Commercial Real Estate Taxes: What You Need
to Know


Commercial real estate taxes are a necessary expense for anyone who owns commercial property. However, many property owners are unaware of the intricacies of commercial real estate taxes, which can lead to overpaying or even penalties for non-compliance. This article will provide an in-depth overview of commercial real estate taxes and what you need to know to ensure you are paying the correct amount and taking advantage of all available tax benefits.


What are Commercial Real Estate Taxes?

Commercial real estate taxes are taxes that are levied on commercial property, including office buildings, retail spaces, warehouses, and other types of commercial real estate. These taxes are used to fund local government services such as schools, roads, and police and fire departments. Investing in commercial real estate is a valuable tool on the path to financial freedom, and taxes simply come with the territory. 


How are Commercial Real Estate Taxes Calculated?

Commercial real estate taxes are calculated based on the value of the property and the tax rate set by the local government. The value of the property is typically assessed by the local assessor’s office and is based on factors such as the size of the property, the condition of the property, and its location.

The tax rate is determined by the local government and is usually expressed as a percentage of the assessed value of the property. For example, if the assessed value of a commercial property is $1,000,000 and the tax rate is 2%, the annual tax bill would be $20,000.


Common Tax Deductions for Commercial Real Estate

There are several tax deductions available to commercial real estate owners that can help lower their tax liability. Some of the most common deductions include:

  1. Depreciation: Commercial property owners can deduct a portion of the property’s value each year as it depreciates over time.
  2. Interest: The interest paid on a mortgage for commercial property is tax-deductible.
  3. Repairs and maintenance: The cost of repairs and maintenance for commercial property is tax-deductible.
  4. Property taxes: The amount of property taxes paid on commercial real estate is tax-deductible.
  5. Insurance: The cost of insurance for commercial property is tax-deductible.
  6. Operating expenses: Expenses related to the operation of the commercial property, such as utilities and salaries, are tax-deductible.

There may be additional deductions based on your unique situation. A commercial investment consultant can help investors navigate these complex laws.  


How to Minimize Your Commercial Real Estate Tax Liability

There are several strategies that commercial real estate owners can use to minimize their tax liability, including:

  1. Reviewing property tax assessments: Property tax assessments are not always accurate, and property owners can appeal the assessment if they believe it is too high.
  2. Taking advantage of tax deductions: By taking advantage of all available tax deductions, commercial real estate owners can reduce their tax liability.
  3. Structuring ownership: The way a commercial property is owned can have an impact on the tax liability. For example, owning the property in a corporation or LLC can provide additional tax benefits.
  4. Timing: The timing of expenses and income can impact the tax liability. By timing expenses and income appropriately, commercial real estate owners can reduce their tax liability.

Commercial real estate is an incredible investment opportunity, and many investors claim they are inflation-proof. Be sure to work with your accountant or advisor to ensure you get the best tax rates. 


Frequently Asked Questions about Commercial Real Estate Taxes

Can I deduct the cost of improvements to my commercial property?

Yes, the cost of improvements to commercial property is tax-deductible. However, the cost must be depreciated over time rather than deducted in a single year.


What happens if I don’t pay my commercial real estate taxes?

If you don’t pay your commercial real estate taxes, you may face penalties and interest charges. In some cases, the local government may also place a tax lien on your property, which can make it difficult to sell or refinance.


Can I appeal my commercial property tax assessment?

Yes, commercial property owners have the right to appeal their property tax assessment if they believe it is too high. This process typically involves submitting evidence to the local assessor’s office to support a lower assessment. If successful, the property owner can reduce their tax liability.


Are there any special tax considerations for leased commercial property?

A: Yes, leased commercial property has some unique tax considerations. The owner of the property is responsible for paying property taxes, but these costs are typically passed on to the tenant through rent. Additionally, the owner can deduct the cost of depreciation, while the tenant can deduct rent payments as a business expense.



Commercial real estate taxes can be a significant expense for property owners, but by understanding how they are calculated, what deductions are available, and how to minimize tax liability, owners can ensure they are paying the correct amount and taking advantage of all available tax benefits. 

It’s important to work with a knowledgeable tax professional who can help navigate the complexities of commercial real estate taxes and provide guidance on how to maximize tax savings. By doing so, property owners can save money and protect their bottom line.

If you like this information and want to learn more about the ins and outs of real estate investing, check out A Manual for the Ultimate Real Investor. This is the perfect launching pad for any new investors or those looking to expand their real estate careers.