Can Landlords Use TurboTax For Their Rental Properties?

How you can use TurboTax for your rentals and why so many investors use Landlord Studio and TurboTax together for an easier tax time.

In this article, we take a look at how you can use TurboTax for your rentals and why so many landlords are using Landlord Studio and TurboTax together to help them streamline their rental property accounting and end-of-year tax filing.

Key takeaways

  • Main options for rental property accounting include spreadsheet templates, general accounting software, property management software.
  • TurboTax is used by landlords to prepare year-end federal and state income tax returns using rental property data collected throughout the year with software like Landlord Studio.
  • TurboTax also can also be used to report rental property depreciation and calculate capital gains tax liability when an investment property is sold.

Rental property accounting options

The ideal accounting system for rental properties should empower landlords to maximize profits and minimize taxes by meticulously tracking income and expenses, managing assets and liabilities, and monitoring owner’s equity and accumulated depreciation.

When it comes to rental property accounting real estate investors traditionally have three choices.

Spreadsheets for rental properties

Spreadsheets for rentals, often in the form of programs like Microsoft Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, and Open Office Calc, offer a more advanced alternative to traditional handwritten ledgers. Virtually every computer and smartphone is equipped with spreadsheet software, making it accessible for basic income and expense tracking.

While using a spreadsheet program is initially convenient, they're prone to errors and inaccuracies, are difficult to maintain and keep up to date, and they don’t scale effectively, meaning if you have multiple units they can quickly become more pain than solution. These user errors regularly lead to missed deductions, errors in taxable net income, and overpaid taxes.

General Accounting Software

When it comes to accounting software options like QuickBooks or Xero offer a significant advancement from basic spreadsheets. However, they aren’t designed for landlords, and unless you’re already an expert in one of these systems getting them set up to manage and report on multiple units can be incredibly difficult. Again, like spreadsheets, these general accounting software don’t scale well as your portfolio grows which can lead to costly accounting errors and hours of wasted time.

Property Management and Accounting Systems

For landlords seeking a comprehensive property management and accounting software that's designed specifically for real estate investors, solutions such as Landlord Studio are invaluable. 

Landlord Studio offers a simple and easy way for real estate investors to manage their real estate accounting with powerful accounting automation tools including bank feed integration and a receipt scanner. These accounting tools are paired with powerful industry-specific reports including a Schedule E report and P&L.

Designed specifically for landlords it comes with default expense categories and the ability to track and report on properties down to the unit level.

Plus, it comes with a full suite of property management tools built in as well allowing you to save time and money on every aspect of your rental management, from screening tenants and managing leases to collecting rent and managing property maintenance requests.

Understanding TurboTax for Landlords

TurboTax is one of the very best tax software on the market with solutions tailored for real estate tax filing. Compatible with various operating systems like Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, TurboTax competes directly with companies like TaxAct and H&R Block Tax Software. 

However, unlike accounting software such as QuickBooks or property management software like Landlord Studio, TurboTax does not aim to provide a fully-fledged accounting tool for rentals. This is why most landlords employ a separate bookkeeping system (such as Landlord Studio) in conjunction with TurboTax to help them track their income and expenses throughout the year. 

Then, when it comes to tax time TurboTax’s user-friendly approach simplifies the complex filing process helping landlords file accurate returns and maximize deductions each year.

How to Use TurboTax for Real Estate

TurboTax Premier offers an excellent option for investors and rental property owners, whether they manage a single property or a portfolio of multiple properties. Pricing starts at $129 per filing with additional fees for some states.

Below we've linked a great video that walks through the step by step process of adding your rental to TurboTax.

Once your property is set up, and with all of you data accurate and up to date in Landlord Studio, simply run your Schedule E report and copy your income and expenses across to TurboTax to complete your tax filing.

TurboTax offers a multitude of features and benefits suitable for real estate investors including:

  • Establish new rental properties and assess fair market property values.
  • Calculate and report rental depreciation.
  • Handle over 1500 transactions
  • Calculate capital gains or losses and associated tax liabilities when selling rental properties.

Customer Care & Support:

  • Detailed online guides and FAQs.
  • One-on-one, on-demand support from TurboTax product specialists.
  • Access the TurboTax community.
  • With TurboTax Live Premier ($169 for a federal return) get access to valuable advice from tax experts.

Why TurboTax and Landlord Studio go hand in hand

TurboTax and Landlord Studio provide all the tools you need for a stress-free tax season. Landlord Studio offers accurate and up to date record-keeping throughout the year, and TurboTax provides a streamlined solution for tax filing alongside quality tax advice.

By pairing the two softwares you can reduce costly accounting errors and large accounting fees making tax season as easy and cost-effective as possible.

Landlord Studio's Schedule E and P&L reports, amongst others, provide you with all the data you need to quickly and efficiently fill out the main sections of your end of year tax return.

Getting started with Landlord Studio is easy (and free).

Step 1. Create your free account

Step 2. Enter your property details.

Step 3. Log your historic income data with a click.

Step 4. Import your spreadsheet to upload your expense data.

Step 5. Link your business bank accounts.

Step 6. Use our auto-match technology to quickly and accurately reconcile up to two years of transactions.

Step 7. Generate any of over 15 accountant-approved reports, including Schedule E report, P&L, Supplier expense report, Occupancy reports, and more.

Landlord Studio's expense categories are in line with IRS requirements, helping you keep expensive categorization errors to a minimum, plus with our in-built receipt scanner, gps mileage tracker, and bank feed automations keeping your records up to date has never been easier.

Plus, combine all of your property management tools into one to save time and increase property management efficiencies.

Maximize your deductions and increase your portfolio ROI today with tools designed for you.