Maximize the Benefits of UPREITs Through Section 721

Investing in Umbrella Partnership Real Estate Investment Trusts (UPREITs) is becoming increasingly popular among business owners looking to diversify their portfolios and take advantage of the tax benefits associated with real estate investments. UPREITs are a type of real estate investment trust (REIT) that allows business owners to invest their capital in commercial and residential real estate in exchange for shares of the trust. These trusts are structured so that the investors are the general partners and the trust is the limited partner.

Benefits of a UPREIT

Under Section 721 of the Internal Revenue Code, business owners can take advantage of several tax benefits when investing in UPREITs.

  • Diversification: One of the significant benefits of UPREITs is that they allow you to diversify your portfolios. By spreading investments across different types of real estate, potentially reducing risk and increasing returns. This enables you to reduce asset class concentration and potentially increase overall return on investment.
  • Tax Savings: UPREITs also offer the potential for tax savings. By investing in UPREITs, you can defer taxes on the sale of real estate assets. This can result in substantial tax savings and allow you to reinvest money in other investments.
  • Greater Returns: UPREITs have the potential to generate greater returns than other types of investments. Investing in a diversified portfolio of commercial real estate can benefit from the potential for higher returns as the value of your investments increases. This can result in greater returns than other investments, such as stocks and bonds.

Requirements for UPREITs

To qualify as an UPREIT, a company must meet specific legal and financial requirements. First, the company must be organized as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) and structured as a publicly traded REIT. The company must also have at least three trustees who are independent of the company’s management and are responsible for overseeing the UPREIT’s activities. Additionally, the company must have a minimum market capitalization of $200 million and be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Once the company has met the legal and financial requirements, it must obtain approval from the SEC. This process can take several months and requires the company to provide detailed financial information and a business plan that outlines the company’s goals and objectives. Once approved, the company can issue shares to investors and begin trading on the stock market.

What situations would be appropriate for considering an UPREIT exchange?

  • For investors looking to diversify their portfolio with real estate, an UPREIT exchange can be an attractive option. By exchanging illiquid real estate holdings for an interest in a publicly-traded REIT, investors can gain exposure to various real estate investments in a liquid and tax-advantaged way. This is especially beneficial for investors looking for a way to diversify their portfolio without liquidating their holdings and paying capital gains taxes.
  • An UPREIT exchange can also be attractive for investors looking to partner with a larger organization. By exchanging their real estate holdings for an interest in a larger REIT, investors can benefit from a larger organization’s economies of scale and financial strength. This can give investors access to capital and resources they may not otherwise have access to.
  • An UPREIT exchange can be beneficial for investors who are looking to raise money and diversify their portfolios. By exchanging their real estate holdings for an interest in a REIT, investors can gain access to a larger pool of capital and resources. This can allow investors to acquire additional real estate investments, pay down debt, or invest in new projects.

There are some drawbacks to investing in UPREITs to be aware of. For example, business owners must pay an annual fee for the trust and may be exposed to increased risk due to the limited partner status. Additionally, the trust structure can be more complex than other REITs, making it difficult for business owners to understand the details of the investment.

Despite these potential drawbacks, investing in UPREITs can be an excellent way for business owners to access the tax benefits associated with real estate investments and diversify their portfolios. With the proper research and understanding of the trust structure, business owners can take advantage of the unique opportunities provided by UPREITs and Section 721 of the Internal Revenue Code. Contact an Adams Brown advisor to discuss your trust goals.