Year-End Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with RealSupport Inc.

The last weeks of 2015 are usually consumed by holiday shopping, parties and family gatherings. Your income tax filing could be the furthest thing from your mind! Yet this is a good time of year to get organized and take advantage of last-minute tax strategies. Here are some tips to help you!

1. Spruce up your records for tax filing purposes. Make sure you have receipts and documentation for eligible business expenses. If you need copies of bank statements, invoices or receipts for 2015, pursuing them now will save you headaches this April! Common expenses include:

  • Real estate board dues
  • License renewal fees
  • Continuing education, coaching and seminar costs
  • Broker fees
  • E&O insurance
  • Non-reimbursed marketing costs
  • Non-reimbursed business materials and supplies
  • Car and travel expenses
  • Monthly cell phone costs
  • Domain name registrations and renewals
  • Website hosting fees

2. Home office equipment and items for business use, such as computers, printers, iPads, cell phones, furniture, and so on, can be depreciated over a number of years. However, under IRS code Section 179, you can deduct the full purchase price of these items during the year you purchase them. This is a great time of year to take advantage of retail sales, invest in your business, and get a tax break!

3. If you do upgrade a few things, don’t throw out the old stuff – donate it! Contact local charities about their needs for furniture, clothing, electronics and household goods. Be sure to have a dollar value record of any items you donate, and obtain a receipt suitable for tax purposes. Have an older car that won’t get you much on a trade-in? Consider donating it instead – it could be worth more to you as a tax write-off.

4. This is also a good time of year to examine your investments, and let go of under-performing stocks that you've grown to despise. Be sure to have record of the original purchase price and your sale price. The deducible losses from investments can offset other gains or income you earned during the year.

5. If you do not already have an IRA or a Keogh retirement fund, there’s still time to set one up and have your contributions counted for 2015 tax purposes. If you have an existing retirement plan, consider making a lump-sum contribution to help reduce this year’s taxable income.

Please note, the total amount of contribution you can claim for tax purposes varies by the type of account, and by your age. Roth IRA’s are a different animal altogether, with no immediate tax breaks. See your tax professional, investment advisor or CPA for more information.

6. Schedule time to talk to your tax preparer before the tax season rush! Getting a projection of your 2015 income tax picture now, allows you some room to maneuver before the end of the year.

Here's another great idea: consolidate your listing marketing, online ads, social media and website maintenance under one roof! RealSupport provides an array of real estate marketing and web services, along with detailed invoicing suitable for tax purposes. Contact RealSupport today!

Bonita Breit

Copywriting & Marketing Specialist

RealSupport, Inc.

 

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