5 Tips for Landlords to Make Tax Time Easier

Tax time isn't easy for anyone.

There are tons of calculations to do, forms to fill out, and money to pay to the government.

However, it can be particularly challenging for a landlord.

They are technically running a small business and have many expenses to track and accounts to manage.

If you're a landlord who isn't looking forward to tax time this year, fear not.

The following list of tips can help give you some ways to manage your finances during the year, making tax time as stress-free and easy as possible.


1. Keep track of expenses
Keep track of expenses during the fiscal year by using an expense tracking app or software like Expensify, which allows you to take pictures of receipts, categorize expenditures, and keep all your records neatly in one place.

Additionally, keep track of any documents related to expenditures -- like work orders, contracts, and more -- via the document storage feature available on LandlordStation.

Keeping track of money you have to spend to upkeep your properties during the year and the records for those expenditures ensures that you don't have to sort through tons of receipts and make many calculations at once during tax time.


2. Use an accountant familiar with real estate
If you're not planning to do your own taxes, use an accountant who is familiar with real estate finances.

Real estate-specialized accountants are in nearly every metropolitan area across the U.S., which means you have access to a specialist who can help you understand what deductions you can and can't make and how to ensure you're declaring the proper numbers for your income.

You can deduct the cost of an accountant that helps you with your business finances.


3. Enroll in direct deposit with the IRS
The IRS provides the option to have tax refunds directly deposited into your bank account.

As a landlord, signing up for direct deposit is a good idea not only because the money gets to you faster, but you probably have checks and money coming in and out of your mailbox from tenants.

With direct deposit, you won't get the IRS check mixed up with any other incoming money.


4. Declare depreciation in improvements
You cannot deduct the amount you spend to make non-necessary improvements in your rental property, but you can deduct the amount by which improvements depreciate.

To get a tax break for improvements, fill out form 4562 available from the IRS.

This ensures that you're getting back a fair amount for the money you put into making your rental property nice, attractive, and livable.


5. Deduct the costs of people who did work for you
If you had people work on your rental property - such as carpenters, electricians, maintenance workers, or painters - you can deduct the amount you paid them from your taxes.

Get tax ID numbers for contractors you hire, and submit their payment amounts that are over $600 using the IRS 1099-MISC form.

Get each contractor's Tax ID number, and keep it in a spreadsheet on your computer.

That way, you don't have to ask for it each time you hire someone, and you won't have to spend time or energy tracking anyone down at tax time.

Being a landlord comes with a lot of fiscal responsibility, but with a little preparation and guidance, tax time can be a cinch.

Doing a little work throughout the year and keeping tabs on what you spend and what portion of that you can deduct will ultimately result in the most stress-free tax season and fruitful rental year possible!

Please note: These articles are for informational purposes and we advise you to consult an accountant for more specific information related to your situation.

 

Posted on Feb 24, 2015

Related

The Landlord Tenant Board: What it is and When it is Needed

Many times, there are issues between a landlord and a tenant that need to be resolved but are failed to do so, because both parties have gone too far with their actions, and have retaliated in the... More


How to Create a Residential Lease Agreement

Where there is a landlord, there will also be a tenant, and it is no surprise that these two parties can only work together once there is some sort of agreement, contract or a binding deal in place.... More


The Best Sites for Rental and Lease Agreement Templates

Many landlords find it difficult to write and draft a lease agreement. Since every State has its own general template, it can also be difficult to make sure your lease agreement meets all the criteria... More


Landlord Obligations: The Responsibilities of a Landlord

Becoming a landlord is a major deal and no one can simply get up and think, “well, yes I think I should be a landlord and rent out my flat.” If you are thinking that you would like to be a landlord,... More


The Best Landlord Associations for Landlords to Join

If you’re a landlord and want to manage your business in a better way, you should endeavor to get in touch with those industry experts who have the experience and the skills to help you do it. This is... More


The Best Landlord Forums

Landlords and aspiring landlords, do not become as such, without guidance and advice. There is a lot that goes into being a landlord nowadays; in fact, there is so much to learn that it often confuses... More


The Biggest Landlord Problems and How to Fix Them

Renting out an apartment or a house can become a constant revenue source for landlords, but at the same time, it gives rise to several problems. It is a fact that high standards, a strict lease... More


Landlord Tenant Disputes

If you are currently thinking of becoming a landlord only because it helps you have a constant stream of income, you should think twice. It’s not that you should not consider offering your property... More


Unpaid Rent

When you talk about the most common disputes arising between landlords and tenants, nonpayment of rent has to be there in the list. People rent their properties to earn money, and when a tenant... More


Section 8 Landlord Pros and Cons

If you have ever rented a living space and have had to move many times, you’d already know how difficult it is to find decent, affordable and secure living premises. A person has to deal with the same... More