By Tiana Baur
What if we told you that you could be saving over $4,000 per year by going digital?
By going digital, we mean throwing out that shoebox you keep your receipts in and making it your New Year’s resolution to stick to digital when it comes to taxes. Your pocket will thank you for it and this is why.
Most agents have some sort of mile tracking app on their phones. You use it somedays, you don’t even know if it’s tracking the miles properly on others, but it’s an easy and realistic way to take advantage of write offs for your taxes. Sound familiar? We’re telling you point blank: that’s just the tip of the iceberg for business write offs and your wallet is suffering from not being proactive about all the others. It’s time to go digital.
To get specific, QuickBooks Self-Employed users find on average $4,340 in tax savings per year. When you first look at that number, it might seem big or small depending on how many sides you’re doing a year, but let’s break it down and make it a bit more tangible. That’s 87 bouquets you could be sending your clients, 44 bottles of champagne you could be toasting their new home to, 20 of these Notion home monitoring systems, four new iPhone X cell phones, or this BMW Active Hybrid e-Bike – crazy, right?! Basically, what we’re saying is, that’s a LOT of money you’re missing out on.
Sure, the QuickBooks Self-Employed app tracks your miles, but it ALSO helps you track deductions for meals and fun, prompting you to take a quick pic of your receipt and uploading it so you can throw it away and never think about that old shoebox ever again. Really, how many coffees, meals and happy hours do you buy your clients and prospects each week? We’re guessing the number is pretty high up there. QBSE also helps you track write offs for marketing and ad spend, home office or space, desk fees, those big purchases like furniture and laptops, fees and licenses, travel and education, and tools and services. That’s a long list.
Up to this point you’ve been haphazardly trying to save paper receipts and remember where you drove when. Life as an independent contractor is stressful enough. Real estate agents hardly ever even get a weekend in! By going digital with QuickBooks Self-Employed, it will help bring a little sanity back to daily life and more money back into your business.
Start your New Year’s resolution early this year – your 2018 self will thank you for it!
By Tiana Baur
There are some simple, yet essential ways to make sure your business is as profitable and thriving as it can be. These ten tips will hopefully serve as a check list for when tax season comes around, as well as the rest of the year in order to prepare and set your business up for the brightest possible future.
1. Remember to file quarterly taxes
This may seem obvious to most, but even though you know you need to do it, you don’t always remember to. Life gets busy. Filing quarterly taxes means avoiding penalties and additional interest owed. Not doing so can also raise a red flag with the IRS and hurt your business in the long run.
2. Home office deduction
Make sure you deduct for a home office, but make sure you don’t over exaggerate the size of the space. There’s a fine line with this one. Let’s say your home office is 250 square feet
of a 2,500-square foot home, the percentage of the deduction you can take is 10 percent. Remember you can only do this if you aren’t already deducting your office space at your brokerage’s office. Whatever you do, make sure you choose one to deduct so you don’t miss out on hard earned cash.
3. Mileage reporting
Don’t. Be. Sloppy. If you only remember to track miles on some days, you’re missing out. Tracking all your miles is the key to tax saving success. QuickBooks Self-Employed app auto tracks the mileage, so you don’t have to worry about remembering. With this program, you can deduct an average of over $7,000 dollars a year. Capture everything you need automatically, then categorize mileage with the click of a button.
4. Deduct your big purchases
Buying a laptop, phone, printer, furniture or anything else related to your business? Deduct! These big ones might get forgotten if you purchased them in the first two quarters of the year.
5. Coffee, lunches, dinners, cocktail hours
If you’re constantly taking your clients out for a bite or a coffee, make sure you keep your receipts. Scratch that. Snap a photo in your QuickBooks Self-Employed app. No more leaving receipts in boxes or in the glove box of your car. No more! Doing this correctly means saving agents an average of over $4,000 a year.
6. Avoid an audit
The more money you make, the more likely you’ll be audited. If your income is creeping up, it’s time to use a little extra paper to employ better tracking of receipts, donations to charitable causes, and mileage. Maybe also time to consider hiring a professional to keep an eye on your records, rather than trying to keep track of it all yourself. Maybe.
7. Deduct software
This one might surprise you. You can fully deduct any software needed to run your business, including accounting and lead generation software. QuickBooks Self-Employed for example, which automatically tracks your expenses and mileage, can be fully deducted. Win-win.
8. Further education
Lots of states require continued education to keep a real estate license, while in others, it’s not only required, but crucial to stay competitive. You are probably able to deduct registration costs, transportation, and accommodation costs for coaching, courses, etc. This goes for in-person and online courses.
9. Desk fees
Your desk fees are deductible regardless of your brokerage. With QuickBooks Self-Employed you can set a rule to automatically categorize this expense whenever you pay that desk fee. Keep in mind, you can only do this if you aren’t doing the home office deduction.
If you’re travelling to a conference, having QuickBooks Self-Employed makes life way easier. It allows agents to focus on networking and the purpose of their trip, by linking their bank account to the app. As soon as agents incur any expense associated with travel, all they do is tap a button to categorize it in one of the IRS approved categories.
Get started with QuickBooks Self-Employed today and start running a more profitable, professional business.