earlier this year, it has been almost two decades of dead money and accounting headaches, and even after selling it and receiving practically nothing for it, I'm going to owe more in capital gain taxes on it than I am receiving for it's sale, because much of the accumulated passive losses over the years were used up to offset phantom income that the partnership generated and that I would have been taxed on over the years.
So my advice, think long and hard on this one; once in, it's hard to get out, especially after they change the rules on you.

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