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Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Invest in a SEP account each year. Donations also help. There's obviously a limit to both. RE investments are also a help.

Best advice - speak with a CPA who knows our business and knows it WELL!

Nov 17, 2017 09:37 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I do believe this is a discussion to have with your tax accountant and/or financial advisor. I worry about the use of the word "creative." I'm more about legal ways to reduce my tax liability. 

Nov 18, 2017 04:04 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Move to Monaco.

Nov 18, 2017 05:59 AM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

There are a million answers to this question - and your CPA, financial advisor and Google are your friends.

Nov 18, 2017 04:00 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

I'd use 'search'' here in the rain if you find list of deductions for realtors. 

I also use CPA. 

Nov 17, 2017 11:38 PM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Start Buying Rental Properties

Nov 18, 2017 03:57 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Just keep reinvesting your money, and get a good tax person.


Nov 17, 2017 11:24 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Matthew hire a great Tax Accountant that is up to speed on all the rules and loopholes, Endre

Nov 17, 2017 10:43 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I don't have to worry with that, my accountant knows what of my expenses can be deducted.

Nov 17, 2017 09:39 PM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

Get a competent CPA who cares. CPA wearing an expensive suit and charging $300/hr does not guarantee quality advice.

Nov 17, 2017 07:51 PM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

that's why we have accountants.... mine has always made recommendations for me to follow or NOT...

Nov 18, 2017 07:30 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

That is a great question to ask your tax attorney or CPA.  Be careful of financial advisors.  Their fiduciary duty is to the firm they work for ... not their clients!  Shocking .. right?  It's true.  Find someone who truly puts their clients best interest FIRST above their own.

Nov 18, 2017 07:14 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

THis is a legitimate question for our accountant or tax adviser.

As you know, your age is a prime player in such decisions.

I wold suggest creating a non-profit. There LOTS of money in not-for-profit.

Nov 18, 2017 05:13 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I am not an accountant or a financial advisor.  Get the right advice from the right professionals.  A

Nov 17, 2017 08:58 PM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Retirement accounts help, but one of the best things I did last year involved prepaying as many 2017 invoices as possible in 2016, hoping still that tax reform will behefit us this year.

Nov 18, 2017 02:14 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

As others have mentioned, consult your CPA.  Deduct all legitimate business expenses, including some of the less obvious ones (e.g. mileage, car insurance, etc.)  Sounds like you're covered on SEP. 


Other things may depend on your situation and thinking about this year vs. next year and this is all the more reason to consult a CPA.  e.g. you could pay some January expenses in December if you want a short term savings (but of course next year, it will increase your profit), or if you have a financial loss (e.g. stocks/mutual funds), you can deduct that), or if you have a lot of money and have kids you can give them tax free gifts (this is usually an estate planning measure when people are older and have plenty of money and/or looking to reduce inheritance taxes down the road, but the inheritance part is less important nowadays as fed limit doesn't kick in until over $5 million...but in some states, there are state inheritance taxes at a much lower amt).  Those numbers looked way different 15 or 20 years ago...and may change again in a year or two.


Also, there's donations, health care expenses, etc. 


Everything can vary based on individual circumstances.  Some of these things make sense for different people and/or at different times of their life.  Hence a CPA is helpful here (and later in life an estate attorney)

Nov 18, 2017 10:35 AM
Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette/West Lafayette, Indiana - West Lafayette, IN

Matthew, great job on getting that SEP-IRA started.  Even though the tax code says you can contribute 25% of your net business income it really comes out to about 19% when factoring in SE tax.  That is half the job with the contribution then you must monitor your investment account daily and have a plan for economic shifts.

We have been very happy with our SEP-IRA contributions and try to max out as much as we can.

I'll also mention something that hasn't been talked about and has been a great tax deduction for us.  If you are self-employed and don't have a group medical plan provided by your employer or spouse's employer, you can set up a HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT (HSA).

Chances are your bank or credit union can set one up for you as many do provide these as a service to their banking clients.  For an individual for tax year 2017 the contribution limit is $3,400 and for a family it is $6,750.  As most have said check with a tax professional as you have to meet the qualifications AND you have to match up an ObamaDoesn'tCare health insurance plan that offers an HSA.  (good luck with that as they are disappearing)  Since our ObamaDoesn't Care Health Plan has a high deductible the HSA is wonderful because you can then use your HSA debit card to pay for the office visits, prescriptions, medical services that your plan does not pay for until you break your deductible.  It is not too late to set one up and you can do so before April 15, 2018 for a tax year 2017 HSA plan.  Check it out!


So as an example if a taxpayer had a net profit of $100,000 and maxed out his/her SEP/IRA with a contribution of $19,000 then the taxable income drops to $81,000.  Add on a family HSA and the taxable income drops to under $75,000 and that is before any of your itemized deductions or if the standard deduction kicks in!  


You can see why members of Congress are being pressured by the groups who are going to possibly lose their pet tax deductions and why it is so difficult to eliminate a tax deduction or loophole once it is granted.

These are two HUGE legal deductions that are helping us save money for our future and work well for our situation. 

As you have been warned by most people make sure you check with your CPA, tax advisor, attorney, doctor, priest, rabbi, imam, minister, fortune teller, soothsayer, TV Guide, etc . . . . . .     ^_~

Nov 18, 2017 10:11 AM
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Make less money. Pay less taxes.

Nov 18, 2017 09:49 AM
Harry Norman, REALTORS® - Atlanta, GA
Associate Broker

Contact your CPA/Tax adviser....

Nov 18, 2017 08:02 AM
Sybil Campbell
Fernandina Beach, FL
Referral Agent Amelia Island Florida

As others have said, consult a CPA, financial advisor or a tax attorney.

Nov 18, 2017 07:35 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Matthew Klinowski The best way that I know of is to keep track of every expense, every mile you drive, every piece of equipment you can depreciate and become familiar with the federal tax code so you can stay on top of this. Back up everything with detailed records and receipts.

Nov 18, 2017 06:58 AM
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

Keep track of expenses, spend more as the year ends on advertising for next year, buy business products and write off losses

Nov 18, 2017 06:13 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Go to the IRS website for many options.

Your CPA will provide the advice you need for your personal situation.

Nov 18, 2017 06:12 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

"creative" deductions?  That sounds a bit risky.  But a good CPA can help you identify all the legal ones and maybe give you some ideas you haven't thought of.

Nov 18, 2017 06:10 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Google Tax accountants in your area.

Nov 18, 2017 05:41 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Hire a good accountant and follow their advice! 

Nov 18, 2017 05:21 AM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty


Nov 18, 2017 02:23 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Well, be careful not to go to low in case you need to get a loan from the bank and they ask to see your income.

Nov 17, 2017 08:19 PM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Defined benefit, 105 plan. Talk to your CPA.

Nov 17, 2017 07:20 PM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I invest in rental property and maximize my SEP each year. I take every deduction I can that is legal.

Nov 18, 2017 08:07 PM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

Talk with an accountant/cpa and a wealth advisor (two totally different things).

Nov 18, 2017 08:02 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

While I also believe this is a question best asked of a qualified accountant and/or tax adviser, I'm here to check out the answers(of which many are) quite creative.  Good luck.  

Nov 18, 2017 05:44 PM
Esther Preston
Heartland Realty - Redmond, OR

Lots of great answers!  I agree with having a great CPA is the answer.

Nov 18, 2017 10:00 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

      Document everything.   

     Put any and every allowable cost related to your transactions on the CD or Closing Document, including referral fees and co-brokes.  Why take it as income, and then fill out complex tax forms trying to deduct it later?

    Make every meal a "business lunch".  Make every road trip about auto mileage for real estate.  Your dry cleaning bill can be a deduction, and so much more.

    Buy rental properties and investment properties.  Know all the legal shelters and loopholes including Section 1031. 

     Caveat:  too many deductions may trigger an IRS Audit.  Be sure you show enough net taxable income to justify your lifestyle.

Nov 18, 2017 06:39 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

maximize business deductions.

With the tax law change there will be fewer.

Nov 17, 2017 07:59 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Good suggestions here.

Sep 17, 2018 10:31 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I deposit into my retirement account every year.  My CPA will let me know the amount, but usually put more in.

Nov 21, 2017 07:30 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Good question, I would check with your CPA

Nov 20, 2017 10:44 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

A Solo 401K may let you deduct more income for retirement savings than a SEP account. If you need to make a substantial business purchase do it before year end so you can deduct it this year.

Nov 19, 2017 11:49 PM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Stop working and get on the government teet. Guaranteed success.

Nov 19, 2017 07:24 AM
Bob Betel
Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc. - Sweetwater, TN
President, Allstar Home Mortgage, Inc

There are many ways you can lower your taxes. Take every deduction you can, and talk to your accountant about details. SEPS are  great.

Nov 19, 2017 07:01 AM
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

Ask an accountant, but remember - excessive creativity may lead to converting your attire to orange hues...

Nov 19, 2017 06:33 AM
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Golf Guy | Find Your Dream Lifestyle

Thank you to all of the Active Rain community that has taken time to respond to my question.  There's been some great suggestions.  One my accountant suggested was taking advantage of the tax credit for electric cars before year end (that is if you need a new car).  The tax deductions expire this year and he said it was a great way to lower taxes.  I would check with your accountant to be sure it's something that makes sense for you before you buy a new car.

Nov 19, 2017 05:47 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Ask a cpa

Nov 18, 2017 12:53 PM