So I just started an airbnb business with a vacation home we bought this past January in Ocean City Maryland. I wanted to find out if it is important to get a CPA that is local or if it matters if they are out of state and why. We live in Catonsville Maryland so I guess I should find a CPA in Catonsville where we live full time?
Also, can I trust a CPA that is a good general CPA or do I need one that specifically is an expert in real estate. Even more, someone that specializes in Vacation Short Term rental businesses? How do I know they specialize in those areas? Because I know a lot of people will say "oh yeah I do vacation rental businesses.." but how do you really know they are GOOD and an EXPERT in all those loop holes and tax benefits I can get as a real estate investor, small business owner, vacation rental business owner, ect...
Any help and direction would be great!
I've been renting long term for the past 10 years and now I'm also starting to get involved with vac rentals. I've asked a local property manager who only handles vac rentals. He told me vac rentals are much easier than handling long term rentals. He gave me a shot in the arm by saying, If you can deal with annuals you can easliy handle short tem. Other than asking others locally, I'll keep using the same CPA. In Naples there is no shortage of vac rentals, so I have faith my cpa will have some knowlege about it.
But with all that being said, it's more important to educate yourself. There's so much info available on website, blogs and in good old fashioned books. I ordered a book on amazon yesterday. Being I know very little about short tem rentals, anything and everything I get my hands on will be of help.
As for the LLC in Montana, that's legit to conceal assets. I discussed this with my real estate attorney. You may want to do the same.
Great questions to have early on!
For CPAs, location doesn't matter much- pretty much everything can be done virtually at this point. If you ever look for an attorney, those should be local.
Additionally, the more specialized someone is, the more value they can add. At the minimum, I'd recommend finding a CPA that specializes in real estate. They should have a solid working knowledge of the rules governing short term rentals. However, if you find someone that does JUST short term rentals, then by all means go for that.
You're right- many people will claim to be knowledgeable. A great way to filter out a "generalist" CPA would be to start your search here on BP. Most on here work remotely and specialize in real estate. You can also take a look at their website/LinkedIn profiles to see if they are marketing to the real estate industry... or to just anyone who will pay them.
Once again, great thought process as you're starting out and best of luck in your search!
@Rebecca Cramer Referrals tend to be the way to go when looking for specialists. In addition to using BP as a resource, you may want to connect with folks at your local meetups and ask them who they use (and if they like them!).
I lived in TX for 29 years and relocated to FL 2 years ago. I kept the same CPA because I love her and I trust her. The only thing I need to do "in person" is give her docs, but that can mostly be handled through my scanning app on my phone and/or email. My advice would be to interview people who have happy customers and then go with the one you feel most connected to. My advice is ALSO to go with someone a little more conservative than you are - they will keep you out of jail, ha ha.