Well, we’re approaching that time of year again. Prepping income tax returns is an annual event most people do not get excited about but must be done. As we make new resolutions at the beginning of every year, hopefully one of yours is to use landlord software to make tax time easier.
Landlord Software Tracks Rental Income and Expenses
Landlord software to track rental income and expenses makes life really easy. It can generate reports that tell you how well your rental property business is doing. For example, a profit and loss statement is a financial review of the business’ revenues and expenses over a period of time.
You have a lot of choice. For tax time, there are some excellent and free landlord income and expense tracking software such as RentalIncomeExpense.com. With RentalIncomeExpense.com, you can generate a Schedule E Helper report that mimics the Schedule E you will have to file with your taxes. Schedule E is one of the many schedules that are part of the IRS Form 1040. Taxpayers use Schedule E to report income and expenses from supplemental income. Landlords need to file Schedule E with their form 1040 to report income (or loss) from rental property.
The information and speed you will achieve with landlord software will make tax time less of a chore!
Every business needs customers to generate revenue. For landlords, those customers are tenants. So when a tenant vacates, it is critical for the landlord to fill the empty unit as quickly as possible. The longer the rental property is empty, the longer the landlord does not make any money. Here are some tips on how landlords can advertise rental property:
1. Decide Where to Advertise
Landlords should think about where most of their tenants will search for an available property to rent. Online advertising is one of the most popular and wide-reaching methods today.
Landlords can advertise listings with a real estate specific site such as Zillow or Apartments.com. Other online options include social media platforms like Facebook or Nextdoor or a more general site such as the ever popular Craigslist. Many of these online advertising options are free, which is a real plus for the landlord’s bottom line.
A simple yard sign can still catch the eyes of a promising tenant. The cost for the “For Rent” sign in your yard is minimal.
2. Post High Quality Pictures
For tenants who prefer to search online, pictures become a critical basis for decision making. Landlords should post high quality photos of the empty unit so tenants searching online have a good idea of the rental property and can make a decision from the photos alone. With today’s smartphones, landlords can take their own high quality photos instead of hiring a professional photographer. Once a tenant is serious about renting a particular property, they benefit from a physical walk through of the rental property.
3. Be Responsive to Inquiries
In describing your rental property, identify key selling points. For example, you will want to mention if you accept online rent payment, as that may be an important criteria for tenants. While the description of your property for rent should be thorough, tenants may have questions. Providing accurate contact information and responding promptly to inquiries makes your unit and your reputation as a landlord positive selling points. In terms of cost here, it will be your time again. Being a responsive landlord will help you meet your goal of filling your vacancy as quickly as possible.
Good Advertising will Fill an Empty Unit
Advertising your rental property online or on paper, showing your rental property with good pictures, and being responsive to inquiries are all steps in the right direction to filling your vacancy. The cost to advertise your rental property is reasonable, especially for some online listings. For any costs you do incur to advertise your rental property, be sure to track them with a good tool such as RentalIncomeExpense.com, which is free, follows the Schedule E income and expense categories, and enables you to generate reports.
Owning and managing rental property is a business activity. Landlording can be a full or part time gig. Whether you create a separate business for it or not, landlord record keeping for rental property is important for tax purposes. The two main types of records are the income and expenses and the supporting documentation of the income and expenses.
Income & Expense Records
Landlord record keeping for rental property makes it easier to complete tax forms, such as Form 1040 Schedule E. The tax forms determine if you made a profit or had a loss for that year from your rental property. Schedule E organizes activity by each property, so you’ll want to keep income and expense records for each rental address.
Supporting Documentation for Landlord Record Keeping for Rental Property
Proof of income and expenses is especially important if you are audited. Receipts and cancelled checks prove the income earned and expenses incurred in case the IRS has questions. Supporting documents leave a paper trail and prove that your claims are correct. They also show the tax deductions you receive are legitimate.
Landlords with good recordkeeping habits will maximize the tax benefits of owning and managing rental property. Keeping track of income and expenses and maintaining supporting documentation will reduce the stress if audited and provide peace of mind. RentalIncomeExpense.com is a free and complete solution for landlords. Try it today!
January is a new year with new promise. Unfortunately, landlords are still looking at the prior year as tax season nears. Wouldn’t it be great to have an easy to use and simple tool to expedite your rental income and expense tracking? Fortunately, www.RentalIncomeExpense.com is just such a tool. Best of all, it is a FREE service!
Do Not Do Income and Expense Tracking With a Spreadsheet
Spreadsheets make sense for calculations that you need to quickly do that are beyond a calculator. However, if you are using a spreadsheet constantly, you are probably not using the most efficient tool. This is certainly the case when tracking rental income and expenses.
Do you need to quickly create a profit and loss statement from your rental income and expenses? How about an IRS report for Schedule E? Or need to save keystrokes by reentering a common recurring expense? RentalIncomeExpense.com lets you do these things effortlessly.
RentalIncomeExpense.com is a Breeze
Get started by visiting www.RentalIncomeExpense.com. Change the way you do rental income and expense tracking! Signing up only takes a minute and the service is free, so there is nothing to lose.
Zillow provides a worksheet for landlords to track rental income and expense. It is free to download, and that is pretty much the best part of the Zillow worksheet. There is a better alternative to the Zillow worksheet for income expense tracking. By the time landlords sink hours entering their rental property data into the Zillow worksheet, they realize its significant limitations:
Designed for one to five properties. If you start using the Zillow worksheet, you’ll quickly run out of room if you have more than five properties. Or, if you have a roommate situation and want to track rent payment by individual, well, you’re limited again. There is a better alternative to the Zillow worksheet for income expense tracking.
No reports. Want to know the profit and loss for your rental property? You can’t do that with the Zillow worksheet. The Zillow worksheet only totals the income and expenses for all properties and shows that number as a cell. There is no way to see profit and loss activity by month. Additionally, the Zillow worksheet categories do not align with the IRS 1040 Schedule E categories, which means this worksheet cannot easily generate a report for Schedule E.
RentalIncomeExpense.com is the Better Alternative to the Zillow Worksheet
A better alternative is RentalIncomeExpense.com. It is free. It allows landlords to enter income and expense detail that align with Schedule E categories. Reports such as Profit and Loss and Schedule E Helper guide landlords as they grow and prepare for tax time.
Rental income expense tracking is an essential task for every landlord. Tracking helps landlords determine the health of their business. It also makes tax time easier as the rental property income and expense data is necessary to fulfill IRS requirements. For example, landlords usually need to complete Schedule E of Form 1040 for income tax purposes.
Expensive property management software like Renttec Direct or Buildium is overkill for the small landlord because it generally costs more in time and money than it is worth. On the other hand, a simple Excel spreadsheet is not nearly powerful enough because it cannot easily generate the different reports landlords need.
Easy to use and understand rental income expense tracking for landlords is highly desirable. Qualities of a great tool for landlords also include easy to generate reports like a profit & loss statement and an affordable price tag. Free is almost always the best!
In the US, landlords are obligated to report rental income received from tenants. The IRS’ Schedule E of Form 1040 captures associated income and expenses for each rental property. Most people do not get excited when it comes to preparing taxes. The IRS and many software providers provide landlord rental income expense tips and tools to make the reporting process easier.
The IRS provides guidance for landlords on how they can correctly report income and realize as many deductions as possible. Most taxpayers try to minimize what they owe to the government. Landlords can deduct expenses such as mortgage interest, property tax, and depreciation, which can be hugely beneficial. It is always good practice to seek the professional advice of an accountant with any questions or concerns.
In addition to deducting expenses, other landlord rental income expense tips include easy and complete record keeping. Landlords can use a spreadsheet to record income and expenses, but there are better tools, especially those designed specifically for the small landlord. For example, RentalIncomeExpense.com is a free tool for landlords. With this software, you can easily record expenses and generate valuable reports at tax time.
The accounting needs of General Motors are not the same as the accounting needs of Joe’s Pizza shop. Similarly, small landlords do not have the same accounting needs as large real estate corporations. What does a small landlord need in their accounting software?
Ease of Use
Large apartment companies generally employ their own accountants. Small landlords must learn a lot of accounting on their own. For many, using accounting software like Quickbooks is time-consuming and not intuitive. Small landlord accounting software that is dead simple to use is a huge timesaver.
Income Expense Tracking
Expensive online software like Appfolio or Buildium often have a myriad of features. However, do small landlords need these features? Generally, small landlords just need basic income (rent) and expense tracking.
Once a landlord enters their income and expense information, they really just need a few helpful reports. The first is a profit and loss report so that a landlord can see how they are doing financially. Next, landlords in the United States need a ‘Schedule E’ Helper report which helps them report property income to the IRS.
Finally, small landlords often have slim budgets. They do not have hundreds of properties to spread the cost of accounting software across. They may just have one property.
Fortunately, there is online software that is perfect for small landlords and free. For many years, small landlords have used RentalIncomeExpense.com. This free service is easy-to-use, allows income expense tracking, and generates a few super important reports. Try it out at www.RentalIncomeExpense.com!
The rental property profit and loss statement is a report that summarizes revenues received and expenses incurred. Also known as a P&L or income statement, it shows how well or poorly the business is doing by its net income or loss. The majority of income is reflected by the rent landlords collect from tenants. As for expenses, they can vary and can range from general maintenance such as lawn care to property taxes. With the profit and loss report, landlords can identify areas to reduce expenses or make improvements to strengthen the business.
How do you create a an income statement? The easiest way is with landlord accounting software. There are free templates available, like the Zillow worksheet. Templates and spreadsheets are not the best choice for landlords because they are not powerful enough and can be one dimensional with limited reporting capabilities. Believe it or not, similar to templates, there is free landlord accounting software. For example, RentalIncomeExpense.com is an income and expense tracking tool designed for landlords. It is free and easily generates a rental property profit and loss statement. When using a good tool to generate reports, landlords can quickly determine how their business is doing.
Over time, any type of property – rental or non rental – will need updating. Building materials will either deteriorate or become outdated. For example, paint peels or fades, carpets stain and wear away, and bathrooms and kitchens become outdated. If the unit is occupied and the tenant wants to make improvements, landlords letting tenants renovate rental property is not a bad idea.
If you’re happy with your tenant, most landlords will not want to displace their tenant in order to renovate. So when a tenant wants to do the renovation, it’s a good idea for landlords to hear them out. For landlords letting tenants renovate rental property, here are a few things to consider:
Agree to the renovations: As the owner of the rental property, you should be in agreement to the requested changes. Should the tenant vacate in the future, you are left with the renovations. Ideally, you will want renovations that increase the value and attractiveness of your rental property.
Decide who will pay for the renovations: There are a few possibilities when it comes to who will pay for the renovations. The tenant can pay for it entirely, the landlord can pay for it entirely, or both can split the cost. Usually, if the improvement will add value, most landlords may cover the cost since they ultimately own the rental property. If the landlord covers the bill, he/she can track renovation-related expenses in their landlord income expense tracking software such as RentalIncomeExpense.com.
Put everything in writing: Landlords letting tenants renovate rental property is a driver for a lease addendum. It is important to address items such as what improvements will be made and who will pay for them clearly and in writing.