Question from a Blog Reader
"I just started as a new company as Compliance Director. I noticed that we have tax credit units where full-time employees live that are exempt units. We are charging these employees rent. At my past company we did not charge employees rent because we would then have to include them in the applicable fraction and would lose tax credits on those units. How serious is this, and how can i fix it?"
Summary: Charging rent for employee units does not risk tax credits and is not a federal noncompliance issue.
The prohibition against charging rent is based on outdated information found in Chapter 8 of the 8823 Guide. Since the last version of the Guide was released in 2011, a Chief Counsel Advice Memo was released on June 2, 2014. Based on this Memo, Chapter 12 of the Section 42 Audit Technique Guide explains, "charging rents, utilities, or both for units occupied by resident managers, maintenance personnel, or security officers in a qualified low-income building does not make such units residential rental units for purposes of the applicable fraction." NOTE: some states still prohibit charging rent for employee units. However, this is a state rule, and not a federal rule. No tax credits will be lost if rent is charged to employees in exempt employee units.