Tips on tracking and reporting rental income (from any source).

Q: We’re about to rent out my place and wanted to know how we would go about claiming the income for taxes? Do I have to ?

 

Along with Lyft and Uber driver’s, landlord’s are popping up all over the place.  Short term, long term, vacation spots, single bedrooms, whole house, and yes, I have seen tents in people’s backyards being rented out to earn some extra cash or simply to utilize dead space.   This is all grand until folks start thinking about the tax implications of the these endeavors or “how exactly does this all work on my taxes?”

Tax planning for 3-5 years into the future is imperative for everyone’s situation and that’s no different for people looking to convert a personal or primary residence into a rental property, or if purchasing a property outright for that purpose in general.  It is key to maintain “the books” every year ( and on a monthly basis) for personal expenditures and for business expenditures.  This means adding all income together, adding all expenses (separated by account) together, and subtracting expenses from income. The difference is the “taxable” portion.

To be real though, its often beneficial to report rental income and expenses because any loss may lower other taxable income, subsequently lowering tax liability.

 

Rental income: This could be reported on a 1099MISC or by keeping track of any payments (income)  yourself.

Expenses:  

Advertising:

Cleaning and Maintenance:

Mortgage Interest/Property tax : Always provide/have/use the form 1098 that provides this info.

Repairs and Supplies:  (Home Depot+Lowes+Ace hardware)

 

Here is a template for an income statement and its concept . Download it to your computer and use the Save As feature to save the document in a safe place that you can use in the future.

Rental-Income-Expenses-Template (2)

Rental Income Template

 

 

FOR YOUR TAX RETURNS:

This information is reported on the Schedule E and must be added to your 1040 at the time of preparation.  Tax is paid on net income (Gross income – expenses = net income).  A silent expense that is often overlooked is depreciation and is added at the time of preparation so it will most likely not be on your monthly summaries but is significant.

Schedule E for rental income and other misc type income

Schedule E instructions

 

The instructions for the schedule E are only 12 pages long, but the IRS estimates the following.

Recordkeeping ………                                                                3 hrs., 3 min.
Learning about the law or the form ……………                     1hr., 2 min.
Preparing the form ……                                                           1 hr., 34 min.
Copying, assembling, and sending the form to the IRS .  34 min

 

It’s time: Check the number’s ya’ll. Also known as ‘paycheck checkup’.

It’s almost halfway through the year (2019) and it’s time to review some data that surrounds your life. If you’re an “employee” and receive a W2 at the end of the year, this means reviewing your latest paycheck stub(s) to ensure that you are withholding enough to cover the annual tax due; even if your paycheck is direct deposited you should be able to review the voided stub.

Image result for example paycheck stub

What’s your ‘year to date’ income so far?

How much have you withheld for federal and state taxes ‘year to date’ so far?

How much have you paid into social security and medicaid thus far? Keep in mind, your employer pays the same amounts on your behalf, theses are considered payroll and employment taxes, not part of income taxes.

Below is an example of what page 2 of the 1040 looks like, feel free to locate your actual tax return and follow along. Line 11 of your 1040 page 2 is the tax you owe for the year based on “taxable income”, and line 15 is the actual tax due for the year based on any credits subtracted plus additional tax due.

line 16 is what was actually withheld from your paychecks (or other forms like 1099’s) combined.

2018 1040 page 2

Your tax due (which I often refer to as tax liability), can change from year to year. For example, kids under 16 qualify for the child tax credit which lowers the tax liability due for the year. Your tax liability will increase when your kid turns 17 and no longer qualifies for that credit. This can easily be determined ahead of time so you shouldn’t be shocked that 17th year and should plan accordingly.

Below is some information from the IRS on the topic.

IRS: Doing a ‘Paycheck Checkup’ is a good idea for workers with multiple jobs

WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service urges taxpayers who work multiple jobs or who may be adding summer employment to complete a Paycheck Checkup. Doing so will help them check if they are having the right amount of tax withheld from their paychecks.

Checking and adjusting tax withholding as early as possible in 2019 is the best way to head off a tax-time surprise next year.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) made changes to the tax law. Among other things, the new law increased the standard deduction, eliminated personal exemptions, increased the child tax credit, limited or discontinued certain deductions and changed the tax rates and brackets. As a result, many taxpayers ended up receiving refunds that were larger or smaller than expected, while others unexpectedly owed additional tax when they filed their 2018 tax returns.

Two-income families and people with multiple jobs may be more vulnerable to being under-withheld or over-withheld following these major law changes. For 2019, a Paycheck Checkup is especially important for taxpayers who adjusted their withholding in 2018, specifcally in the middle or later parts of the year. Doing a Paycheck Checkup can help determine the correct amount of tax for each of their employers to withhold.

The IRS urges everyone to do a Paycheck Checkup as early in the year as possible so that if an adjustment is needed, there is more time for withholding to happen evenly during the rest of the year. Waiting means there are fewer pay periods to withhold the necessary federal tax.

The easiest way to do a Paycheck Checkup is to use the Withholding Calculator on IRS.gov. The Withholding Calculator can help taxpayers estimate their income, credits, adjustments and deductions more accurately and check if they have the right amount of tax withheld for their financial situation. When using the calculator, it’s helpful to have a completed 2018 tax return and a recent pay stub available.

Based on the Withholding Calculator’s recommendations, the taxpayer can then fill out and submit a new Form W-4 to their employer. In many instances, this means claiming fewer withholding allowances or having an extra flat-dollar amount withheld from their pay.

Self-employment
Some workers are considered self-employed and are responsible for paying taxes directly to the IRS. Often, this includes people involved in the sharing economy. One way to pay taxes directly to the IRS is by making estimated tax payments during the year.

TCJA changed the way tax is calculated for most taxpayers, including those with substantial income not subject to withholding. As a result, many taxpayers may need to raise or lower the amount of tax they pay each quarter through the estimated tax system.

The revised estimated tax package, Form 1040-ES, on IRS.gov is designed to help taxpayers figure these payments correctly. The package includes a quick rundown of key tax changes, income tax rate schedules for 2019 and a useful worksheet for figuring the right amount to pay.

Other situations
Anyone who had a life change, such as getting married or divorced, buying a home or having a baby should also consider a Paycheck Checkup.

Pay electronically anytime
Taxpayers can pay their 2019 estimated tax payments electronically anytime before the final due date for the tax year. Most taxpayers make estimated tax payments in equal amounts by the four established due dates. The three remaining due dates for tax year 2019 estimated taxes are June 17, Sept. 16, and the final payment is due Jan. 15, 2020. Direct Pay and EFTPS are both free payments options, and taxpayers can schedule their payments in advance as well as receive email notifications about the payment. Visit IRS.gov/payments to schedule electronic payments online, by phone or the IRS2go mobile app.

More information:

http://www.paulinestaxservices.com

Schedule C (Self Employment) Changes for TY 2018.

Schedule C Provisions

Entertainment Expenses
In prior years, a taxpayer generally could deduct expenses for activities considered to be
entertainment, amusement, or recreation if the expenses were directly related or associated with the active conduct of the taxpayer’s trade or business. For amounts incurred or paid after December 31, 2017, deductions for entertainment expenses are disallowed.

The TCJA deemed entertainment expenses as nondeductible regardless of the relationship of the expenses to the business activity, including meals purchased during entertainment activities. There are a few exceptions outlined in Code Sec. 274(e) including:

  •  Expenses for goods, services, and facilities that are treated as compensation to an
    employee
  • Expenses paid or incurred by the taxpayer in connection with the performance of
    services for another person, under a reimbursement or other expenses allowance
    agreement
  • Expenses for recreational, social, or similar activities primarily for the benefit of the taxpayer’s employees, other than highly compensated employees
    Businesses can still deduct 50% of amounts paid for meals associated with the active conduct of the taxpayer’s trade or business.

For example, employee travel meals are still 50% deductible.

 

Meals and Ent changes large.png

Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season (irs.gov)

Source: IR-2018-225, [UPDATE] Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season

 

Get Ready for Taxes:

Get 2018 tax documents ready for upcoming filing season.

WASHINGTON –The IRS reminds taxpayers to keep a copy of their past tax returns and supporting documents for at least three years. Certain key information from their prior year return may be required to file in 2019.

This is the fifth in a series of reminders to help taxpayers Get Ready for the upcoming tax filing season. The IRS has recently updated its Get Ready page with steps to take now for the 2019 tax filing season.

Keeping copies of prior year tax returns saves time. Often previous tax information is needed to file a current year tax return or to answer questions from the Internal Revenue Service. Taxpayers claiming certain securities or debt losses should keep their tax returns and documents for at least seven years.

Use a tax return to validate identity

Taxpayers using tax filing software for the first time may need their adjusted gross income (AGI) amount from their prior year’s tax return to verify their identity. Learn more at Validating Your Electronically Filed Tax Return. Those who need a copy of their tax return should first check with their software provider or tax preparer. Taxpayers can also obtain a free tax transcript from the IRS, or for a fee, order a copy of their tax return.

 

Order a transcript

A tax transcript can be ordered from the IRS. It summarizes tax return information and includes AGI. Tax transcripts are free and available for the most current tax year after the IRS has processed the tax return. Tax transcripts are available for the past three tax years.

 

Plan ahead. Delivery times for online and phone orders typically take five to 10 days from the time the IRS receives the request. Taxpayers who order by mail should allow 30 days to receive transcripts and 75 days for tax returns.

 

There are three ways for taxpayers to order a transcript: 

  • Online. Taxpayers can use Get Transcript Online on IRS.gov to view, print or download a copy of all transcript types. Those who use it must authenticate their identity and create an account using the Secure Access process. Please allow five to 10 calendar days for delivery.
  • By phone. Call 800-908-9946.
  • By mail. Taxpayers who are unable to register or prefer not to use Get Transcript Online may use Get Transcript by Mail. Taxpayers can complete and send the IRS either Form 4506-T, Request for Transcript of Tax Return, or Form 4506T-EZ, Short Form Request for Individual Tax Return Transcript. Use Form 4506-T to request other tax records: tax account transcript, record of account, wage and income and verification of non-filing. These forms are available on the Forms, Instructions and Publications page on IRS.gov.  Those who need an actual copy of a tax return can get one for the current tax year and as far back as six years. The fee per copy is $50. Taxpayers can complete and mail Form 4506 to request a copy of a tax return and mail the request to the appropriate IRS office listed on the form. 
  • If taxpayers need information to verify payments within the last 18 months or a tax amount owed, they can view their tax account.
  • The IRS is now redacting tax transcripts so that sensitive information, such as the taxpayer’s name, address and Social Security number, is partially masked. However, all financial entries, such as the adjusted gross income, are visible. The redacted transcript will better protect taxpayers from identity theft.

Watch out for scammers!

 

IRS warns of “Tax Transcript” email scam; dangers to business networks

WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service and Security Summit partners today warned the public of a surge of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware.

The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because this malware can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove.

This well-known malware, known as Emotet, generally poses as specific banks and financial institutions in its effort to trick people into opening infected documents. The Summit partnership of the IRS, state tax agencies and the nation’s tax industry remind taxpayers to watch out for this scam.

However, in the past few weeks, the scam masqueraded as the IRS, pretending to be from “IRS Online.” The scam email carries an attachment labeled “Tax Account Transcript” or something similar, and the subject line uses some variation of the phrase “tax transcript.”
These clues can change with each version of the malware. Scores of these malicious Emotet emails were forwarded to phishing@irs.gov recently.

The IRS reminds taxpayers it does not send unsolicited emails to the public, nor would it email a sensitive document such as a tax transcript, which is a summary of a tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers not to open the email or the attachment. If using a personal computer, delete or forward the scam email to phishing@irs.gov. If you see these using an employer’s computer, notify the company’s technology professionals.

 

Contact me if you still need to have your 2017 or prior year’s tax returns prepared.

 

Stephanie C.

stephanie@paulinestaxservices.com   |      http://www.paulinestaxservices.com

303-301-7167

 

 

 

If you “write off” any employee business expenses for yourself or your employee’s, this article may be for you.

Tax reform brings changes to fringe benefits that can affect an employer’s bottom line and what employee’s can actually deduct on their personal returns. 

 

Source: Tax Reform Tax Tip 2018-162: Tax reform brings changes to fringe benefits that can affect an employer’s bottom line

 

As most of you are aware we have a new tax plan in place for tax year’s 2018 – 2026 (as of now).  Among the many changes previously deductible employee business expenses (including fringe benefits) may be excluded or the process has changed.

Continue reading….

 

The IRS reminds employers that several programs have been affected as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed last year. This includes changes to fringe benefits, which can affect an employer’s bottom line and its employees’ deductions.

Here’s information about some of these changes that will affect employers:

Entertainment Expenses & Deduction for Meals
The new law generally eliminated the deduction for any expenses related to activities generally considered entertainment, amusement or recreation.

However, under the new law, taxpayers can continue to deduct 50 percent of the cost of business meals if the taxpayer or an employee of the taxpayer is present, and the food or beverages are not considered lavish or extravagant. The meals may be provided to a current or potential business customer, client, consultant or similar business contact. Food and beverages that are purchased or consumed during entertainment events will not be considered entertainment if either of these apply:

  • they are purchased separately from the entertainment
  • the cost is stated separately from the entertainment on one or more bills, invoices or receipts

Qualified Transportation
The new law also disallows deductions for expenses associated with qualified transportation fringe benefits or expenses incurred providing transportation for commuting. There is an exception when the transportation expenses are necessary for employee safety.

Bicycle Commuting Reimbursements
Under the new law, employers can deduct qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements as a business expense. The new tax law suspends the exclusion of qualified bicycle commuting reimbursements from an employee’s income. This means that employers must now include these reimbursements in the employee’s wages.

Qualified Moving Expenses Reimbursements
Employers must now include moving expense reimbursements in employees’ wages. The new tax law suspends the exclusion for qualified moving expense reimbursements.

There is one exception as members of the U.S. Armed Forces can still exclude qualified moving expense reimbursements from their income if they meet certain requirements.

Employee Achievement Award
Special rules allow an employee to exclude achievement awards from their wages if the awards are tangible personal property. An employer also may deduct awards that are
tangible personal property
, subject to certain deduction limits. The new law clarifies the definition of tangible personal property.

 

Like or share this article if it pertains to you or someone you know.

-Thanks, Stephanie

http://www.paulinestaxservices.com

http://www.sctaxlady.com

http://www.irs.gov

http://www.Colorado.gov/revenueonline

 

 

DIY: Do you have a nanny or babysitter? They might be considered a household employee for tax purposes and you might be responsible for paying employment taxes.

 

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p926

DSC03471.2.jpg

 

A client of mine recently had a baby.  Yay, Baby!!  With that bundle of joy comes additional tax responsibilities and implications… and sometimes credits and deductions.

 

She had two questions.  What is the nanny tax? And Is it simple to do it yourself or should you pay a professional payroll company? (Ultimately, my client decided to try it out herself before she hires a payroll service.  As with any business there are initial startup costs and then monthly bookkeeping and filings. Sometimes certain forms can be filed on a quarterly or annual basis. Record keeping and organization is imperative for “keeping the books” long term.)

 

 

Many years ago, nanny’s and day care providers were simply considered self employed and filed their income and expenses on the Schedule C (attached to the 1040). The family would pay cash or check and the nanny or sitter would account for it on their own returns.   However, now, the tax law states that if nanny’s are paid more than $2,000 a year they are considered employees and are subject to all of the regular employment taxes, unemployment insurance and workman’s comp. Thus creating additional paperwork and costs.

 

What is the nanny tax? And is it easy to DIY

This weird sounding tax is actually just basic employment and payroll taxes.  All employees and/or employers are required to pay social security taxes, Medicare taxes, and sometimes unemployment insurance.  The “employers” may or may not withhold and pay federal /state too.  You’ll save quite a bit of money doing it yourself and its not that difficult.  Although, it is work in a sense and it takes a bit of time.

Requirements:

  1. Be able to read and follow directions. Have some patience.
  2. Be organized: calculate hours worked, gross income and net income.
  3. Be tech savvy. Most of this stuff can be done online. It’s also handy to have a scanner/copier/ printer handy but it’s not required necessarily.
  4. Be able to follow due dates and pay on time (or you’ll be subject to fees and penalties).  Ex: for unemployment insurance,  you usually calculate January thru March and the money is due in April.

 

 

Startup

Go to irs.gov and search for form SS-4 (fss4), Employers federal ID number.  Fill it in and apply online, or download the pdf to a computer and fill it out by hand then mail it in. Im sure the agencies hate it, but I still do alot by hand and use my stamps.com account to mail it in.

Go to Colorado.gov/revenueonline and apply for a state wage withholding license (only if withholding state tax for your employee).

 

IRS’s publication 926  instructs household employers of their duties.  I’m going to use a combination of that publication and my own insight and experience to describe the process to do your own bookkeeping and payroll when you have certain employees.

 

The Numbers for Social Security and Medicare tax  Employer W-2 Filing Instructions & Information

The social security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. The social security wage base limit is $127,200.  The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer, unchanged from 2016. There is no wage base limit for Medicare tax. Social security and Medicare taxes apply to the wages of household employees you pay $2,000 or more in cash in 2017.

 

The process *not including responsibilities for withholding federal and state taxes for the employee*

Example. On February 13, 2017, Mary Brown hired Jane A. Oak (who is an unrelated individual over age 18) to care for her child and agreed to pay cash wages of $50 every Friday. Jane worked for the remainder of the year (a total of 46 weeks). Jane didn’t give Mary a Form W-4 to request income tax withholding. The following is the information Mary will need to complete Schedule H, Form W-2, and Form W-3. See the completed examples of Form W-2 and Form W-3 for 2017 at the end of this publication

 

Total cash wages paid to Jane                                      $2,300.00

($50 x 46 weeks)

 

Jane’s share of: Social security tax is $142.60             EE share

($2,300 x 6.2% (0.062))

 

Medicare tax is $33.35                                                     EE share

($2,300 x 1.45% (0.0145))

 

Mary’s share of:Social security tax is $142.60             ER share

($2,300 x 6.2% (0.062))

 

Medicare tax $33.35                                                         ER share

($2,300 x 1.45% (0.0145))

 

Amounts reported on Form W-2 and Form W-3:Annual reconciliation at tax time.  Additionally, the schedule K will be added to the individual 1040 and reconciled that way.  You may or may not be required to pay estimated quarterly tax payments to ensure you don’t owe more than $1000 at the end of the year.  Talk to your tax professional.

Box 1: Wages, tips                          $2,300.00

Box 3: Social security wages        $2,300.00

Box 4: Social security tax withheld $142.60

Box 5: Medicare wages and tips  $2,300.00

Box 6: Medicare tax withheld is     $33.35

 

The  social  security  tax  pays  for  old-age,  survivors,  and disability benefits for workers and their families. The Medicare tax pays for hospital insurance. Both you and your household employee may owe social  security  and  Medicare  taxes.  Your  share  is  7.65% (6.2% for social security tax and 1.45% for Medicare tax) of  the  employee’s  social  security  and  Medicare  wages. Your employee’s share is also 7.65% (6.2% for social security tax and 1.45% for Medicare tax). Continue reading “DIY: Do you have a nanny or babysitter? They might be considered a household employee for tax purposes and you might be responsible for paying employment taxes.”

“Tax time” is creepin. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready. Pauline’s Tax Service will be making some changes going forward for next year – Stay informed.

As the next couple of months cruise by there will be more information inserted on to my website to help prepare you for the upcoming tax due date of  April <15-18>, 2018

*There are going to be many changes this year, it seems, due to a new tax plan, although its not confirmed.  I’ll try to keep you updated with that too.

 

Pauline’s Tax Service, Ltd – By Stephanie

 

Over the last 2 or 3 years I have worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible service for this type of duty and for my clients, many of whom I inherited more than 11 years ago from my grandma, Pauline Parris.   This work was important to her, and it is to me too.  With that being said, there will most likely be many changes over the next 2 years as I’m trying to reconstruct and reorganize my business plan. Expansion is in our future.

In-office appointments are going to be limited.  The office address is going to remain the same for mail in’s, drop off’s, pick up’s and meeting’s.  The conference room will be available for those tough situations, but this means that some additional time & planning might be in order.  Documents can be submitted via mail, drop off, e-mail, fax, or uploaded to the client portal.  Limited in-office appointments will be available for 2018. Thanks in advance for any inconvenience. 

 

*Before you would like your returns started – make sure you have all of your documents AND other information included before you send it to Pauline’s Tax Service for preparation.  Some returns that include the earned income credit or 

 

Address:  12365 Huron St., Suite 1800 Westminster Co 80234

Phone:     720-893-3712 ext.105

Fax:          303-252-4664

Email for Stephanie

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