Real Estate Accounting & Advisory Services
As a real estate investor or developer, you’re most likely focused on your next deal — namely, acquiring a property at the right price and selling it at a profit. At CJBS, we have decades of experience in the real estate industry and can help you proactively plan your portfolio beyond today to improve your ROI in the long run.
Our expert team assists residential and commercial clients in the greater Chicago area and across the U.S. with real estate tax, accounting, and advisory services — ranging from business entity structuring to strategic tax planning. We help you maximize your tax benefits, minimize your risk and protect your assets from creditors, and map out a plan for success.
Real Estate Accounting & Advisory Services
Accounting & Bookkeeping
We provide QuickBooks™ setup, training, and ongoing support from CJBS team members with extensive experience in accounting software, as well as offering third-party payroll solutions. Ensuring that your accounting records are well-organized makes the tax preparation process more streamlined and efficient — saving you time and money.
Business Entity Structuring
Is an LLC the right structure for your real estate business? Does an S corporation or C corporation tax classification make the most sense? The CJBS team helps you evaluate your options and find what works for your unique circumstances and goals. From creating separate LLCs for each of your real estate properties (to help protect your assets from creditors) to selecting a tax classification that works best if your business is just getting off the ground, we provide well-rounded legal and financial recommendations.
Strategic Tax Planning
At CJBS, we always tailor our tax planning services to your specific needs. Beyond making sure you’re tax-protected, we do an annual deep dive into your business to assess what’s going on and listen to any changes or issues you may be seeing. That way, we can act as a trusted advisor to your business and reliable sounding board as your circumstances evolve. For new clients, we review your financial statements and tax returns from the past three years and recommend any actions you should take to maximize your income, such as taking a bonus depreciation this year or pushing an asset acquisition to next year.
In conjunction with tax planning, our team generates annual budgeting and cash flow projections, which we review with clients quarterly. By laying out your costs and expenditures, we show you where your revenue level needs to be to reach your goals and help you manage your resources accordingly.
Passive Activity Deductions
The amount of loss you can take from owning a rental property, which is considered a passive investment for non-professional investors, depends on factors such as your income level and the number of properties you own. The CJBS real estate accounting team works with you to maximize your passive activity deductions and defer short-term losses.
Preparation of All Federal, State, and Local Income Tax Returns
Our team has extensive knowledge of real estate tax code not only in the greater Chicago area but across the country. We’re equipped to handle any filings in the domestic U.S., ensuring that your accounting is done correctly and minimizing your tax burden. We also work with trusted third-party legal and tax resources on any international exposure you may have.
Tax Deferral Transactions
While tax decisions are important, big-picture economic decisions are imperative. Following that guiding principle, CJBS advises our real estate clients on various tax deferral questions. That includes whether to pay taxes or sell your property through a 1031 like-kind exchange — a tax-deferred transaction that allows you to exchange one asset, such as an apartment building, for a similar one, without general capital gains tax liability. While a 1031 exchange may seem like a win-win, our real estate accounting and advisory team walks you through a potential deferral to make sure you understand all the financial implications, such as whether the 1031 exchange is large enough to offset your out-of-pocket costs. That way, you avoid making decisions that could cost you in the long run.
The CJBS team includes a forensic accounting specialist who assists clients with legal issues, such as having money fraudulently taken from your real estate business. In addition to forensic accounting work, our expert is available to testify on your behalf.
The CJBS real estate accounting, tax, and advisory team goes beyond acting as your compliance partner to help you make economic decisions that will put more money in your pocket at the end of the day. As planners in the process, we proactively help you grow your real estate portfolio and secure your investments.
Your Real Estate Accounting Expert
Jeff Stuart, a CPA and managing member of CJBS, has worked in the real estate industry since 1986. As an advisor to his clients, he analyzes and puts real numbers to their investment opportunities, so they can see the impact of different tax and financial strategies. Jeff enjoys collaborating with his real estate clients, who are often independent and entrepreneurial by nature, to help them map out a plan for success.
General Real Estate FAQs
Is a 1031 exchange right for me?
It depends. A 1031 exchange is a tax break that allows you to defer capital gains tax by selling a “like-kind” property and swapping it for a new one that will be used for the same purpose — for example, an apartment rental unit. Whether a 1031 exchange is right for you depends on several factors, including the value of the deferral and the out-of-pocket costs you’d incur in the process.
Can CJBS perform due diligence for a potential acquisition?
Yes. Our audit and tax teams will dig into the numbers behind your potential real estate investment and do a full analysis to determine if additional testing is needed, or if we’re able to build the analysis based on the information provided.
How does CJBS maximize my deductions?
Our real estate team has a thorough understanding of all current IRS codes and applies that knowledge to reduce your tax liability. For example, we’ll determine the appropriate “useful life” of your property so you can take advantage of a shorter timeline for a write-off.
Real Estate News & Updates
Stay current on the latest Real Estate industry developments and find out what it means for you and your business.