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Deb Halsey's Blog

By Deb Halsey | Agent in 06830

Checklist for tax deductions for real estate professionals


The criteria for deducting expenses is that the expense has to be ordinary and necessary, directly related to your business and reasonable in amount (IRS CODE SECTION 162)

Here's the list:

  • advertising expenses which includes  websites, mailing lists, newspaper advertising, fliers, online advertising, postcards, promotional materials, logo clothing, and any expense related to marketing your real estate business
  • bookkeeping, accounting and legal fees
  • business gifts (up to $25)
  • business meals and entertainment (only 50 percent deductible)
  • cab fares for business travel
  • car and truck expenses, including business mileage, depreciation, insurance, interest on car loans, lease payments, license plate fees, parking expenses, and tolls
  • cell phones
  • computer software
  • computers
  • desk fees
  • education to maintain or improve required skills (but not courses you take to pass the real estate licensing exam)
  • home office expenses (if you qualify)
  • insurance, including health insurance, errors and omissions insurance, business liability insurance, and business equipment insurance;
  • interest, such as interest for business loans, interest paid on business credit cards;
  • Internet access fees
  • map books
  • office equipment (cost may be deducted in one year using bonus depreciation or IRC Section 179);
  • office expenses, including rent, cleaning and maintenance, and utilities
  • office supplies
  • postage
  • professional dues and fees -- for example, multiple listing service dues and dues paid to the local Chamber of Commerce, Realtor associations, and real estate license renewal fees
  • referral fees and commission rebates
  • retirement plan contributions
  • subscriptions to professional journals
  • real estate franchise fees
  • taxes, including payroll taxes for employees, state and local business taxes
  • telephone service fees
  • travel to business conventions, including transportation, lodging and food
  • wages and benefits paid to employees


By Jerry Cibulski,  Thu Feb 24 2011, 20:28
Great information!
By Andy,  Thu Feb 24 2011, 21:04
It is probably because the courses were taken before you became a person who can be benefited by those deductions.

How about the cloth and misc for business only?

How about if you have more than one car/truck?

Thank you for this useful post.
By Deb Halsey,  Fri Feb 25 2011, 03:52
Hi Andy:

You are so right about not being able to deduct the course for becoming an agent....as far as clothing - the answer is no (I worked in the apparel industry, and the argument is that you wear the clothes elsewhere (unless you have to wear a uniform - and then the company pays for it) and 2 cars - no again, because you can only ever show homes in one - unless perhaps you have an entourage, then perhaps leasing a van would be deductible :-) - thanks so much for your comments....have a great Spring!
By Tom Matthews & Joanne Taranto,  Fri Feb 25 2011, 05:09
Great information for Realtor

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