The Episode on Advanced Tax Strategies with Amanda Han & Matt MacFarland
Tax season is nigh, that is why we have authors and real estate tax experts, Amana Han & Matt MacFarland join us on this episode to highlight what you need to know to keep as much of your money as possible.
Amanda & Matt's website: https://www.keystonecpa.com/
Suggest a topic for the podcast: https://linktr.ee/remoterealestateinvestor
Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of The Remote Real Estate Investor. I'm Michael Albaum and today I'm joined by my co host, Tom Schneider. And we have with us two very special guests, Amanda Han and Matt McFarland authors, CPAs real estate investors extraordinare. They're gonna be talking to us today about all things tax related that real estate investors should be aware of. So let's get into it.
Amanda Han, and Matt MacFarland, thank you so much, again, for joining us on the podcast. Really, really appreciate you coming on.
Well, thank you for having us.
So excited to be here, lots to talk about
Lots and lots and lots of talk about so I want to be very respectful of your time. So before we get into it, I would love Love, love. If you could both give us a little bit of background on yourselves a little brief introduction of who you are and how you got started in real estate and tax. You both have been guests on numerous other podcasts including the bigger pockets podcast, so floor is yours.
Yeah, I guess I'll go first. So my name is Amanda. I tell people's I'm the third generation of real estate investors in my family. My grandparents had real estate investing, my parents dabbled in it. But I was never taught to do real estate investing. I think like a lot of people I was taught to just go to school get a good job. And it wasn't until several years after I worked as a CPA for real estate investors that I realized that you know, real estate is such a great tool to wealth building and to tax savings. So that's where kind of Matt and I got started in real estate
Yeah I'm Matt MacFarland and I married well!
Yeah. But yeah, our practice focus on real estate investors, it's kind of where we got our start and what we like and what we understand, and we don't focus on, you know, manufacturing clients or retail clients, just because that's not what we know. So I've been doing it over 20 years now. And Amanda is close to that as well. And so probably 80 90% of our clients are real estate investors. So it's, it's always fun stuff to talk about.
So that was your family also involved in real estate, or how did you get involved in that space?
You know, my parents did a little bit of it back in the 80s, when it was kind of you know, everybody in their mother could invest and get right off skin before they change the tax code. But we kind of got into it through the job. You know, I remember like, my mama was working on some of these taxes, who was probably in his 60s, and he was retired and he was making, you know, like six figures in cash flow. And it's like, Okay, this is, this is what we got to do, you know, so that was kind of how I got turned on. Yeah.
Yeah, it's so interesting, because, you know, for me, for both of us, even though we worked in taxes, you know, that was our profession is to do tax planning and tax strategies for for investors. And for me, specifically, growing up in a family who was, you know, fairly extensively involved in real estate, we never put the two to two together, you know, and for years, we just kind of went to work that our thing, never thought that maybe we might do real estate for ourselves, you know, until we read Robert Kiyosaki his book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. So it took us just, you know, reading a book, not about taxes to really apply that to our own situation.
I was curious, you know, you said like a third generation, what kind of investing did your parents do and your grandparents? Who is it all kind of similar residential real estate? Or what type of real estate investing did they do?
Yeah, all sorts. So I think my grandparents, I'm from Taiwan originally, so my grandparents, they were business owners who, you know, also bought the underlying real estate, which ended up being kind of a very, almost like, you know, Time Square type of a property back in Taiwan. And when they first immigrated to the US, they dabbled in land, you know, which is different, right? No, no rental stuff. But if you guys follow the real estate of Vegas, those have appreciated so much, right, like all various parts of the US. And then yeah, you know, just single families, condos and things like that. So I think like a lot of real estate investors, you kind of start out with one type, but you end up expanding into different types of real estate as well.
Okay, so I would love to dive into the meat and potatoes of the subject here. And if you could give us a little bit of insight into how real estate is taxed, and whether or not that's different than somebody's earned income, and shed a little bit of light on kind of the high level tax picture, that is real estate.
That's a really great question. I think there's a misconception about that, that real estate has a different tax rate. But the reality is a real estate is actually taxed at ordinary income tax rate, which is the same rate as your W2 and other income. Okay. So, uh, rate wise, you know, you don't get any lower tax rate or preferential rate.
But the benefit of being a real estate investor, though, is that we are afforded with a lot of write offs. So when you hear people talk about, hey, the tax code is filled with loopholes and write offs for business owners that really Is the Golden Nugget because real estate also falls under the category of business owner. So when you're a landlord, when you own rental properties, you you are able to utilize those same tax write offs as business owners do.
Yeah, I mean, it's actually incentivizing you to build a business invest in real estate. And so that's the key that they're they're given these incentives that you know, you can make the money but with some of the write offs, you get, like depreciation and things like that you can kind of shelter, you know, some or a lot of that cash flow that you're making from, you know, buy and hold property, for example.
So, Matt, you when you talk about business, and having a real estate investing business, you know, I don't have an LLC. So do I need to have one in order to qualify for these business deductions or to be considered from a taxation standpoint as being a real estate? Or is having a running a real estate business?
Yeah, I love that question. Because that is always naturally the question that follows when we talk about, you know, the business deductions. And that is such a misconception in that a lot of investors are told that they need to have an LLC or a corporation in order to take tax write offs. And, you know, unfortunately, it's something that we see every day when we meet new investors is like, Oh, I'm sorry, I love your podcast, but I don't have an LLC. And that is not correct at all.
Basically, if you are a landlord, right, meaning you own rentals, or if you're a flipper, or wholesaler, you are able to use these business write offs, whether or not you hold your rentals in a legal entity. So as an example, if you know, Michael, you have a property on Main Street, that's a rental property, you can take a tax deduction, you know, write off part of your home office, part of your car expenses, certain business meals, travel costs, you can write those off, regardless of whether that Main Street property is held in your personal name, or inside of a legal entity.
So IRS actually doesn't really care who holds the real estate, what they care about is that they expense is actually necessary or reasonable for you as a landlord, your landlord, your rentals, is it reasonable to say that y…