Real Estate Agents: 5 Important Tax Tips
Tax season is in full gear, and if you work in real estate, it’s a good idea to brush up on real estate tax guidelines. These suggestions are helpful to keep in mind whether you’re preparing your tax on your own or with the help of an accountant.
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Important tax reminders for real estate brokers
We polled real estate and tax experts all over the country for their best tax advice. Here’s what they had to say.
Remember to factor in your mileage.
“When it comes to mileage, many real estate agents are leaving money on the table,” an enrolled agent & tax accountant who runs Your Small Biz Accountant, LLC, a virtual boutique company specializing in rental real estate. “Depending on where you work on a regular basis, the tax deduction may include attending meetings, putting up for-sale signs, doing business-related errands, or completing floor time at your broker’s office.”
Tip: Using a cloud-based programme to save all of your information, keep track of your miles throughout the year.
How do you categories the members of your team?
Make sure W-2 employees aren’t classified as independent contractors. Independent contractors should receive a 1099 form, while employees should receive a W-2.
“If they’re fellow realtors who get commissions, they can be 1099s,” Schneider, an enrolled agent who specializes in assisting real estate brokers with their taxes. “However, commissions are frequently paid by the broker, not their “team leader,” depending on the state. If they are paid to do obligations other than being a licensed realtor, they may be considered an employee for those tasks, with all the responsibilities that entails.”
If you hire someone to do clerical or some other office work, the same rules apply. “The majority of people prefer the 1099 option to avoid payroll-related complications,” Schneider adds. “You’ve made a terrible assumption.”
Staying within the law by correctly classifying your employees when they are employed, or consulting a tax specialist to make the necessary modifications to your payroll, is a preferable alternative.
Pay attention to how you use presents.
In a customer-facing position, it’s critical to remember the simple gestures that make your clients feel valued. However, keep an eye on how you expense presents you get.
“Gifts are a significant deal,” “You can deduct up to $25 per person per year in gifts.” The price is $50 per year for each couple if your client is a couple.”
Because it’s still considered a gift, if you buy a big-ticket item for your customers. Such a washer or dryer, the amount you can claim is limited.
You can still put money down for retirement.
Although many real estate agents do not have a 401(k), this does not exclude you from saving for retirement at tax time. One option is to contribute to an IRA. If you’re just starting out in your career and yet still paying lower taxes, a Roth IRA can be a good option for you. Contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax deductible, but withdrawals from the Roth IRA are normally tax-free. If you’re currently in a lower tax rate and don’t need the tax advantage, this could be a good way to save for retirement.
If you are unable to complete your taxes by the deadline, you may request an extension.
Time management is difficult. If tax day is approaching too quickly for you to be organized. You can file an extension to file your taxes at a later date, up to six months later. However, keep in mind that this extension does not allow you to pay your taxes later. You must pay an estimate of what you believe you will owe on time. You’ll be able to account for just any adjustments when you file your taxes.
When in doubt, go with an expert.
Taxes are complicated, and making a mistake may cost you and your company a lot of money. If you’re unsure how to file or want someone to double-check your work. Contact a professional that has experience providing tax advice to real estate brokers and can guide you through the process.
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