Feb 09

Brooklyn - Park Slope: Montgomery Place BrowstonesWhen you invest in real estate, it is important to keep your costs as low as possible in order to make the investment worthwhile. Taxes are one of the areas that can eat at your profits. Here are some tips to saving as much on taxes as you can.

8 Real Estate Tax Deductions to Improve Your ROI

Author: G. Brian Davis

Since the days of the Roman Empire, the phrase “the Tax Man cometh” has instilled fear and dread in the hearts of citizens worldwide. Fortunately for real estate investors, there are many tax deductions built into the real estate investing process, to help stem the rising tide of taxes in the last year. Coupled with a struggling and uncertain economy, every penny you save on taxes is a penny earned (a tax-free penny, at that).

Real Estate Tax Deduction 1: Settlement Charges

Many critics of real estate investment cite the high up-front investment in real estate, due to settlement charges such as origination points and other mortgage fees, title charges, appraisal costs, home owner insurance premiums, and myriad other costs that somehow find their way onto the HUD-1 forms. Mercifully, however, the majority of settlement charges can be deducted from your taxes, so don’t forget to bring the HUD-1 forms to your accountant’s office.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 2: Mortgage Interest

For the first three-quarters of your mortgage loan, the overwhelming majority of your mortgage payments is comprised of interest, not principal, but the good news is that the interest portion of your payment is tax-deductible. Don’t forget to deduct it, because it can often be a substantial sum.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 3: Private Mortgage Insurance & Real Estate Taxes

Don’t pay taxes twice! Your real estate taxes can be deducted from your income taxes, so be sure to save your tax statements for each rental property. Further, high LTV loans generally include private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is also tax deductible.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 4: Repairs and Maintenance

In most cases, landlords are obligated by their rental agreement to perform necessary maintenance and repairs on their rental investment property, which can often result in substantial costs to the landlord. However, the good news is that most repairs and maintenance on a rental investment property are tax-deductible, so be sure to check with your accountant about every penny invested in your properties.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 5: Landlord Forms & Legal Advice

Whenever you purchase landlord forms or supplies, or pay for legal advice or services that relate to your rental properties, these expenses should be deducted as a cost of doing business.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 6: Property Management Fees

Property management firms generally charge 5-10% of your monthly rent, not to mention they often pile on fees for finding new tenants to fill a vacant rental property. These fees add up very quickly, so be sure to write them off as deductible expenses.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 7: Depreciation

Depreciation is one of the greatest tax advantages of real estate investing, as you can deduct the theoretical “depreciation” of your rental property’s value. While the rules are somewhat complex (talk to an experienced real estate accountant), the general idea is that you can deduct your rental property’s depreciation as if it dropped to a value of zero over the course of 27.5 years.

Real Estate Tax Deduction 8: Accounting Costs

It’s almost a sick joke: not only does the government take a third of your paycheck, but you have to pay someone to figure out exactly how much you owe them! The good news, however, is that you can deduct last year’s accounting bill from this year’s taxes, and at least you won’t pay taxes on that money!

Real estate tax law can be very confusing and complex, so all landlords are advised to hire an excellent accountant familiar with real estate tax law to fill out all of your tax forms and review your return. Take advantage of the many tax advantages conferred upon real estate investors, and improve your return on investment!

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/8-real-estate-tax-deductions-to-improve-your-roi-1645668.html

About the Author

Brian Davis is a landlord and real estate investor that consults and provides educational material for many landlord and real estate websites, including Real Estate Pro Articles and EZ Landlord Forms, featuring state-specific real estate forms for landlords.

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