20 June 2006

Construction Industry Tax Break

If your in the construction industry, you probably qualify for the insanely complicated Internal Revenue Code Section 199 deduction, a tax break designed initially to boost the manufacturing industry, for which final regulations have finally been issued.

To get the tax break you must:

(1) be engaged in the active conduct of a trade or business treated as a construction activity;
(2) perform a construction activity involving real property in the U.S.; and
(3) derive "domestic production gross receipts" from the construction activity.

Land sale income doesn't count, but a safe harbor makes it easy to allocate income between land sale income and construction income. While it is more elaborate than this, basically, the safe harbor assumes a 5% markup if the land is sold within five years and a larger amount if it is sold more than five years from purchase and less than sixteen years.

Construction activities include services such as grading, demolition, clearing, excavating, and any other activities that physically transform the land if this is part of a construction project. But, receipts for materials generally don't count.

You must be a construction company or in the construction business to qualify.

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