5 real estate accounting tips before meeting with a tax professional
September 24, 2021at4:00 AM
Many Americans depend on accountants to handle their tax filing needs each year. If you’re using an accountant to take care of your taxes, though, there are certain significant things you should keep in mind before meeting with them. There are a lot of details to cover when it comes to accurately filing your taxes, and your accountant is going to need quite a bit of information to do their job well. This is especially the case when it comes to property taxes, as there are a few favors your tax professional can do for you to help reduce the amount you have to pay.
The real estate accounting professionals at Beyond Accounting & Tax have handled real estate taxes for countless property owners, ranging from real estate agents to ordinary homeowners. Whichever category you fall into, there are certain ways you can prepare for a meeting with us that will help us find every possible opportunity to save you money. Some of the general best practices for meeting with an accountant will serve this purpose, but there are some unique considerations to keep in mind when it comes to property taxes.
In this post, we’ll cover some important steps to take before meeting with your accountant, how to take advantage of property tax deductions, and how Beyond Accounting & Tax handles your real estate accounting needs.
Steps to take before meeting with your accountant
The most important preparations to make before meeting with a tax professional are basic, universal ones that apply to just about anyone. These include:
Gathering documents: The most common ones to worry about are income statements like Form-W2 or Form-1099, but you should also include forms like Form W-2G, which covers gambling winnings. The most relevant form for this topic is Form 1098, which reports any mortgage interest you’ve paid, but more on that later.
Provide receipts: The exact receipts you give your accountant will depend on whether you’re able or willing to itemize your deductions, but make sure you particularly hold on to receipts from major expenses like medical bills. Property taxes and investment-related expenses, of course, are most relevant to this topic.
List personal information: As far as real estate is concerned, the most important thing to keep in mind here is noting the addresses of any properties you own or rent. You should also include information about property sales and purchases, including their dates and amount of money you received or spent during these transactions.
Plan for a refund: If you’re expecting a refund, determine how you’re going to use the money and talk about it with your accountant so they can indicate it on your return. You can read more about this, and all of these points, in this Investopedia article.
Provide last year’s tax return: This can help you double-check the current year’s return before filing to make sure you didn’t overlook any details that should be included, like interest, dividends and charitable deductions.
Property tax deductions
Deciding whether you’re going to itemize your deductions is one of the most important real estate accounting topics to cover when you’re preparing to file your tax return. Before making that decision, you need to determine whether you’re actually able to itemize. If you can, this will allow you to deduct real estate taxes on your return.