1.888.502.3767 | CONTACT US
Everyone should do their upmost to prevent an audit on their taxes, but you should always be prepared for an audit. The best way to increase your chances of coming out of audit unscathed is to keep excellent records. The IRS will not take your word as proof of anything, so it pays to have as much documentation to back up your taxes as possible.
If you are not doing so already, set up a filing system and update it consistently. You can purchase online tracking systems and other software, but a simple spreadsheet is all you really need for your bookkeeping. This will help you get organized and give you a clear picture of where you stand financially. Here are a few tips to help you maintain a good bookkeeping system.
Receipts - If you don't have a receipt, don't claim the deduction. If you can't find a receipt, try to obtain a copy from the company who sold you the item. Credit card statements are dubious proof because many don't itemize what you bought.
If you are audited and found to owe back taxes, you can appeal that audit by writing your district director to report that you disagree with the amount you owe. You may be able to reduce the amount you owe but be aware that if you lose, you'll owe late fees, too.
Here is an example of a for real estate activity log to help you keep track:
B-1. Check & review sources for finding investment properties
B-2. Develop a list of bird dogs as sources of good buys and motivated sellers
B-3. Meet with bird dogs as sources of good buys and motivated sellers
B-4. Do a market\location analysis including emerging or reemerging locations
B-5. Checkout specific neighborhoods performing a neighborhood analysis
B-6. Physically go out and search for investment properties
B-7. Contact prospective property owners
B-8. Do a preliminary quantitative analysis on properties (such as the cap rate)
B-9. Do a preliminary "drive-by" property inspection
B-10. Make & negotiate purchase offers on property
B-11. Verify the income, expenses, vacancies on the property's operating statement
B-12. Review leases, utility bills, maintenance contracts, other pertinent documents
B-13. Do a thorough physical property inspection analysis
B-14. Obtain Estoppel Statements from the seller and tenants.
B-15. Forecast projected income & expenses for a total projected annual yield
Offers and Contracts:
B-16. Make final offers
B-17. Prepare contract for purchase of property
B-18. Review seller's contract for purchase of their property
B-19. Check out sources of financing for acquiring property
B-20. Review Member credit reports; repair or correct accordingly.
B-21. Prepare a Credibility & Profile Package
B-22. Meet and develop rapport with lending sources
B-23. Prepare a Loan Package for a property acquisition
B-24. Arrange for financing for acquiring property
B-25. Negotiate the seller to hold financing
B-26. Prepare for closing of the prop. purchase, such as arranging inspections, certs, etc
B-27. Do a pre-closing inspection of the property
B-28. Attend the closing of the purchase of the property
B-29. Take care of any post-closing matters
B-30. Follow-up to see if any prior prospective sellers are more prone to renegotiating
B-31. Renegotiate the transaction to finalize the purchase as per the above list
Financial Administration\Operation of Property:
B-32. Select\meet\change CPA for the property financial & tax affairs
B-33. Select\meet\change attorney for the property legal affairs
B-34. Select\meet\change a bank which handles the property's accounts
B-35. Select a qualified bookkeeper
B-36. Select a suitable bookkeeping\tenant-tracking computer-based system
B-37. Do or supervise the bookkeeping, accounting and tax work for the properties
B-38. Prepare and revise operating statements, budgets, cost control, tax planning, etc.
B-39. Review & update the insurance needs on the property
B-40. Review real estate tax assessments for possibility of an appeal to lower taxes
B-41. Set up web sites for the Company
B-42. Approve hiring & firing of office personnel - employees & independent contractors
B-43. Make the appropriate recommendations for improvement of above on periodic basis
Condo Conversion Analysis:
B-45. Review if property is adaptable for a cost-effective condo conversion
B-46. Is there a current resale market demand for condos in property location
B-47. Review state or local guidelines on regulating condo conversion
B-48. Select legal specialists to do condo conversion documents.
B-49. Select marketing specialists to sells condos
B-50. Review if condos will be held for rentals; or sold\exchanged
B-51. Review tax impact and planning of condo sales (refer to Albert Aiello's new commercial tax course, Astronomical Tax Savings With Commercial Property which has three chapters just on condo conversions)
Sale\Exchange of Property:
B-52. Do a income tax analysis before selling the property
B-53. Review seller tax reduction strategies (eg: 1031 exchange, CRT, installment sale)
B-54. Prepare the property for sale\exchange (improvements, raise rents, tell tenants, etc.).
B-55. Evaluate marketing techniques to sell or exchange the property
B-56 Interview and select a real estate agent to list the property
B-57. Frequently follow-up with the listing agent
B-58. Review and negotiate offers on the property for sale
B-59. Arrange for financing for selling the property
B-60. Review selling the property with creative financing (eg: lease-option; seller fin.)
B-61. Prepare for closing of the property sale, such as arranging inspections, certs, etc.
B-62. Attend pre-closing inspection of the property
B-63. Attend the closing of the sale of the property
B-64. Take care of any post-closing matters.
Real Estate Educational Events
B-65. Attendance at real estate investor association monthly meetings
B-66. Attendance at real estate education seminars, conferences, boot camps and cruises
B-67. Reading or listening to (tapes) related real estate education
Other Related Bus. Activities:
Management-Landlord Activities For Company Property
M-1. Analyze the rental market, including vacancies
M-2. Analyze type of tenant (quality-wise) the property will attract (within fair-housing)
M -3. Analyze if the current market supports raising rents
M -4. Analyze if cosmetic improvements can be made for higher rents
M -5. Analyze if structural improvements can be made for higher rents (eg: redo floor plans)
M -6. Analyze if rents can be increased by catering to certain types (within fair-housing)
M -7. Check for any special tenant programs (such as Section 8 or assisted housing)
M -8. Market the property for rental
M -9. Show the property for rental
M -10. Decide the rental terms for tenant leases and rental agreements
M -11. Take, accept and process tenant applications
M -12. Thoroughly screen tenants by interviewing them
M -13. Thoroughly screen tenants by checking prior landlord and job references
M -14. Thoroughly screen tenants by checking out where they live talking to neighbors
M -15 Approve tenants in accordance with fair housing rules
M -16. Disapprove prospective tenants in accordance with fair housing rules
M -17. Prepare the leases
M -18. Review leases with tenants with their signature on every page of the lease
M -19. Do Move-in processing
M -20. Do Move-out processing
M -21. Clean & prepare units for rental
M -22. Collect rents
M -23. Handle any tenant evictions
M -24. Handle any other tenant problems
M -25. Initiate new rental & tenant selection policies (in accord with fair housing)
M -26, Review to reduce turnover costs via vacancies with better management
M -27. Create management efficiency by separating\transferring utilities to tenants
M -28. Create management efficiency by looking to use unutilized space (eg: basement, attic)
M -29. Review additional sources of income from storage facilities
M -30. Review additional sources of income from laundry facilities
M -31. Review additional sources of income from vending machines
M -32. Review additional sources of income from parking
M -33. Review additional sources of income from optional upgrades (2nd TV, computer)
M -34. Review additional sources of income from other sources (eg: maid service)
M -35. Do or discuss renovations for property expansion
M -36. Hire a management company or resident manager
M -37. Fire management company or resident manager
M -38. Hire & recruit maintenance personnel
M -39. Fire maintenance personnel
M -40. Supervise the resident manager, maintenance personnel & other mgmt. personnel
M -41. Approve all capital or repair expenditures for management efficiency
M -42. Decide who makes, or is to be responsible for repairs, maintenance & improve
M -43. Initiate\review strategies for property security, safety & sanitation.
M -44. Create management efficiency with a program of preventative maintenance (PM)
M -45. Review any property maintenance and service contracts (heater, exterm., etc.)
M -46. Set up purchasing procedures for maintenance supplies & materials
M -47. Shop & purchase for maintenance supplies & materials
M -48. Review the reserve for the replacement of components, equipment, etc.
M -49. Personally inspect the property for maintenance & management efficiency
M -50. Personally talk to the tenants for maintenance & management improvement
M -51. Review the insurance needs of the property for management efficiency
M -52. Reduce operating expenses (via APOD) without loss of property quality or safety
M -53. Review & update overall property management & operational procedures
M -54. Review property management/tenant tracking software programs
M -55. Prepare and update the resident's management newsletter or handbook.
M -56. Read MR. Landlord and other property management publications
M -57. Attend management seminars, conferences, boot camps and cruises
Real Estate Advice:
A-1. Provide investment advice and strategy for the Company
A-2. Provide market analyses and strategy for the Company
A-3. Provide advice for the Company as to future trends in real estate
A-4. Provide management advice and strategy for the Company
A-5. Provide marketing advice and strategy for the Company
A-6. Provide other pertinent advice related to the Company's real estate business
Here are some recent questions from my blog:
QUESTION: When buying tax liens in the name of an LLC, do I have to fill Schedule C (profit and loss) for tax lien interest (1099INT) or can I show it on my personal return? I don't have any income in the LLC name otherwise.
ANSWER: It depends on the type of LLC, Single Member LLC are disregarded for tax purposes meaning that the income or expenses you receive from the LLC are picked up directly on your tax return. If it is a multi-member LLC, then you would need to file a form 1065. In this case, sounds like a SMLLC therefore that income retains the original character of being passive income and therefore belongs as interest not Schedule C income
QUESTION: I own a two family---live in one half and rent out the other half. I have losses on the rented half -due to expenses , mortgage interest, etc exceeding rent. My accountant tells me that i can't deduct this loss on the rental due to I and my wife's AGI exceeding the limits. The accountant is only deducting half of my mortgage interest on my itemized deductions. Can I move the other half of mortgage interest (from the rental) to my itemized deductions?
ANSWER: Here is an IRS rule that suggests that there is flexibility in how you pick up the expenses that otherwise would have been fully deductible on schedule A.
Renting out part of home. If you rent out home into account. If you meet these tests, then you can deduct all or part of a qualified home to another person (ten- of the payments you actually made during the ant), you can treat the rented part as being used by you for residential living only if all of the following conditions apply.
• The rented part of your home is used by tenant primarily for residential living
• The rented part of your home is not a self-contained residential unit having separate sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.
• You do not rent (directly or by sublease) home to your main home. more than two tenants at any time during your tax year. If two persons (and dependents of either) share the same sleeping quarters, they are treated as one tenants
I address many of these issues in my Wealth Building Plan. Make sure you are getting the best tax advice. Let me evaluate your financial and tax situation, then develop a customized tax strategy just for you. Together, we will come up with a strategic plan designed to answer your questions as you build your own customized wealth-building plan. You can get more information at Wealth Building Plan
Our Free Assessment allows you to find out just how much you could have saved over the years, and how much you could save in the future. Assessments can find missed deductions, potential audit triggers and identify compliance and asset protection risk.
For those about to file taxes, we offer a free consultation. Learn how you can legally reduce the amount you pay out, personally, or maximize the financial efficiency of your business as a whole. We also advise on business formation and business restructuring.
At the Wealth Building CPA we teach our students how to become savvy and wealthy investors without making costly mistakes. Our many articles, webinars and podcasts demonstrate how to use money and tax strategies to maximize profits and minimize losses. This aggressive approach will fast track you to financial success. We implement a lot of the teachings from renowned real estate and wealth building experts such as: Robert Kiyosaki, Robert Allen, Scott Scheel, Ron Legrand, Zig Ziglar, Carleton Sheets, David Lindahl, Robert Shemin, Dave Ramsey and many more.
5010 Sunnyside Avenue, Suite 210Beltsville, MD 20705Tel 888.502.3767Fax 866.466.3146
©2015 WBCPA | Site by HTMelle