In Statehouse Report: 6,000 bills filed and counting

Illinois Capitol/Bigstock

IAR’s governmental affairs team is sorting through the more than 6,000 bills that have been filed in the General Assembly.

As of just before noon Friday, there were 2,027 Senate Bills and 3,986 House bills filed. Of course, IAR’s lobbyists go through all of them to see if they have a bearing on REALTORS® and their clients. You can read more about the week’s Statehouse news in the IAR  State Capitol Report. (Members only)

Assistant Director for Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan said more bills are expected. The government affairs team is putting together a report next week on bills that fall into the good, bad and ugly categories.


Four Things Every REALTOR® Needs to Know About Tax Preparations

Chris Bird

Excellent record keeping and the selection of competent tax professionals who understand the business are essential for Illinois REALTORS®.

Investors need tax professionals familiar with the type of investments they use: stocks, mutual funds, real estate, etc. If you haven’t already submitted your tax return, consider these tips to prepare for meeting your tax professional in the next several months:

1. Get your records organized. Ask your tax professional to send you an organizer to assist you in identifying and collecting the records needed for the 2014 return. This organizer will include the items and the amounts entered on the 2013 return, which will serve as reminders for the records you need. Don’t just drop off your tax information with your preparer and forget it. Make sure your preparer has all that’s needed and before the return is completed, make sure you get answers to any questions you have.

2. DO NOT fudge on income or deduction items. Do it right and do it ethically, just like you do every day in your real estate practice. Even though the IRS audit rate is significantly decreased, unreported income found in an audit can result in FRAUD charges, which to say the least, is a career-ending problem. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been contacted by REALTORS® in the past several years who have had severe problems with the IRS over unreported income or significant overstating of deductions.

3. Check and double check for missing legitimate deductions. Most self-employed professionals have a general idea of the types of deductions that can be claimed, but are you considering everything? Have you considered the:

  • business promotion (100 percent) vs. entertainment (50 percent) issue?
  • office in home new safe harbor rule?
  • heavy SUV or pickup truck enhanced write-off?
  • possible deduction of concealed carry and firearms training issues?
  • use of the Subchapter S Corporation for your business?

4. Do not wait until the last minute! It is a proven fact that the more you rush in preparing for the tax return, the lousier you will do. This will result in missed deductions and – in some cases – estimating income and expense items, which is always a bad thing to do.

Chicago NAHREP holds leadership installation, reception

Joe Castillo, vice president, NAHREP Chicago Chapter; Marc Hernandez, president, NAHREP Chicago Chapter; and Joseph Nery, treasurer, NAHREP's national organization.

The Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals held their annual leadership Installation and Reception last night at the Marriott Hotel Midway.

As the organization grows, Chicago members are also involved in leadership within the national organization as well.  NAHREP member Joe Nery will be installed this April as president-elect of NAHREP’s national organization in Washington, D.C.

He is looking forward to focusing his time in leadership in recruiting young Latinos to consider real estate and finance careers.

IDFPR provides process to transfer to broker license from managing broker license

Source: Bigstock

The Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation just released a new form that will allow managing brokers to revert to broker status.

The form came in response to efforts by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® to gain clarity on a process for some of its members to switch the broker license. The form and all the details provided by IDFPR can be found here.

As part of the transfer process, those filing will have to have completed all 12 hours of the regular continuing education required to renew as a managing broker at the time of application.

In addition to the 12-hour CE guideline, managing brokers seeking to revert to broker status must:

  • Have a sponsoring broker
  • Have a managing broker’s license that is in active status

There is a $125 non-refundable fee to make the change, plus any other applicable fees.

Supporters gather to support Chiles’ aldermanic bid

State Senator Sam McCann, Sangamon County Sheriff Wes Barr and Springfield Ward 6 Alderman Cory Jobe were just a few of those who attended a fundraiser for IAR Past President Phil Chiles Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 at IAR’s headquarters in Springfield.

Chiles, a broker-associate for the Real Estate Group in Springfield, is one of two candidates running for alderman in Springfield’s Ward 10. Springfield residents can cast their votes in the Tuesday, April 7 election.