Are you tracking expenses in a spreadsheet today, disconnected to anything else in your rental management toolset?

In TurboTenant, you can easily record an expense related to your properties or

business alongside your payment records.

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TurboTenant recently partnered with REI Hub to bring you intuitive accounting software built for landlords, which includes automated expense tracking. Learn more. New offer: TurboTenant users get 50% off their first two months of REI Hub.

Finding Expenses

To locate expense tracking in your dashboard, navigate to the left-hand menu and click on the Expenses tab, under the Financial section.

Creating an Expense

First, record an expense using the Add Expense button in the top right of the Expenses screen.

Next, enter in the information related to the expense: the date of expense, amount paid, the associated property, and the associated category (corresponding to the categories found on an IRS schedule E form).

You can also provide additional information that will help you understand the expense at a later date (description, notes, receipts/documents).

Finish by clicking Add Expense.

After you create the expense, you will receive confirmation that the expense was added, and it will appear in the Expenses table.

Other Functionality

To access these functions, click on the gray triangle button on the far right. Edit and Delete should toggle and appear.

  • Edit an Expense - Click on the expense you want to edit, and click on the Edit button in the dropdown. You should be able to freely edit the information and add more if you wish.

  • Deleting an Expense - Click on the expense you want to delete, and click the "Delete" button. We will confirm with you that you'd like to delete the expense. Please note: A deleted expense cannot be recovered.

  • Filter your Expenses - You can find the filters above the expenses table, then filter your expenses by property, categories, and date ranges. You can apply more than one filter on at a time.

  • Exporting Expenses - Click on the Export button to the right and above the expenses. You will receive a CSV of the view, including active filters. If you want all of your expense data, ensure no filters are active. Conversely, if you want to export with filters on your export, select the relevant ones before you export.

IRS Categories Explained

Advertising – include all general marketing and advertising costs. These can include the cost to place rent signs in the front yard, to advertise on certain websites or publications, to buy business cards, and to send mailers.

Auto and Travel – include all ordinary and necessary auto (to be discussed later) and travel costs required to maintain your rentals. This should not include auto and travel costs incurred to purchase your first rental or to expand your rental business into a new geographic location. Also include 50% travel meals.

Cleaning and Maintenance – include all cleaning expenses to prepare a unit for a tenant or once a tenant moves out. Include maid expenses here as applicable. You should also include maintenance expenses such as painting, mowing, and small upkeep costs of the building, appliances, and equipment.

Commissions – include realtor or property management commissions paid to find a tenant for your unit.

Insurance – include homeowners, hazard, and flood insurance here. Do not pro-rate your annual insurance. You will only report the amount of insurance that you actually pay to your insurance company, not the amount that you pay into escrow.

Legal and Professional Fees – include expenses related to attorney fees, accounting, and costs of business/financial planning related to your rentals.

Management Fees – include the cost to hire an agent or property manager to manage your rental. This may also include special service calls that the property manager incurs to check on the rental.

Mortgage Interest Paid to Banks – include the amount of interest reported to you by the bank on Form 1098. This amount will be the entire interest the bank has received from you during the year, including the interest you paid during closing.

Other Interest – include the amount of interest paid to third parties, whether they are private investors, private businesses, crowdfunding platforms, or relatives. Also make sure that you have sent these people or parties a Form 1099 showing the interest you have paid them. Without a Form 1099 in this case, you may not be able to substantiate the deduction.

Repairs – include all repairs made to the property that were not considered capital improvements. Expenses here will be small repairs and not the replacement of floors, roofing, etc. You may also include De Minimis Safe Harbor expenses here if they are less than $2,500 and you make the annual election.

Supplies – include the cost of incidental materials and supplies such as paper for printing, small tools, and other small miscellaneous materials that don’t fit into another category.

Taxes – include all tax expenses incurred as a result of owning and operating the rental property. This can include property taxes, school district taxes, and special easements or land taxes. Do not include income taxes.

Utilities – include utility expenses that you have personally incurred, even if the tenant has reimbursed you for them. Do not include utility expenses that the tenant has paid for without you ever having to pay for it. The reason we include utility expenses here even if the tenant has reimbursed you for them is that we are reporting the reimbursement as income at the top of IRS Schedule E and we want to offset that income with the expense you incurred.

Depreciation Expense – include the depreciation expenses that you calculated. Depreciation is an imperative part of IRS Schedule E; don’t mess it up!

Other (list) – include all other expenses incurred while operating the rental but that did not directly fit into any of the categories above. Examples of these expenses may include bank fees, education, HOA fees, subscriptions, cost of books, De Minimis Safe Harbor (if not reported in repairs), meals and entertainment, and gifts to clients or tenants. You will itemize each of your “other” expenses on a separate page.

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