Roundtable Weekly
Roundtable-backed Bipartisan Bill Would Correct Condo Construction Tax Accounting Issue; Roundtable Joins Coalition Letter in Defense of Pass-Through Deduction
June 25, 2021

residential construction condo

Two senior members of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced bipartisan legislation this week that would correct current condominium tax accounting rules.

Condo Accounting Relief

  • House Ways and Means Committee members Bill Pascrell Jr., (D-NJ) and Vern Buchanan, (R-FL) on June 22 announced the Fair Accounting for Condominium Construction Act to encourage greater housing development in high-population and high density-areas. (Pascrell news release)

  • Current condo tax accounting rules require multifamily developers of condominium buildings with five or more residential units to recognize income and pay tax on their expected profit as construction is ongoing — well before pre-sale transactions are closed and full payment is due from the buyer.

  • Homebuilders of single-family homes, townhouses and row houses are not subject to this percentage-of-completion tax accounting rule restriction. As a result, current tax accounting rules discriminate against vertical condominium by unfairly accelerating federal income tax liability for new condominium construction.

  • Rep. Pascrell’s legislation would provide for an exclusion from the percentage-of-completion method for condo construction.

Roundtable Endorsement

  • Roundtable President and CEO Jeffrey DeBoer said, “The Pascrell-Buchanan legislation will modernize the outdated percentage-of-completion tax accounting rules that discriminate against condominium construction. The bill will reduce the cost of building new housing, especially in high-cost areas where greater density is needed. The Real Estate Roundtable commends the sponsors for introducing a common sense measure that, when enacted, will help expand the nation’s housing supply.” (Pascrell news release)

Section 199A Support

Sen. Ron Wyden with American flag
  • Separately, The Roundtable, as part of a broad business coalition, this week also weighed in on the 20-percent tax deduction for qualified business income (Section 199A), which was enacted as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (Roundtable Weekly, April 2)

  • Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR), above, reportedly plans to propose changes to Section 199A affecting partnerships, LLCs, and other entities taxed only at the individual owner level. According to BloombergTax, Wyden’s legislation, which is still being drafted, will likely aim to start phasing out the deduction for individuals making above $400,000 in annual business income. Wyden also plans to keep the deduction in place until it is scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.

  • The business coalition’s June 22 letter to the leadership of the tax-writing Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees expressed strong opposition to any reductions or repeal of the Section 199A deduction, including phasing out the deduction above certain income thresholds.

  • The coalition’s letter emphasizes how nearly 40 percent of individually- and family-owned businesses closed their doors during the COVID pandemic – and that Section 199A provided critical tax relief.

The June 22 letter adds, “Proposals to limit or repeal the deduction would hurt Main Street businesses and result in fewer jobs, lower wages, and less economic growth in thousands of communities across the country. Such changes would amount to a direct tax hike on America’s Main Street employers, a key reason why the tax plan released by the White House in March left the deduction fully intact.”

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