Where Should Your CPA Be (Out of State Investing)?

6 Replies

When you are looking for a CPA or other tax professional to prepare your taxes for you, naturally you want someone who is well-versed in real estate investing.

However, if I am investing out of state, should I find a CPA local to me or local to my investment market?

My initial thought is that I should find someone local to me as I will be paying state taxes in the state I reside in, but am I missing something?

Thanks all.

Either, or neither. It really doesn't matter. I use a guy who is an expert in RE taxes and he's not in my state. Just email or mail him/her the stuff.

So there isn't really a benefit to either knowing your state's tax codes or the real estate specifics about the state you are investing in?

Well, that certainly makes it easier then!

@Dave Olverson It depends on what you want.

  • If you just want someone to prepare an individual Federal tax return for a few properties owned by just your tax unit (you and a legally recognized spouse), @Bryan L. is right- any CPA claiming tax expertise should be able to handle that.
  • If you have a more sophisticated / complicated setup with partnerships or LLCs located out of state, it's a good idea to have a CPA / CPA firm that is familiar with the laws where each entity is regulated and taxed.
  • If you are performing complicated deals or operating in a particularly tricky tax scenario (like a self directed retirement plan invested in an LLC you manage), then having a CPA / CPA firm familiar with real estate practices and applicable tax laws and regulations would be beneficial.
  • If you are using real estate as investments that you wish to pass on as a legacy to your children (even if that will be in 50 or more years), a CPA familiar with estates and trusts may provide value to you so you can setup entities and ownership now and avoid big tax hits later when you've made a lot of money.

Based on what I know of New York, Washington D.C., and California, I wouldn't recommend operating in those areas without a CPA/CPA firm with understanding of those state and local tax laws.

There are economies of scale when it comes to these things, so my recommendation is to focus on a particular area for most of your investments to maximize the benefit of the legal and accounting advice you receive. But if you price it into the deal, you may be able to do very well simply planning on using a large enough firm that they have specialists for each area you invest in.


I am an accountant, but I'm not YOUR accountant. This information is provided for general, informational purposes and is no substitute for advice provided by a competent professional familiar with your particular situation. By using the advice, you agree to limit my liability to what you paid for it (that's $0, btw). Have a nice day.

That makes sense. Thanks @Bryce Christensen . For my situation, I currently fall into the first category, where it seems it doesn't make too much difference. I will likely find someone local in NY for the reasons you mention later.

It also raises the question in my head of LLCs. I don't have one yet, but am planning on making that switch in the future. I'll have to figure out where I want my LLC based as well!

Originally posted by @Dave Olverson :
When you are looking for a CPA or other tax professional to prepare your taxes for you, naturally you want someone who is well-versed in real estate investing.
However, if I am investing out of state, should I find a CPA local to me or local to my investment market?

My initial thought is that I should find someone local to me as I will be paying state taxes in the state I reside in, but am I missing something?

Thanks all.

@Dave Olverson ,

Bryce covered most of it. I will add that much of what he said is true. Many of us have clients worldwide. So I have to learn and education myself on those laws. I often have to do extra research and double check thresholds and laws when working on each entity to make sure. This a normal practice as not everyone can memorize the laws for every state.

Originally posted by @Dave Olverson :
That makes sense. Thanks @Bryce Christensen . For my situation, I currently fall into the first category, where it seems it doesn't make too much difference. I will likely find someone local in NY for the reasons you mention later.
It also raises the question in my head of LLCs. I don't have one yet, but am planning on making that switch in the future. I'll have to figure out where I want my LLC based as well!

Your LLC should be in the state you are investing in. Otherwise you will find yourself paying more fees just to register it in that state.

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