Tax Day Prep
Tax day is creeping up fast! For busy real estate agents who manage their own finances, it can be hard to find time (and energy) to get expenses in order. If this is you, do not push these tasks to the bottom of your priority list. Setting aside time now can save you thousands of dollars in the near future. To help kick-start your preparations, here are several tax deductions* you should know about.
Deduction #1: Commissions Paid
Did you know that commissions you pay to other agents or employees that work with or under you are generally fully deductible business expenses? This is a deduction you should not overlook since commissions can add up quickly!
Deduction #2: Home Office Deduction
If you conduct business out of your home (or parts of it), you can take advantage of the home office deduction. However, before pursuing this deduction, know your home office has to be used exclusively for business. This means your bed, porch swing and kitchen table do not count as deductible expenses.
Deduction #3: Education and Training
If you take classes or training courses, like BOLD, to further your professional education and maximize your potential, you may be able to deduct your registration fees, related materials and certain travel costs. There a several requirements:
- The training and education cannot qualify you for a different trade or business.
- The training cannot be for the purpose of meeting minimum educational requirements.
- The training course/courses must maintain or improve the skill related to your field of real estate.
Deduction #4: Advertising Expense
Advertising expenses such as marketing materials, staging, photography and signage can all be deductible through the Internal Revenue Service’s advertising expense deduction. This is one of the best deductions because of its broad requirements!
Deduction #5: Standard Auto Deduction
Every mile you drive for business can be deducted from your taxes, which is great for you because between the showings, listing presentations and more, the miles can rack up fast! In 2016, you can deduct 54 cents for every mile you drove on your car (owned or leased). In order to access this benefit, you are required to track your miles.
*Always consult with a tax professional for your tax-related questions.