As real estate agents, you are eligible for a host of deductions—from car mileage to meals and entertainment—permitted you keep track of your business-related expenses. However, with so many expenses and so little time, it’s easy to lose receipts, forget what was business and what was pleasure, and miss out on deduction opportunities come tax time. QuickBooks Self-Employed provides the solution.
As an app and online product, Quickbooks Self-Employed was designed with real estate professionals in mind. It automatically imports and categorizes expenses, tracks your mileage, and captures your receipts, making tax season a breeze. In fact, on average, QuickBooks Self-Employed has helped subscribers identify an average of $4,340 in potential tax savings.
“At Intuit, we’re on a mission to change the financial lives of real estate agents around the world,” says Alex Chriss, vice president and general manager of Self-Employed Solutions at Intuit. “We know that agents face enough challenges trying to juggle a competitive real estate market and increase income. That’s why we designed the QuickBooks Self-Employed Tax bundle, to help agents keep more of that hard-earned income in their pocket, with a tailor-made solution that maximizes their deductions, simplifies tax time with automatic filing, and provides clear visibility into their cash-flow throughout the year.”
Michelle Pettway, a REALTOR® with PalmerHouse Properties in Atlanta, Ga., and director of the Estate Systems Training Institute in Georgia, has been using QuickBooks for years, but learned about QuickBooks Self-Employed during last year’s National Association of REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
“I used to use Excel and different spreadsheets to keep track of everything, which got confusing, but once I heard about this, I realized it accomplishes everything I need,” she says. “Because I’m on my phone so much, this is very convenient.”
A self-confessed paper hoarder, Pettway can simply snap a photo of a receipt and forget about having to file the paper one away—a recipe for disaster in the past when receipts would pile up in different places at home and in the office.
“There have been times I have lost receipts or forgot to log something, but this helps me keep track of things, and I don’t forget them because I do them right away from where I am,” she says. “Nothing is falling through the cracks.”
Pettway has shared the experience with her entire team, and also has gotten her students on board with QuickBooks Self-Employed.
“One thing is true with most real estate professionals: we’re not that great at organizing paperwork, so this takes it all off the table,” she says. “It takes automating to a whole new level.”
For every 1,000 miles driven, another $500 in tax deductions can be produced, but the IRS needs documentation of all trips, both business and personal. The automatic mileage tracker on QuickBooks Self-Employed eliminates the need for real estate professionals to manually enter data about every mile driven. Instead, every trip is automatically tracked, and users can instantly see the deductions they’ve earned.
According to Chriss, existing QuickBooks Self-Employed users log an average of $7,393 in potential mileage deductions per year, and find, on average, 45 percent more potential deductions by logging miles. In total, users have logged over $125 million in potential mileage deductions.
Another great tool to utilize come tax time is TurboTax’s Self-Employed product, which works with into QuickBooks Self-Employed. With TurboTax Self-Employed, real estate professionals can better find every deduction with one-on-one help from industry experts right there on the screen. By integrating with QuickBooks Self-Employed, doing your taxes has never been easier.
“Providing tools which save our agents time and money and leads to their success is at the core of our company strategy,” says Mike Hickman, president of Seven Gables Real Estate in Tustin, Calif. “Financial management is an opportunity we identified to help increase our agents’ profitability and productivity. Intuit’s QuickBooks Self-Employed app makes tracking business expenses and mileage throughout the year so much easier, and TurboTax ensures our agents are maximizing their tax refunds.”
Those who file a 2016 federal return with TurboTax Self-Employed by April 18 will be eligible for a complimentary subscription to QuickBooks Self-Employed until April 30, 2018 at no additional cost.
Chriss notes that attracting and retaining the best talent in a competitive market is a top priority for brokers, and these tools are a great perk to offer agents.
“Brokers are always looking for the best tools to support agents and remove the burden of administrative tasks,” he says. “By adopting tools such as QuickBooks Self-Employed and TurboTax, brokers are able to offer their agents an easy and affordable way to manage their expenses, simplify finances, maximize deductions and file their taxes so they can devote even more time to what they do best.”
For more information, please visit QuickBooks Self-Employed.
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