View Full Version : how can real estate have a post office box location?

Michael Weber
06-14-2012, 1:12 PM
and why? Cruising my neighborhood public tax records, I noticed one house wasn't listed under it's address. I found it another way but it's location was a PO Box. Can someone tell me why that would be? The house sold a couple of years ago. The new owners put some work into it and have relisted it. Is it unusual to have real estate locations as a PO Box?

Brian Elfert
06-14-2012, 1:28 PM
What you are seeing is probably the mailing address of the property owner. The mailing address does not necessarily need to be the property address. A rental property would probably have the tax statements mailed to the landlord's address.

Michael Weber
06-14-2012, 2:36 PM
The location is clearly noted as a po box. Owners address is also a po box but a different one. Owners are living in the house.

Todd Burch
06-14-2012, 3:21 PM
Call the taxing district and ask. Surely they have a good reason.

Andrew Pitonyak
06-14-2012, 5:28 PM
I know some people that do that for a few reasons.

If you move, your mailing address can stay the same (if you are close enough that you do not mind travelling to the PO BOX).
Makes it more difficult to find you. One person told me that not even the government could find them. I disagreed with them, but don't remember what came of that discussion.

Jerome Stanek
06-14-2012, 6:50 PM
Here you can have a PO and still live in the country the lot is listed as a tract on the map

Larry Edgerton
06-15-2012, 7:35 AM
That is how I do it. I have not changed my address in the last four houses.


Rich Engelhardt
06-15-2012, 10:49 AM
The house sold a couple of years ago. The new owners put some work into it and have relisted it. Is it unusual to have real estate locations as a PO Box?
Very, very, very, very short answer - which leaves a whole lot out...

Property (Real estate) that's sold or transferred within a year and one day is subject to capitol gains taxes.
The property can't be occupied as a residence, either by the owner or by a tenant.
A PO box as a mailing address for tax bills and utilities is a loophole ( I hate to call it a loophole because it realy isn't - some people use it as one though) used to escape capitol gains taxes.

Eg. if the owners are in a 28% tax bracket, their capitol gains tax is 28% on short term capitol gains.
It drops to 15% on a long term capitol gain. In Ohio that's a year and a day.

I'm not saying that's THE reason,,,,just that it's one possible reason.

& the reason I'll not go into a lot of details is simply because there's far more to it than the simple explanation above.
& like any other loophole(s), it's like playing with fire to play "too cute" with the tax man - even when it's 100% legit.

Ron Natalie
06-15-2012, 11:16 AM
That doesn't explain the PO BOX at all. The recording of the deed usually wakes up the tax man. They're going to assume that you have a short term capital gain of the sales price unless you provide documentation otherwise (that you didn't have a non-zero basis, and if you want to elect long term capital gain status, that you qualify for that). Flippers by the way don't get to just treat the value increase as a capital gain if they are determined to be "in the trade". They'll treat it as ordinary business income which will include paying the self employement taxes on it.

Rich Engelhardt
06-15-2012, 11:37 AM
Which part of "leaves a whole lot out" did you miss?

If I asked how to build a kitchen cabinet and you said, "cut the wood and put it together", it would be a correct answer. It wouldn't be anywhere near a complete answer though.
I'm not going to go into any more details on the subject since it's well beyond the scope of an online forum & to be perfectly honest, it's beyond the scope of even a very competent CPA - which I in no way pretend to be.
Even my CPA - who is a very competent one - advised me to seek out someone that's well versed in real estate laws and real estate tax laws.

Michael Weber
06-15-2012, 12:25 PM
thanks everyone. Rick and Ron, I understand now that's it is likely a tax issue and so beyond my understanding. :confused: I was just curious and it didn't seem right to me. It is certainly none of my business how people make their money and if legal then so be it. My thinking was they might have been trying to hide what they paid for the house (because the info is not easily found as it is in most other cases) because they are asking almost 2 1/2 times what they bought it for. I do have to say they have added considerable value with the work done, are fine people, obviously smarter and harder working than I, and more power to them. Our tax laws much less our business processes confuse and amaze me at times.:eek: