Q: “Denise, I just met with my accountant and since I made a lot more last year than I have before in my career, I am paying much more in tax than I expected. What do you suggest I do?”
A: I am not an accountant, but I would first talk with your accountant and make sure that all of your deductions are included. Did you deduct your mileage or car expenses? Are you working out of your home and did you deduct everything possible for your office expenses including the business share of utilities? Did your accountant figure in depreciation on your office equipment, vehicle, etc? Are you allowed to factor in any personal expenses such as clothing that is part of your “uniform” and grooming expenses? What about education and travel for obtaining that education?
Once you have determined that yes indeed, all expenses have been deducted, then have a discussion with your accountant about tax strategy. This could include everything from putting money away for retirement to purchasing investment property. You may also want to consider adding more time to your life by investing in an assistant or services such as transaction management.
Finally, I would encourage you to work with your accountant to determine the percentage of your commission that should be set aside for taxes from each sale. And by set aside, I don’t mean in a savings account that you plunder when the mood strikes. Set it aside and forget about it until it is time to pay the taxes.
Be smart with your money!