real estate agent tax deductions worksheet

Best Real Estate Agent Tax Deductions Worksheet To Stay Organized

Do you know what to include in your real estate agent tax deductions worksheet?

As a real estate agent, you incur many expenses throughout doing business. Keeping careful track of these expenses is crucial to maximize your eligible tax deductions and reduce your taxable income. With the complex tax code that is always changing, it is wise to consult with a licensed tax professional to ensure you deduct everything you are legally able to. This may allow you to keep more of your hard-earned commissions.

This comprehensive guide covers numerous categories of business expenses that might be available to real estate agents. Keep an ongoing tax deductions worksheet throughout the year, organized by category.

Here are some expenses that real estate agents should consider adding to their tax deductions worksheet and have reviewed by their licensed tax professional:

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining professional tax advice. Consult a tax professional regarding deduction eligibility based on your specific circumstances. 

Real Estate Agent Tax Deductions Worksheet: Items to Consider

Quick Reference Worksheet Table

CategoryPotential DeductionsDocumentation
AdvertisingFlyers, brochures, postcards, newspaper/magazine ads, TV/radio spots, digital ads, email marketing, social media marketing, promotional items, networking eventsReceipts, invoices showing costs
AutoGas, mileage, tolls, parking, lease/financing payments, repairs, maintenance, registration, insuranceMileage log, receipts
TravelAirfare, lodging, rental cars, ride shares, meals, dry cleaning, baggage fees, tipsReceipts, per diem log
CommissionsSplit commissions, franchise fees, MLS fees, withholdings1099s, statements
CommunicationCell phone, landline, internet, answering service, website feesBills showing business percentage
EducationSeminars, conferences, training, licensing, dues, subscriptionsReceipts, certificates
EquipmentComputers, phones, GPS, lockboxes, staging furniture, repairsReceipts, depreciation schedule
Home OfficeMortgage interest, rent, utilities, repairs, insuranceSquare footage, receipts
InsuranceE&O, liability, professional, cyber, umbrellaPremium statements
Legal & ProfessionalTax prep, legal, accounting, consultingInvoices
OfficeRent, supplies, furniture, cleaning, dues and feesLease, receipts
Startup CostsLicenses, permits, lawyer fees, branding, websiteReceipts from vendors
SubscriptionsMLS fees, listing database fees, magazinesStatements, invoices
VehicleLease interest, parking, tolls, repairs, registrationLogs, receipts

Advertising Expenses

Advertising is an essential part of promoting your services as a real estate agent. There are many real estate advertising costs you might be able to deduct, including traditional printed materials as well as an expanding array of digital marketing options. Be sure to track all your receipts and invoices for any advertising-related expenses. Options may include:

  • Printed flyers, brochures, newsletters, postcards
  • Newspaper, magazine, radio, and TV spots – keep records of media buy costs
  • Direct mail campaigns – track printing and mailing costs
  • Signage like lawn signs and billboards
  • Digital ads on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram
  • Email marketing services like Constant Contact or MailChimp
  • Social media marketing expenses
  • Branded promotional giveaways like pens and notepads
  • Networking event and trade show booth fees

Auto Expenses

As a real estate agent, your automobile expenses can add up quickly. Some business-related auto expenses may be deductible. Be sure to keep a mileage log to track business miles driven. Potential options to deduct include:

  • Gas costs for driving to showings and open houses
  • Mileage deduction calculated at the prevailing IRS standard mileage rate
  • Tolls incurred during business hours
  • Parking fees for showings, marketing events, and office parking
  • Car lease or financing payments, based on the percentage of business use
  • Auto insurance premiums, pro-rated by percentage of business use
  • Repairs and routine maintenance like oil changes
  • Registration fees, licensing costs, washing

Travel Expenses

If you travel out of town for business, such as for real estate conferences or showings, the costs incurred may be deductible. Keep all related receipts and documentation. Travel expenses may include:

  • Airfare or train tickets for business trips
  • Lodging per diem rate when away on business
  • Rental cars, ride shares, and public transit costs
  • Meals per diem rate – require overnight stay
  • Dry cleaning, laundry for extended trips
  • Baggage fees and tips

Commission Expenses

As a real estate agent, you pay various fees and commissions as part of doing business. Be sure to track any deductions you can take from your gross commission, such as:

  • Split commissions paid to cooperating agents
  • Franchise fees paid per transaction
  • MLS fees taken from your commissions
  • Commission withholdings

Communication Expenses

Communication tools are essential for real estate agents. If used for business, these expenses may be deductible:

  • Cell phone and wireless service plans – percentage used for business
  • Landline phones, answering services, VOIP
  • Fax line and internet services
  • Website hosting, SEO services, CRM tools

Education Expenses

Ongoing education is crucial for a real estate professional. Consider the following:

  • Seminars, conferences, training events
  • Licensing exam fees
  • Books, magazines, audio programs
  • Membership dues for professional organizations

Equipment Expenses

As a real estate agent, you utilize various equipment that should be tracked:

  • Computers, tablets, software, printers, scanners, cameras
  • Phones, GPS, lockboxes, flashlights, cleaning tools
  • Staging furniture, paint, decor – portion used for business
  • Maintenance and repairs on electronic equipment

Home Office Deduction

Many real estate agents work from home. You may be able to deduct home office expenses like:

  • Measure the percentage used exclusively for business
  • Prorated mortgage interest, rent, insurance
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Utilities including internet based on percentage
  • Security system costs
  • Home office furnishings

Insurance Expenses

Document insurance policies like:

  • Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Umbrella insurance policy

Legal & Professional Fees

You may write off the cost of services like:

  • Tax preparation fees
  • Legal consultations
  • Accounting and bookkeeping

Office Expenses

If you rent office space, keep track of related costs like:

  • Rent
  • Office supplies – paper, toner, pens
  • Janitorial and cleaning services
  • Furniture – desks, chairs, cabinets
  • MLS and association dues

Start Up Costs

Those starting a real estate business should keep track of:

Subscriptions & Fees

Ongoing costs such as:

Vehicle Expenses

Beyond just mileage, keep track of:

  • Business percentage of car lease interest
  • Tolls, parking fees
  • Repairs and routine maintenance
  • Registration, licensing

Real Estate Agent Tax Deductions Worksheet Recap

As you can see, real estate agents may have numerous options for writing off eligible business expenses. Be sure to maintain thorough records and documentation. Consult with a tax professional to ensure you maximize deductions legally to reduce your taxable income. Keeping an organized tax deductions worksheet all year round can streamline the tax preparation process and help avoid headaches. The effort you put in now will pay off when tax time rolls around.

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