Thursday, July 11, 2013

Purchase Price Allocation - How/When/Importance... (For Canadians Only)

Purchase price allocation of a commercial property, is necessary at the time of sale.  In the case of the the Buyer, they need to allocate the  purchase price to establish their original cost amounts, for the purpose of computing amortization and depreciation. With the Seller, they need to allocate the price to determine their taxable income – primarily with respect to capital gains and recaptured depreciation.  Best practice is that it be negotiated within the Offer to Purchase Agreement itself.

In terms of what’s being allocated in a typical commercial property sale, it should include valuations on the following at a minimum:

·        Building
·        Land
·        Equipment/Chattels

In addition, items such as major property improvements (ie. surfaced parking lots, out-buildings), can be categorized and valued separately. Valuations should be realistic and supportable, as they can certainly be called into question by the TAX MAN at some point later. Clearly this is also an area that requires the involvement of your accountant, to review the future tax consequences of the proposed allocation.

It should also be noted, that the Buyer and Seller will often have opposite positions on the respective valuations – the Buyer wanting to allocate as much as possible to the hard asset side (building/equipment) & the Seller wanting to minimize this portion to reduce capital gains/recapture costs . All the more to reason to ensure it is a term negotiated upfront.

As always seek out the advice of experienced commercial realtors within your market, as you consider the implications of Purchase Price Allocation on any Purchase/Sale.

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