X (Twitter)
Follow by Email

real estate investor

Real Estate Investor Services

Posted Monday, May 27, 2024

WCG is happy to offer an additional service for our clients. On one hand we have our Business Advisory Service plans which are very comprehensive yet might contain some services that not everyone needs such as salary optimization, payroll processing, multiple tax planning events, among other things.

On the other hand we have transactional relationships where clients come in each spring for tax return preparation, and that’s all they need. No questions. No tax planning. Just a pile of tax documents and a few discussions later and bada bing bada boom they have a tax return and a nice summer.

Is there an in-between? Yes, and we created Tax Patrol in 2019 just for this!

Time marched on, and WCG CPAs & Advisors finds itself with more and more real estate investors who need something like Tax Patrol… right between Business Advisory and tax-only transactional relationships. Boom! We have Investor Patrol, and we are ripping off the classic real estate investor game of Monopoly as our theme!

Investor Patrol is a wonderful tax service for those who don’t need all the business advisory bells and whistles, but desire pro-active tax planning and scenario-based decision making assistance from an experienced tax consultant. Have a quick tax question? Need to know the depreciation rules as you furnish that new short-term rental? Want to kick around Real Estate Professional designation? Wondering what your April tax bill is going to be in August?

Investor Patrol is like ski patrol… you might not use it, but you sleep better knowing you have it. We offer three typical versions aptly labeled Houses, Hotels and Monopoly. However, each of these can be customized to fit your unique needs.

A la Carte* Houses Hotels Monopoly
Individual Tax Return Prep (Form 1040, joint filing) $800 to $1,200
Real Estate Investor Activity (tax footprint) Varies Starting Building Extensive
Number of Rental Properties $100 to $150 each 1-3 4-6 A Gaggle
Number of State Tax Returns $150 to $200 each 1-2 3-4 Lots
Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets $350 to $800 Pro-Active Pro-Active Advanced
Estimated Tax Payments Calcs Included
IRS Audit Defense NA
Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC) $250 to $500 Routine Routine Routine
Real Estate HoldCo Tax Return (Form 1065) $1,000 to $1,200 $750 add-on $1,000 add-on Quote
Annual Fee $2,040 $2,520 Custom
Paid Monthly $170 $210 Custom
(prorated based on onboarding date)

Investor Patrol is specifically designed to give you the freedom to call, text or email us without the worry of being nickeled and dimed like other outdated CPA firms. And! We also provide a tax planning event (usually around May, June and July) where we gather up your financial records like paystubs, rental activities, stock sales, etc. and we create a mock tax return projecting your annual income and eventual tax obligations. We are not big on surprises… bad news in August is palatable, yet bad news on April 15 is unacceptable.

Let’s not forget that Investor Patrol also includes IRS audit defense for any tax return that we prepare.

Investor Patrol Fine Print

With our Investor Patrol Services, everyone is a snowflake. Each real estate deal is unique, right? Each real estate investor is also unique. The above Investor Patrol Service plans are our attempt to give you an idea of the value proposition. Here are some pre-launch things we need to sort through-

Rental Setup
We might have a rental setup fee depending on the complexity (such as 1031 like kind exchange history) and number of depreciating assets (some rental property owners list everything under the sun, even a $25 shovel).

rental property feesState Tax Returns
Our fees include state tax returns as detailed. Even if your real estate activities result in a tax loss, we must file a tax return since the taxing jurisdiction (fancy lingo for government) has the right to audit your books and records.

Partnership Holding Company
These fees assume a 1040 tax return filing. At times, reporting your rental activities on a partnership tax return (Form 1065) might be a good idea to lower audit rate risk and mechanically show at-risk basis in the assets. Should a partnership exist such as a multi-member LLC owning rental properties that would be an add-on fee as shown above. (see our fee page for partnerships).

Cost Segregation
If you have a cost segregation study completed on a rental property, there is a one-time fee of $250 to $500 depending on complexity. There is time spent booking the new 5, 7 and 15-year assets plus reviewing bonus and possibly Section 179 eligibility. It takes a bit of time and finesse.

Short-Term Rental
Short-term rental activities including the STR loophole are mostly included in these fees above. We say “mostly included” because it depends on the quality of your accounting records and overall tax readiness. If you are one hot mess or if we need to do a lot of cleanup then we might have an additional fee. We truly want to avoid a bunch of add-on fees and other nonsense.

Other Out of Scope Stuff
Our approach to starting off this relationship with you is to comprehensively understand your needs and objectives, and then design a malleable system as needed. Additionally, the following activities are considered out of scope and might incur a separate fee-

  • handling IRS or state notices for matters that WCG was not originally engaged to perform,
  • verification letters for mortgage loans,
  • postage and delivery beyond simple letters,
  • financial planning or investment advice,
  • QuickBooks, QuickStart or other accounting software setup or training,
  • annual corporate governance such as filings, resolutions and meetings,
  • reviewing legal documents such as Operating Agreements, Shareholder Agreements, contracts, etc.,
  • extensive coordination with attorneys and financial advisors, and

If we believe the requested service is outside of scope and not included in the Investor Patrol Services, we will have that awkward conversation with you ahead of time so an agreement can be reached. We will never do work and then bill you without an estimate of time from us and approval from you. In other words… ask away! It is up to us to pump the brakes with a “umm… yeah… can we chat about what’s involved for a bit first?”

The button below is a sample proposal for our real estate Investor Patrol Service.

Real Estate Investor Consultation

Want to chat with us to see how it all works? Have some initial questions that need answering? Let’s get them answered and see if Investor Patrol is a good fit for you.

We typically schedule a 20-minute complimentary quick chat with one of our Partners or senior Tax Professionals to determine if we are a good fit for each other, and how an engagement with our team looks. Tax returns only? Business advisory? Tax prep, and more importantly tax strategy and planning?

Should we need to schedule an additional consultation, our fee is $250 for 40 minutes. Fun! If we decide to press forward with a Business Advisory or Tax Patrol Services engagement, we will credit the consultation fee towards those services.

Appointments are typically held through Microsoft Teams and are scheduled on weekdays during the work day. Yes, we can easily accommodate nights and weekends, but those are reluctantly agreed to after some eye-rolling and complaining. Additionally, our schedules are more compressed during tax season (who would have thought, right?).

Shockingly we will return all appointment requests via email with 24-36 hours weather-permitting, or perhaps a phone call (if the moment strikes us). No black holes here! In a hurry, please call us at 719-387-9800 or use our chat service in the lower right corner or the button below.

Business Advisory Services

WCG CPAs & Advisors specializes in small businesses who generally have fewer than 25 employees. Why? We want to help people, and more importantly we want to help the business owner directly. Frankly speaking, once a business gets to a certain size management layers get in the way of owner access. Access allows us to ensure the owner(s) are leveraging the most out of their business for themselves and their families.

Because small business is a core competency for us, we have created business advisory service plans which include these really cool things-

A la Carte* Vail Telluride Aspen
2024 Tax Planning and Preparation
Pro-Active Household Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets $350 to $500 Advanced
Pro-Active Business Entity Tax Planning, PTET Calcs, SALT Workaround $500 to $750 Add-On*
Annual Tax Reduction, Shifting and Deferral Analysis $350 to $500
Small Business Tax Deductions Optimization Included
Section 199A QBI Deduction Tax and Salary Optimization $300
Estimated Income Taxes (via increased payroll withholdings) Included
Business Entity Tax Return (Form 1065, 1120, 1120S) $1,500 starting
Individual Tax Return (Form 1040, joint filing), One Owner $800 starting
Expat / Foreign Income Calcs (Form 2555, FBAR, Form 8938) $300 to $500 Add-On Add-On Add-On
Tax Resolution, Audit Defense Varies As Req'd As Req'd As Req'd
Financial Planning, Calculations, Discussions $900 to $2,500 Add-On Add-On
Situational Tax Law Research (up to 3 hours annually) $750 to $1,000
Payroll and Accounting Services
Reasonable Shareholder Salary Calculation (RCReports) $500
Monthly Shareholder Payroll Processing (includes spouse, kids extra) $1,200
Employee Payroll Processing (bi-weekly, direct deposit) Varies Add-On Add-On Add-On
Annual Payroll Processing (W-2s, other filings, up to ten 1099s) Included
Accounting Services (bookkeeping + analysis... see below) Varies Add-On Add-On Add-On
Quarterly QuickBooks Consulting (QuickStart Launch) $250, $750 Add-On
Business Advisory Services
Business Consultation, Periodic Business Reviews (PBR) $250 to $1,000 Annually Routine Routine
Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC) $250 to $500 Routine Routine Routine
CPA Concierge Services Varies Add-On Add-On
Interfacing with Lenders, Attorneys, Financial Planners $750 Routine Routine
Financial Analysis
Fractional Controller (monitoring 3rd party bookkeeping) Varies Add-On Add-On Routine
Quarterly Financial Statements Analysis, Comparisons $1,200
Annual Cash Flow Management and Analysis $1,500 to $2,500
Annual Budgeting, Forecasting, Goal Setting $750 to $1,000
Annual First Research Reports, Industry-Focused Consulting $350 to $600
Annual National and Metro Economic Reports $150
KPI Analysis, Benchmarking, Hot Sheets, Trend Analysis $500 to $1,500
Strategy and Maintenance
C-Level Financial Advice, Strategic Planning (Fractional CFO) Varies
Succession Planning, Ownership Changes Consultation $750 to $1,000 Routine
Annual Business Valuation $2,500 to $3,000
Annual Corporate Governance, Resolutions, Meetings $150 + filing fee
Annual Fee $4,500 $7,920 Custom
Paid Monthly $375 $660 Custom
(prorated based on onboarding date)

Custom! Unlike the modern day new car packages where you have to spend $8,000 for the moonroof, our Business Advisory Service plans can be customized specifically for you. The array above is simply a starting point. If you need more or less from us, let’s chat about it!

Fees Updated! Our Business Advisory and Tax Patrol Service fees were updated August 2024, and we usually hold fees for at least two years (or through December 31, 2026) unless inflation skyrockets back to 9%.

tax patrolTax Patrol Services

We also have Tax Patrol! This is a wonderful tax service for those who don’t need all the business advisory bells and whistles above, but from time to time want some love from an experienced tax consultant and business advisor. Have a quick tax question? Need to know the depreciation rules as you buy that new car? Wondering what your April tax bill is going to be in August? Tax Patrol is like ski patrol… you might not use it, but you sleep better knowing you have it.

A la Carte* Keystone Copper Breck
Individual Tax Return Prep (Form 1040, joint filing) $800 starting
Business Entity Tax Return Prep (Form 1065, 1120, 1120S) $1,500 starting
Tax Planning, Tax Projection Worksheets $350 to $500 Streamlined Pro-Active* Pro-Active*
Estimated Tax Payments Calcs Included
Tax Resolution, Audit Defense NA Add-On Add-On Add-On
Complimentary Quick Chats (CQC) $250 to $500 Routine Routine Routine
Annual Fee $1,500 $2,400 $3,360
Paid Monthly $125 $200 $280
(prorated based on onboarding date)

Real Estate Investors! We also have Investor Patrol Services for our real-estate minded clients who are building an empire and need tax return preparation, tax planning and comprehensive rental property related tax assistance.

*The Tax Planning Asterisk

Yeah, we all dislike the little asterisk. The gotcha! The fine print! Well, here is one of those situations. Pro-active and Pro-active Biz are different. Pro-active tax planning is limited (for individuals and households) and does not include business-entity tax planning and payments (California’s Franchise Tax, New Jersey’s BAIT, Portland’s overall madness, NYC, etc.), pass-through entity tax (PTET) calculations and payments, among other things. Not every business entity needs separate tax planning! Please see our Tax Planning Services page and Master Service Agreement for more information.

Our Way of Business

Here are some quickie FAQs to learn more about WCG CPAs & Advisors, and how we do business-

Do you extend a lot of tax returns?

Nope. We have a t-shirt that reads, “Hate extensions. Love our summers.” We file 70% of our tax returns by April 15, and only extend per the client’s request or if there is missing data such as a rogue K-1. We’ll go as quickly as you let us! Also, we don’t have A listers… we prepare tax returns in first-in first-out sequence. Sure, we leave room for emergencies or other issues that allow for jumping the line.

wcg cpas & advisors doing businessHow often do we schedule meetings?

Up to you! In the past, we would pro-actively schedule quarterly meetings with all Business Advisory and Tax Patrol clients, but it was cumbersome for everyone. Today, we generally connect at least 3 times a year in a meaningful way. Once for tax return preparation, once for tax planning and then another for a myriad of reasons (“hey, I am buying a car” or “hey, we sold a rental”). This is all back-filled with emailed correspondence and touch-ups throughout the year. Having said that, with routine consultation offered above, your goal is to extract everything you need from us.

We prefer scheduled meetings over Teams. Check out our CPA Concierge Service as well. Priority boarding. HOV lane. Early check-in.

What is your communication style?

We rely heavily on emails and text message alerts. However, we do not have an allergy to the telephone. During friendly hours (let’s say 8AM to 7PM including weekends) we will usually call first if we have a question or need clarification. We are committed to responding to your email within 3 business days.

To get work chores done, the tax team responds to emails on Mondays and Thursdays only (what we call our “comms” days). Other teams such as payroll and accounting have similar email cadences.

Have an emergency or need an answer sooner? Call us! So much can be done in short order with a phone call (please keep in mind that scheduled meetings is still ideal to ensure availability and readiness).

Who will I be working with?

For tax, we have two-person teams so there is always a backup. Teams are assigned based on who first spoke with you, bandwidth and subject matter expertise. We also have accounting, payroll and business formation / governance. As such, you might have 4 people you work with. Yay! The two tax peeps, and if applicable, a payroll peep and an accounting peep (if you are using our Accounting Services team for bookkeeping + analysis). We also have dedicated Client Support and Tax Support teams to… well… support you and the other teams.

Additional Business Services

The following are additional business services to get your venture launched and on the way. Some of these are teased out separately as one and done fees like formation and onboarding stuff.

Accounting, Payroll
Monthly Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis) starting at $500 per month
Bi-Monthly Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis every 2 months) starting at $250 per month
Quad-Monthly Accounting (bookkeeping + analysis every 4 months) starting at $175 per month
Annual Compliance Bookkeeping typically $1,200 annually
Annual Accounting starting at $1,800 annually
Rental Property Bookkeeping starting at $1,200 annually
Sales Tax, Personal Property Tax typically $75 per month
typically $150 per quarter
Employee Payroll (direct deposit, bi-weekly) 1 employee, $100 per month
2-5 employees, $175 per month
6-10 employees, $250 per month

Fine Print: Starting accounting service fees are based on 2 bank accounts (one checking account and one credit card is 2 accounts) with less than 250 monthly transactions. Our fee does not include the QBO subscription fee from Intuit. Custom quote is available if you have a lot going on such as third-party integrations (POS, time billing system), accrual accounting method, extensive benefits packages and / or industry specific issues (e.g, job costing in construction). The first step for Accounting Services is to do an accounting assessment with one of our experts to determine scope, service level and ultimate fee (see button below).

Even Finer Print: Employee payroll can be added only if already using our Business Advisory Service plans above (e.g, Vail). Custom quote for more than 15 employees and a referral to therapy or a script for Excedrin.

Business Formation
Articles of Organization or Incorporation, or Dissolution $625 + state filing fee
Initial Report (if required) $125 + state filing fee
Annual Report $350 + state filing fee
Employer Identification Number (EIN) Included
Single Member Operating Agreement (SMLLC) Included
MS Word Templated Bylaws Agreement (Corporations) Included
S Corp Election, Timely Election (made with formation) Included
Accountable Plan Included
Onboarding Fees (one and done)
Payroll Accounts Setup, Transfer, Closing $550 to $650 depending on state
Employee Data Transfer $25 per EE, >5
Accounting Setup or Transfer (Fractional Controller) Varies
QuickStart QuickBooks Setup and Support (90 days) $750
S Corp Election, Timely Election (within 75 days) $450
Late S Corp Election Back to January 2023 $600, $1,200 after Jan 1 2024*
Examine Prior Tax Returns Included

For late S Corp elections back to January, we have a split fee of $600 or $1,200… and it depends on if we can file your S Corp by March 15. Ideally, we attach the late S Corp election to the tax return and file both electronically. Yay! Conversely, if we cannot file on March 15, we also cannot electronically extend the tax return. As such, when we file in June or July, it is now considered late. We can usually have the penalties abated, but it takes effort hence the additional $600 fee (the $600 v. $1,200). Be a hero, and get us your stuff right away to save a few bucks and trim down the anxiety.

Business Maintenance
Entity Relocation Package (payroll closure and opening, entity move) $800 (some are $1,050) + state filing fees
Address Changes w/o Payroll (IRS, State Dept of Revenue, Secretary of State) $250 + state filing fees
Address Changes with Payroll (above + state and local payroll agencies) $350 to $450 + state filing fees

Our entity relocation package includes closing your current payroll accounts, opening shiny new ones, moving your entity with the Secretary of State (if applicable) and updating addresses as necessary.

Speaking of address changes… these are tough. Basic address changes require IRS, State Department of Revenue and Secretary of State notifications. Address changes that include payroll add another level of complexity since departments of revenue are not the same as departments of labor, and there might be local or municipal agencies as well.

Advisory Services Fine Print

A la Carte
A la Carte fee ranges are approximates. 80% of our clients fit into our published fees, but there are outliers. We have a handful of clients with over 30 rentals; their individual tax return is north of $4,000. We also are assuming one state; if your business spans the galaxy then additional fees will be discussed with you prior to payroll setup or tax return preparation. Typically, each state or tax jurisdiction is around $250 to $350 for tax preparation since it affects both your business and individual tax returns (frankly, state apportionment is a pain in the butt, but it is our pain… and states, especially California and New York, are crazy about it).

Prorated Fees
Some more things to consider- when a partial year remains, our usual annual fee is decremented to not charge you for services you didn’t use such as payroll processing. However, a large chunk of our annual fee is tax return preparation which is typically a built-in fixed amount of $2,300 (both business entity and individual tax returns) plus annual tax planning. Whether we onboard you in January, July or December, we have to prepare a full year tax return. This increases the monthly fee for the remaining months of 2024 but the monthly fee will later decrease in January of 2025 to reflect the amounts above. Yeah, we make it sound like 2025 is just around the corner.

Payroll Processing
We make very little profits on payroll processing… we offer it as a convenience to our clients. One throat to choke with a single call can be reassuring but if you want to run your payroll, go for it! Everyone thinks payroll is a piece of cake; write a check and done. Nope… we see a lot of mistakes being made by small business owners especially the handling of self-employed health insurance and HSA contributions since there are special rules for greater than 2% S Corp shareholders. Then again, we don’t mind fixing what was broken.

Tax Returns
You can prepare your own individual tax return as well… but the benefit WCG preparing both individual and business tax returns is that can we slide things around depending on income limitations, phaseouts, alternative minimum tax (AMT), Section 199A deduction optimization, pass-through entity tax deductions (PTET), etc. Having our arms around both worlds can yield some good tax savings!

Note: An individual tax return is what the IRS calls Form 1040 and refers to the entity filing the tax return (you, the individual, are the entity). However, a married couple are deemed to be one entity for the sake of an individual tax return. So, when we say we will prepare your individual tax return, it is meant to include your spouse in a jointly filed happy happy joy joy tax return.

Break-Even Analysis (does an S Corp make sense?)
Break-even analysis is based on our annual fee of $4,500 for our Vail package. If an S corporation saves you 8% to 10% (on average) in taxes over the garden-variety LLC, then $4,500 divided by 9% equals $50,000 of net ordinary business income (profit) after expenses and deductions.

This doesn’t factor in the lower audit rate of S Corps versus Schedule C activities, plus the ability to use business funds to pay for your state income taxes otherwise known as the Pass-Thru Entity Tax Deduction (PTET) or the great SALT workaround.

More sales pitch! Keep in mind that our fee of $4,500 includes your individual tax return which you might already be paying another tax professional to prepare. WCG has a handful of clients who are right at the break-even point of $50,000 but leverage an S Corp and our services to get tax return preparation, tax planning and consultation.


We are not salespeople. We are not putting lipstick on a pig, and trying to convince you to love it, even if Tom Ford’s Wild Ginger looks amazing. Our job remains being professionally detached, giving you information and letting you decide.

Moreover, many CPAs and tax professionals thrust their risk aversion onto their clients. This is bad. At WCG CPAs & Advisors we must perform our due diligence and hurdle our ethical and professional standards. However, after those gymnastics we present a risk-based analysis to the tax return and let you, the client and taxpayer, decide how to proceed. Having said that, we don’t entertain tax scammers or those who can take down the ship. Arthur Anderson anyone? No thanks.

We also see far too many crazy schemes and half-baked ideas from attorneys and wealth managers. In some cases, they are good ideas. In most cases, all the entities, layering and mixed ownership is only the illusion of precision. Just because you can complicate the crap out of your life doesn’t mean you must. Just like Chris Rock says, just because you can drive your car with your feet doesn’t make it a good idea.

Next Steps

Here is a brief summary of the next steps should you want to engage WCG with Business Advisory Services or Tax Patrol-

1. We schedule an appointment to discuss your needs and ensure that we have the proper resources to help you.

2. We draft a proposal outlining the scope of services and our fixed annual fee.

3. If necessary, we schedule another appointment to review the proposal and perhaps tighten things up or make changes.

4. Once the proposal is signed, the fun begins with onboarding. We have an extensive checklist and internal task list to properly onboard you and your business. Some things are concurrent (such as gathering housekeeping docs and setting up payroll) and some things are sequential (for example, collecting financial data and then offering salary recommendations and creating a tax plan). Onboarding is like having a baby; a SWAT team shows up and does a zillion things, and poof, everyone is gone except for mom and baby.

5. After onboarding (usually 4-6 weeks), things settle down into a rhythm- Tax preparation in the spring, tax planning in the summer, with payroll and routine consultation bouncing along throughout the year.

WCG business expertise

Our Business Expertise

As mentioned elsewhere we primarily focus on small business owners and their unique consultation and tax preparation needs. With over 60 full-time consultation professionals including Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents and Certified Financial Planners on your team, WCG CPAs & Advisors consults on custom business structures, multiple entity arrangements, S corp elections (even late S corp elections back to January), tax strategies, business coaching, industry analysis, executive benefits, retirement planning including individual 401k plans, exit strategies, business valuations, income tax planning and modeling, and tax representation.

We also work with business law attorneys for business owners who have additional needs such as drafting Operating Agreements, fee for service contracts, buying or selling a business including employee stock ownership plans and partner buy-ins. In addition, WCG coordinates with third party plan administrators create age-based profit sharing plans and cash balance (defined benefit) plans. We can run point on whatever your business needs to ensure that communication is effective and efficient allowing you to sell widgets.

Here are some additional resources you might find useful.

WCG CPAs & Advisors is a full-service yet boutique progressive tax, accounting and business consultation firm located in Colorado serving clients worldwide.