When doing my own personal taxes, I filed the first few years on my own without any software (this was before my life got busy). It was a great way to learn how to do my taxes and most of my issues were adequately explained in various IRS publications. In subsequent years I've used TurboTax and have had no issues (but no complex tax situations, either).
This year, when I filed my first LLC (partnership) tax return I thought I'd skip the "by hand" part and just use TurboTax business. The software was so poorly written, with minimal explanations and vague inquiries, that I ended up doing a ton of research offline anyway. Intuit is getting on my naughty list between their lackluster TurboTax business and increasingly "buggy" Quicken products.
Anyway, my issue is that I feel like I still did not know exactly what's required and which forms to file and didn't feel like there was quite as good resources on the IRS website for small businesses as there were for individuals. I think it's due to the fact that my personal taxes are pretty typical and are covered in detail on the IRS website; but my business taxes are very narrow (partnership LLC, rental property only, etc.) and so I have to trudge through much broader topics that don't apply to me to get the nuggets of info that are useful.
Does anyone have links to resources that are a step-by-step walkthrough of how to do rental property LLC taxes? Or should I just suck it up and do it by hand next year? I know some will suggest hiring an accountant, and I am not opposed to that but I would still want to learn exactly what needs to be filed so that I can keep an eye on the accountant.
Check out the Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide by Nolo. I'd also recommend that you get with a real estate savvy CPA and either have him/her do your taxes or walk you through the steps (or both). It can get very complicated when preparing partnership tax returns so you will want a good advisor in your corner.
Thanks! I ordered the Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide by Nolo and am only a couple chapters in but this was exactly what I was looking for.
excuse my curiosity but why on earth are you using software to do any kind of taxes. You are dealing with a very complex tax code as it is. Now with all of the complexities of LLCs, write offs, deductions, you have to know the ins and outs of taxation so that you don't pay too much.
I have an S corp in another industry that is cash intensive. I've got numerous LLCs within the RE arena. I regard my tax accountant in FL as priceless. Not in a month of Sunday's would I even attempt to do my taxes. Let the experts do it. They do this everyday.
My goal every year is to pay as close to zero taxes as I can. I let my accountant advise me on the ways to avoid paying taxes as much as Pssible. Tax evasion is illegal but not tax avoidance. I'm afraid I take a very negative view of any kind of software for taxes. I let a live body do them, and he's done a great job so far.