Here is a list of the lessons in this course and a brief description of what you'll learn in each lesson.
- Introduction to the Course
An introduction, a bit of legal housekeeping and tips on how to make the most of this course.
- Hobby vs Business
Do you have a hobby or a business? We look at the tax implications of having a hobby vs a business and how you can determine which applies to your situation.
- Self Employment Taxation
In this lesson we look at the differences between being an Employee and being Self-Employed, including considerations for those that are self-employed (budgeting, self-employment tax responsibilities, minimizing tax burden), the taxes that you pay (Self-Employment, Federal Income, State Income Tax) and how much you can save with proper record keeping from legitimate deductions.
- Recordkeeping / Proving Deductions
In this lesson we look at something that is absolutely vital when trying to minimize your deductions: Record Keeping and Proving Deductions. For tax purposes, the burden of proof is on you, the taxpayer, to prove the deductions that you take. This lesson will show you how to maintain a history of your expenses and the information about the expenses that are required to prove the deduction.
- Introduction to Schedule C and 1099-MISC
In this lesson we will introduce you to Schedule C and Form 1099-MISC. You will learn whether or not you need to file Schedule C and learn about the sections of Schedule C (including the importance of the Business Activity Code number for Real Estate agents). Additionally, we will help you determine whether or not you need to provide a 1099-MISC Form to an individual or unincorporated business.
- Income, Deductions and Startup Expenses
In this lesson we will discuss cash basis accounting, income for realtors (and what it does, and does not, include) and define what a deductible expense is for tax purposes. We will also discuss startup expenses and how they apply to realtors.
In this lesson we will discuss Advertising, Line 8 of your Schedule C. We help define the advertising category and give you examples of deductible advertising expenses.
- Introduction to Auto Expense & Home Office Deduction
This lesson will cover the proof you must have to substantiate your auto deduction, the interaction between the home office and deductible auto expenses, and auto use that may be tempting, but dangerous, to deduct.
- Auto Recordkeeping & Standard Mileage Rate
This lesson will cover the records you must keep to prove business use of your auto. It introduces the two methods of deducting business auto expenses and the most common deduction method, the standard mileage allowance.
- Actual Auto Expense Deduction
Claiming actual auto expenses may prove a greater deduction for many full-time agents, particularly those who use an expensive automobile or one that gets poor gas mileage. It may also benefit those who use more than one auto for business. As you will learn in this lesson, claiming actual auto expenses can also be quite complex and time-consuming. The good news is that this lesson will help you to minimize errors and maximize your deduction while making sure you can pass audit scrutiny. The best news – If you’re claiming the standard mileage allowance, you can save this lesson for later!
- Auto Depreciation
If you are claiming actual auto expenses, you must depreciate vehicles used for business use. Depreciation is a very complex tax topic, especially when it involves an auto used for both business and personal driving. This lesson covers the basics and will help you understand how auto depreciation works. If you’re claiming the standard mileage allowance, you can save this lesson for later.
- Home Office Deduction Overview & Simplified Method
Having a qualified home office is generally a relatively small deduction, but it is the key to maximizing your auto deduction! This lesson will tell you what you must do to have a qualified home office. It will also cover the easiest, least risky way to claim the home office deduction, the Simplified Method.
- Actual Cost Intro & Calculating Your Square Footage Percentage
Using the actual cost method can benefit those who have a large home office relative to the size of their home. It may also benefit renters and those who have high expenses such as utilities, property tax, and mortgage interest. The actual cost method can be quite complex. Like using the actual cost method for your auto, it requires substantial recordkeeping and forces you to depreciate a portion of your home. If you know you will be using the simplified method, you can save this lesson for later.
- Home Office Actual Cost Direct and Indirect Expenses
Direct Expenses are those that only impact your home office (and are relatively rare). Indirect expenses are those your home office shares with your entire house.
- Home Office: Actual Cost Method Depreciation of Home Office
You must depreciate your home office (unless you are renting the home that includes your home office). And, yes, is can get a little crazy.
- Commissions, Contract Labor, Depletion
In this lesson we will discuss Commissions & Fees, Line 10 of your Schedule C, Contract Labor, Line 11 of your Schedule C and Depletion, Line 12 of your Schedule C.
In this lesson, we take an in-depth look at the very complicated and sometimes confusing Depreciation, Line 13 of your Schedule C.
- Benefits, Insurance, Interest, and Professional Fees.
In this lesson we look at Employment Benefit Programs, Line 14 of your Schedule C, Insurance (other than Health Insurance), Line 15 of your Schedule C, Interest, Line 16A and 16B of your Schedule C and Legal and Professional Fees, Line 17 of your Schedule C.
- Office Expenses, Pensions & Rents
In this lesson, we discuss Office Expenses, Line 18 of your Schedule C, Pensions and Profit Sharing Plans, Line 19 of your Schedule C and Rents or Lease, Line 20 of your Schedule C.
- Repairs, Supplies & Taxes
In this lesson, we discuss deductible Repairs and Maintenance related to running your business, Line 21 of your Schedule C, deductible Business Supplies, Line 22 of your Schedule C, and business Taxes and Licenses, Line 23 of your Schedule C.
- Travel: Intro and Four Basic Tests
This lesson will provide an overview of the travel deduction as it applies to realtors. It will discuss some of the challenges that make the travel deduction elusive for many realtors and dangerous for others, and teach the four tests overnight travel must meet to be deductible. It will also explain what constitutes a “business day” for tax purposes while paying particular attention to making sure the primary purpose of your trip is business.
- Travel: Deductible Trips & Substantiation
This lesson teaches about the ever-important “sandwich day” and how business days vs. personal days impact the deductibility of travel costs. It provides examples of how business days influence deductible vs. non-deductible travel. This lesson covers which travel costs are deductible and the types of trips that are deductible. It also includes the types of documentation you need to prove deductible business travel. Finally, it will share some business trips to be wary of such as seminars on cruises and additional information required to substantiate this deduction.
- Travel: Deductible Travel Meals
This lesson covers the meals you can deduct while on business travel. It will teach you about the standard meal allowance, how to calculate it on business days and travel days, and what proof you will need to substantiate your deduction with the IRS. This lesson will also teach you how to deduct the actual cost of your business travel meals, which may prove to be a higher deduction than the standard meal allowance.
- Local Business Meals
This lesson covers the two types of business meals that are deductible: 1) Meals “directly related” to the conduct of business and 2) Meals “associated with” the active conduct of business.
- Business Meals, Special Situations & Substantiation
This lesson will share instances when your spouse and family members' meals will be deductible. It also discusses tax rules related to going “dutch” on meals, meals related to network meetings, meal costs reimbursed by others, and food that can be 100% deductible. It will also share the proof that one must have to substantiate their business meal deduction.
- Utilities and Wages
In this lesson, we look at Utilities, Line 25 and Wages, Line 26 of your Schedule C.
- Other Expenses, Pt 1
In this lesson, we look at Line 27A and Line 48 of your Schedule C, Other Expenses. These are expenses that are not reported on any of the previously discussed lines. Items include Bank Fees, Cell Phones (and how to audit proof your cell phone deduction), Charitable Contributions and Clothing / Uniforms.
- Other Expenses, Pt 2
This is part two of our discussion on Line 27A & Line 48 of your Schedule C, Other Expenses. In this lesson, we discuss Continuing Education, Credit Card Fees, and Dues & Subscriptions.
- Other Expenses, Pt 3
This is part three of our discussion on Line 27A & Line 48 of your Schedule C, Other Expenses. In this final lesson, we discuss Gifts (the gift limit, notes on gifts and how to prove the gift deduction), Listing Fees, Lock Boxes & Entry Systems and some final notes on Other Expenses.