I have met with several real estate agents this week who have asked some variation of this question: “If I am preparing my own income and expense summary, what am I paying you for? Should I just file on my own?”
This question often arises after speaking with new(er) agents who do not yet have any form of formal accounting, and have not yet had issues with accountants/tax pro’s who screwed their taxes up. The long and short of it is this: someone has to create a summary of your expenses. While we do that often, it is completely separate from preparing and filing a tax return. Our benefit from filing your taxes is because we START with your numbers, but then you get our expertise and knowledge to review them. We do not simply just drop your numbers in our tax software and hit “file”, we analyze them. We compare you to our other agents in similar income brackets to see what you are missing (likely something). We use your expenses as the beginnings of a financial statement (in effect) and build from there. But, someone has to get the numbers out of that messy bank statement and into a format for us to actually hit the ground running. We have a whole lot more value once we get the numbers than just plugging them in as-is!
We also know your industry- you are not our only real estate agent as a client! Based on your numbers, we can launch into conversations regarding entity set up, vehicle purchases, retirement funding, all kinds of different areas that you should be proactively thinking about to reach YOUR goals and set yourself up for financial success. Albeit, not all at once. Big dreams take time and many conversations to reach. There are many options to get there, lots of opportunities and avenues to strategize for saving tax along the way.
We are more than just a data entry number-puncher. We have lots of value and are here to help you realize your financial goals!