Any landlords out there?

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On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 19:59:00 -0600, "Steve Barker"

Establish a bank account for each property; giving the address on each checking account, also the checks will be your mail address. Bring this into an accounting software like Intuit and see your tax man and your head doctor with that many headaches.
rots of ruck ree-roy
-- Oren
"Well, it doesn't happen all the time, but when it happens, it happens constantly."
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I just have one account for multiple properties - just note on the journal which is for what. I have even purchased common things like office supplies, repair material, landscape goods, etc. and don't even note which is for what but just divided it equally amongst the properties. Done this for many years, no headaches and no complains from the IRS so far.
The headaches comes from doing what if games on the spreadsheet as to put what expenses where and on which forms to achieve the minimum tax payment on the afternoon of April 15. But I have so much deprecation now that no matter how I do the returns, I still pay no tax. Actually, I rather pay huge taxes and have a huge cash flow.
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On Tue, 16 Jan 2007 19:59:00 -0600, "Steve Barker"

Gee, other guys answering you seem to do it in a very complex ways.
I keep a composition notebook for each property (have managed 15 multi-family houses for nearly 20 years). I put expenses on the right pages and income on the right. (yep, I'm also wearing my visor and using my quill pen...) :-)
At the end of each tax year, I total the gross income for each property. I then categorize each expense item into the standard IRS categories. After doing that once, it's child's play.
Entering the data into Turbotax is easy. After the first year it does all my depreciation schedules for me, fills out form 4562, schedule E's and all that. The year end accounting and tax filing, from start to finish takes me about 6 hours.
I've kept up with most IRS regulations and probably have saved money by NOT using an accountant (Turbotax is wonderful in its ability to do what if? scenarios, to rapidly change the entire return and does year to year comparisons).
I used to use a computer but got tired of firing up the computer to enter every tiny expense. I just slide my book for that property off the shelf and make the entry in 30 seconds. All income is kept in one account (with the exception of tenant security deposits that, by law in my state, must be kept separately).
Primitive? Yep... Effective and simple? Yep...
Our society seem to be increasingly hooked on computerizing everything. Sometimes it just ain't necessary.
Doug
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Doug, I appreciate your down to earth approach. While I'm hooked on computers, I still use a rolodex also. I can recognize when the computer is a hindrance. Also, I can see when an accountant is not necessary. I have printed out your reply and will take the advice seriously.
thanks again,
--
Steve Barker


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Congratulations on leading "The Simple Life"<g>. I have used a similar system for twelve years and it works fine.
In my case I use a "Six Column Analysis Pad" that I get at Office Creepo. I list the properties down the side and label the columns exactly like the 1040 Schedule E, i.e. Rent, Utilities, Supplies, Repairs, Cleaning&Maintenance, etc. I have a page for each month and page 13 is a "Recap" which includes annual totals that go directly into Turbo Tax.
I also have a dedicated credit card account that is used solely for rental property purchases. I have the ultimate high tech system to organize purchase receipts; it's called a plastic shoebox. There is a binder clip on the edge of the box that holds cash receipts for $1.98 purchases that aren't worth using plastic for. When I accumulate a pile of them, I total them, staple them together, write myself a check and toss them in the box.
I tried MYOB and Quicken, but it was a hassle for only a few entries a month. The K-I-S-S principle works just fine for me.
John
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"John~ "
<other excellent comments snipped>

Most anything works IF, and I repeat IF, you just keep up with it. Keep those receipts. Make entries weekly or monthly, or just when the transaction takes place.
That's what screws most people up is not doing it as they go along, and then there's a mountain of paper to decipher and enter.
At least, that has been my experience.
Steve
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Thanks for the reply.
--
Steve Barker


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Steve Barker wrote:

Check out "http://www.rent-right.com /". I used it for a while when I was a beta tester for them. However it provided a lot more capability than I needed, and I went back to using a spreadsheet.
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thanks for the reply. I had the "rent right" demo. Then I bought the $99 quicken rental property manager on ebay for $26. I seems like it will do more than we'll need.
--
Steve Barker

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