Friday, September 11, 2009

Small Businesses: Time is Running Out on IRS Carryback Option

Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted in February, small businesses that had expenses exceeding their income for 2008 can choose to carry the resulting loss back for up to five years, instead of the usual two.

This means that a business having a net operating loss in 2008 can carry the loss back to tax-year 2003, rather than 2006. This can lead to a larger tax refund of taxes paid up to five year ago. Businesses will also offset the loss against income earned in these years.

Time is running out to claim this option though - eligible calendar-year businesses have until September 15 to choose the expanded carryback option. Individuals have until October 15.

Businesses eligible include small busesses that had no more than an average of $15 million in gross receipts over a three year period ending with the tax year of the net operating loss.

Individuals can accelerate a refund by filing Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund, and corporations can use Form 1139, Corporation Application for Tentative Refund.

These forms, along with answers to frequently asked questions about the special carryback and other details, can be found at the IRS web site,

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Using Social Media Sites to Market New Homes

Click here for a great article from NAHB on how to use social media sites to market new homes.

Social networking sites are one of the fastest growing forms of communication, and a large audience of both first-time home buyers and an older generation looking to "upgrade" awaits. Incorporating social media into a marketing or PR plan is becoming a mainstay in today's business world, and best of all, it fits into a bare-bones marketing budget - it's usually free to sign up for a page, even for a business.

Interested in learning even more about using social networking for new home sales and marketing? Stay tuned for more information about a special seminar coming this fall, brought to you by the Sales and Marketing Council of the Upstate.

GSA Business on Foreclosures

According to GSA Business, the rate of foreclosures did not increase in South Carolina in the last month. Another sign that the housing market, and the economy, may be stabilizing. Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SC Housing Market Summer '09 Quarterly Report

The School of Real Estate at the Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina, recently released a new publication, the Summer 2009 Housing Market Report, which features a housing market forecast developed by Joseph C. Von Nessen, Ph.D. and Dr. Doug Woodward. Dr. Woodward recently gave a housing market forecast to members of HBASC at the State Convention in downtown Greenville. Highlights include:

-Housing in South Carolina remains a good investment. Housing prices have continued to appreciate through the recession, and housing affordability is the highest it has ever been in South Carolina.

-Leading indicators show that the economic slowdown is coming to an end, or "bottoming out."

-A recovering economy will not bring with it a return to the levels of housing demanded in the mid-2000's.

-The high affordability of housing in South Carolina means that for our state, it will be one of the first industries to recover from the recession.

Click here to see the full report!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Builders Must Claim Property Tax Exemption by September 30

In the last legislative session the General Assembly passed a law giving builders/developers property tax relief staring in the 2009 tax year on the improvement (house) until the new house becomes occupied, or the house reaches its fifth anniversary of receiving its Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

If you received a CO on a house in 2007 or 2008 and the house remains unoccupied, you must move immediately to claim 2009 property tax relief. With the counties staring to prepare 2009 tax bills, builders must have there tax exemption application into their county assessor before the close of business on September 30, 2009!

Failure to act by September 30, will result in no property tax relief in 2009. The property tax relief is significant, particularly in these lean times. You will, however, be able to claim the exemption in future years assuming you notify the assessor by January 31, 2010.

Action Steps Needed:
1. Contact your county assessor's office immediately to file a property tax exemption form for all unoccupied homes receiving their CO in 2007-2008.
2. The completed form must be notarized and returned to the assessor by September 30, 2009 (an example can be found here.)
3. For houses that received their CO in 2009, builders should complete the property tax exemption form and return them to the county assessor before January 31, 2010!

Your prompt action in complying with this new tax exemption could save builders thousands of dollars on each new unoccupied home they are carrying in inventory!

A primer with details about this new law and eligibility requirements can be found here.