How Property Management Software Can Help Make Filing Your Taxes Easier

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Tax time can become very stressful for many real estate investors, it is a time when you need to get all your financials in order to present to the government for your yearly tax filings. Many investors try to manually work through their incomes and expenses on paper, going through numerous receipts, checks, etc. The job becomes very tedious and error prone, potentially leading to tax filing errors and the hence the dreaded tax audits. The good news is that there are better alternatives, mainly in the form of property management software. These software applications can really help speed up your tax filings, and not only that, they can also give you additional reports that can assist you in getting better returns from your investment properties.

Property Management Software has been around for a long time and there are many alternative vendor offerings, with different package offering different features and benefits. Rather than have the focus on which software package is better for your needs, what we'll do is focus on how just having a software package that does at least the basics is better than not having one at all. For this article, we simply chose the software package from LandlordMax Property Management Software (http://www.landlordmax.com) because it is touted as the easiest property management software.

The first thing you need with any property management software is that it contains an accounting section, after all the accounting section of the software is the number one reason you purchase this type of software. It must be able to enter multiple entries quickly and easily, categorize the accounting entries, assign the accounting entries to buildings, and lastly (and most importantly), generate reports on these accounting entries. These are of course not the only features you should require from your property management software, they are the minimum (and almost all the vendors provide more features). Using software such as LandlordMax Property Management Software, you can quickly enter in all your accounting entries (expenses and incomes) by creating new entries. You enter the date due, date paid, amount due, amount paid, the accounting category (rent, utilities, repairs, etc.), a description, as well as assign it to a building/unit and/or tenant and/or vendor (if you want to later use the enhanced reporting capabilities). You can repeat this for all your accounting entries. If you have regular entries such as rent, most software, including LandlordMax Property Management Software, have features which allow you to pre-define recurring entries on a scheduled basis.

As a very handy and quick tip, for tax purposes, it is recommended that you select accounting categories that can later be directly related to acceptable tax accounting categories. You want to do this because later when you generate a report such as the report entitled "All accounting entries by category" in LandlordMax Property Management Software, it will generate for you a categorized accounting report, and if the categories match the tax requirements, then all you need to do is transfer this information to your tax filing and your done.

As you can see, this can greatly simplify your tax filing workload. You only need to enter in the data once. You do not need to worry about miscalculations, that is you do not need to do multiple passes over your receipts to verify your totals. As an added benefit, for entering all your data you will get access to a multitude of reports that can assist you with your investment portfolio, such as cash flow statements for your properties, expense statements per building, unit, expenses incurred per vendor, late rents, etc. The list can become quite large, and each different software vendor will have slightly different reports. In addition, if you enter in your data as it comes each month, then at the end of the year, filing your tax returns will takes seconds, all you need to do is click on the generate report button! This is why property management software can ease your dreaded season of tax filing.

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Stephane Grenier