The April 15 tax deadline is looming: Have you filed your taxes yet?
Filing for tax year 2018 will be a little bit sweeter for Academy Mortgage Loan Officers taking advantage of the company’s Business Pre-Tax (BEP) Program. BEP allows originators to receive pre-tax deductions on funds reserved each pay period to apply toward legitimate and compliant business expenses. Introduced mid-year in 2018, results show that the 118 originators enrolled in the program collectively reduced their taxable wages by nearly $400,000. (Note: California employees are not eligible to participate in this program.)
“The BEP program is an excellent company benefit offered to Loan Officers at Academy,” said Senior Loan Officer Deb Lapierre. “It is a great system for budgeting and saving for those future expenses that we all have in our job function. It also provides significant tax advantages—particularly providing a way to deduct some non-reimbursed work expenses that are no longer allowed on Form 2106. Any unused funds are returned to you at the end of the year, so there is no down-side risk to the Loan Officer. This truly is a must-use benefit for all of who qualify.”
BEP provides originators the opportunity to set aside funds on a pre-tax basis for certain eligible business expenses to utilize as needed throughout the year. The elected deduction amount is determined by the originator and may be set up as a percentage of gross wages or a fixed dollar amount. The program allows for flexibility as the elected amount can be changed or even stopped at any time.
To utilize the funds reserved in their BEP accounts, originators simply submit an expense reimbursement and the receipt or invoice. The amount is then deducted from the reserved balance. Any account balances remaining at the end of the year are paid out as taxable wages on the last check of the 2019 year.
Examples of approved business expenses eligible for BEP reimbursement include: Academy team member lunches, business cards, closing gifts (not including gift cards of any type), coaching, compliant marketing expenses, CRM and other third-party approved software expenses, lead generation, and licensing.
“I am currently taking advantage of Academy’s BEP program to maximize my Performance and Productivity within the organization by utilizing the pre-tax savings to pay for professional coaching,” said Area Market and Builder Manager Brent Lucas. “Seeking external resources and expertise can be costly and often a deterrent for many originators. The pre-tax savings is substantial and makes the decision to reinvest in yourself a very sensible and easy one!”
Contact Vice President of National Business Development Chad Melin for more information.
Please consult a tax professional about your specific situation.
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