Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

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tidalwave10
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Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by tidalwave10 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 1:43 pm

I always prepare my own taxes using TurboTax. But now with my vacation home being an Investment Property I'm not sure how to represent the income and expenses and may need an accountant recommendation.

I'd imagine having an out of state short term rental property may complicate things further. I reside in NC but the short-term rental property is in FL near Disney World.

Generally my taxes are simple. And with only one short-term rental property--and no intention of buying any others--my thought is that it may be worthwhile to have a good accountant set me up and prepare my 2015 taxes; then doing them myself for 2016 and beyond.

How would I find a good accountant in the Raleigh, NC area? And is it advisable to search for one with specific expertise in owning out of state rental properties or should any good accountant be able to accurately deal with my scenario?

Figure if I need an accountant I better find a good one sooner than later.

Finally, what's the range of price I should expect to pay for this sort of tax prep?

Any info would help as I'm at a loss about what to do.

NOVACPA
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Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by NOVACPA » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:37 pm

To find a CPA:

Your state has a society of CPAs. You can find yours here: http://www.aicpa.org/Research/ExternalL ... Links.aspx

You can then find there "For the Public" type link which should lead you to something like this: http://www.vscpa.com/public/referral/findcpa.aspx

To be on the site, the firm or individual is a member in good standing with the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the firm (or sole practitioner) is in good standing and appropriately registered and/or licensed with the Virginia Board of Accountancy.

Cross reference it with sites like Yelp to get a better overall picture.

jebmke
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Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by jebmke » Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:55 pm

All I do is set up a spread sheet with the relevant lines from Schedule E. The tax software will do the calculations on depreciation automatically once you set it up.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

cadreamer2015
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Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by cadreamer2015 » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:06 pm

We have an out of state rental property and have used Turbo Tax. I don't see the need for an accountant if you are comfortable using Turbo Tax or similar software. I don't think the out of state issue matters much at all, though you may need to see if you need to file a return in the state in which the rental property is located.
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spectec
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Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by spectec » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:16 pm

If you do decide to see a tax pro, you'd certainly want to consider an Enrolled Agent. This is a fairly simple task, but if you need help with it then an Enrolled Agent will probably cost you considerably less than a CPA. In case you are unclear about this, there are significant differences. A CPA may not be focused on taxes, because many CPA's only prepare taxes as a sideline to their bread and butter - auditing. An Enrolled Agent is a tax specialist who has passed a series of exams which qualify them to practice before the IRS.

Here is a link, and at the bottom of the page is another link to help you locate a local EA. There will be many in the RDU/RTP area.
http://www.naea.org/taxpayers/what-enrolled-agent
Don't gamble; take all your savings and buy some good stock and hold it till it goes up, then sell it. If it don't go up, don't buy it. - Will Rogers

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heartwood
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Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by heartwood » Tue Jun 30, 2015 4:43 pm

cadreamer2015 wrote:We have an out of state rental property and have used Turbo Tax. I don't see the need for an accountant if you are comfortable using Turbo Tax or similar software. I don't think the out of state issue matters much at all, though you may need to see if you need to file a return in the state in which the rental property is located.
I agree you should check on whether a state tax return for the property state is needed. The state of our out-of-state S/T rental property requires a non-resident income tax return for any income earned in state, including rental income. That state also requires sales tax and transient tax (like hotel tax) be collected on any rental less than 6 months. There are quarterly filings required. They also require a business registration for a rental property.

We used TurboTax until we bought the condo. Then between the condo and other complications in our financial life we started using a home state CPA. As usual you prepare all the inputs and the CPA uses his software to complete the returns. I can't break out the cost of the rental return since its part of the total package. I feel much more in control with Turbo Tax and have a better sense of what matters, but our returns are now quite large (paper volume) and its worth using the CPA for us.

I think the OPs thought of using a CPA for the first year's return and then modeling it in TT afterward is a good one.

Topic Author
tidalwave10
Posts: 554
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:48 pm

Re: Use Turbotax Home & Biz or accountant for out of state short term rental property?

Post by tidalwave10 » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:52 am

Thanks to all. Will review more closely soon and post any follow-on questions.

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