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Fred Kahn
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Is using Turbo Tax ok for rental properties

Fred Kahn
Posted Mar 16 2024, 12:00

I have 2 rentals and do use a CPA for my tax returns.  Is it possible to save some money using Turbo Tax?  Thanks 

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Nate Meeker
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  • Real Estate CPA | California
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Nate Meeker
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  • Real Estate CPA | California
Replied Mar 17 2024, 07:21

@Fred Kahn If I were you, I would definitely talk to a CPA. Turbotax is a great resource for simple returns. However, I can't tell you how many clients come to me having used Turbotax and they either had errors on their returns or missed out on thousands of tax savings. 

A quality CPA (one that specializes in real estate) should save you more money in the long run than they cost you.

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Tony Kim
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Los Angeles
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Tony Kim
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Los Angeles
Replied Mar 17 2024, 10:03

You might save some money, but unless you really know what you are doing, I would stick with your CPA. I do my own taxes with TT Premier, but I'm also a seasoned accountant and create my own schedules for depreciation and tax loss carry forwards. TT helps, but I always end up making a lot of adjustments and corrections as TT is far from fool-proof when you have rentals and private placement securities (syndications).

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Tim J.
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Tim J.
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Replied Mar 17 2024, 10:18
I used turbo tax for years with 4 SFRs.  You have to get the high-cost version, but it handles rental properties easily.  It's not rocket science.  Just keep track of all your costs, expenses, etc and at tax reporting time enter all the information.

I found it invaluable as a tool to learn more about tax law and play with "what-if" scenarios.

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Jessie Dillon
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Jessie Dillon
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Replied Mar 17 2024, 11:14

it's possible but unlikely. a great CPA who specializes in REI will be able to help you plan AHEAD for tax time and use different pieces of the tax code to your advantage, based on your unique situation, and ultimately save you way more in the long run. would you rather pay $750 to have a return done & get a $5,000 return, or pay $30 to have a return done and owe $5,000?

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Fred Kahn
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Fred Kahn
Replied Mar 17 2024, 11:51

These are really great insights.  So much appreciative of your feedbacks.  Please let me know if you have any good RI specialized tax preparer.  Thanks so much!

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Bill Hampton
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Bill Hampton
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Replied Mar 17 2024, 16:13

@Fred Kahn



I recommend finding a tax strategist who specializes in real estate taxation and tax planning. You may want to consider working with your tax strategist remotely to expand your options.

I would also recommend looking for a tax strategist who is willing to work with you throughout the year, not just when preparing your tax return. You want an accountant who can help you strategize and who is responsive when you want to know the tax consequences of the decisions you are making throughout the year.

Good luck in your search.

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Zachary Jensen
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Zachary Jensen
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Replied Mar 18 2024, 08:20
Quote from @Tim J.:
I used turbo tax for years with 4 SFRs.  You have to get the high-cost version, but it handles rental properties easily.  It's not rocket science.  Just keep track of all your costs, expenses, etc and at tax reporting time enter all the information.

I found it invaluable as a tool to learn more about tax law and play with "what-if" scenarios.


I definitely agree if you have SFR and enjoy doing the work yourself, no sense in hiring an accountant. However you are missing out on strategy that will likely save you more in the long run, IF your goal is to grow into larger properties or take advantage of cost segregations

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Jake Baker
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Jake Baker
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Replied Mar 18 2024, 09:32

@Fred Kahn

I highly recommend working with a real estate focused CPA. They don't necessarily need to be in your state. 

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Julio Gonzalez
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Julio Gonzalez
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Replied Mar 18 2024, 19:33

@Fred Kahn I always recommend working with a CPA that specializes in real estate taxation rather than just a generalized CPA. It can make the world of difference.