Kate Mason, senior vice president for taxation at Post Properties Inc. (NYSE: PPS), joined REIT.com for a video interview during REITWise 2014: NAREIT’s Law, Accounting and Finance Conference held in Boca Raton, Fla.
Post Properties is a developer and operator of upscale multifamily apartment communities.
Mason was asked to comment on the issues that are most worrisome to REIT tax directors at this time.
“Communication and documentation are really important, and those are the kinds of things that do keep me up at night. I think about how I as a tax director and my tax group communicate with the executive suite and accounting and other departments in my organization,” Mason said.
In terms of communication, Mason said she has concerns over how well she is educating Post Properties staff on what is really important from a tax perspective. With regard to documentation, Mason said she is very focused on how an underwriter’s tax advisor and auditors view the information that she provides. “Getting it right is really important,” she emphasized.
Mason also stressed the importance of technology.
“Technology is ramping up,” she said. “I don’t know how it will impact the delivery of services or the type of services that we can provide.”
Mason also addressed the question of when a tenant service becomes customary for tax purposes.
“Sometimes you really know when something is a good service or customary. Sometimes, it’s kind of a gray area,” she said. Mason added that the evaluation of a tenant service to determine its tax status involves discussions with property managers to see what is considered customary in a particular geographic area. The evaluation will also include the consideration of private letter rulings from the Internal Revenue Service as well as discussions with other tax advisors, she said.