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Property Management News - The IRS is clamping down on cash apps - Will this affect owners?

Property Management News - The IRS is clamping down on cash apps - Will this affect owners?

In the 2020's, more owners accept payment than ever before from cash apps and other services like PayPal but the IRS is making it harder for owners to accept payments from cash apps.

Tax rule changes affecting cash apps

The new changes in how cash app business transactions are reported are contained in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The reporting threshold for “third party settlement organization” was slashed from $20,000 to just $600 in aggregate payments. The most significant impact of this new rule is on self-employed workers, gig workers, and many people with a side hustle. It is estimated that the changes will raise over $8.4 billion over the next 10 years.

How could this new rule affect your small rental business? For example, say you own one or two rental properties to make some money on the side, and you use Venmo to collect rent. Starting in January 2022, Venmo will notify the IRS about the rental money you receive. Then you will receive a Form 1099-K from the IRS with all your reportable payment transactions over $600 in a calendar year.

Do the IRS tax changes affect personal payments?

When the changes were announced, people were worried they would be taxed on any cash they received in their digital wallets. However, this is not true. The taxes don’t apply to receiving money from family and friends as reimbursements or gifts.

If you receive over $600 in a calendar year, you will automatically receive a 1099-K form. However, if the money received was only for personal transactions and not business income, you won’t have to pay taxes on it.

Should you use a cash app to collect rent?

The changes in the use of cash apps for business payments raise an excellent question for landlords: Are digital wallets the best way to collect rent?

Digital wallets such as Venmo, Cash App, and Paypal make it easier to collect rent online. The cash apps are more secure and faster than accepting paper rent checks. But there are several downsides to using them for accepting rent payments.

Here are some reasons to avoid cash apps if you are a landlord.

1. They charge expensive fees for business transactions

Using mobile payment

3. There is no purchase protection for landlords

Another concern if you are a small business owner is that digital wallets have no payment protection. For example, a tenant could mistakenly send the rental payment to the wrong person. If that happens, it’s up to the tenant to retrieve the cash. During this time, your cash flow suffers because you are missing a rent payment.

Additionally, Venmo, PayPal, and Cash App can block or put on hold certain transactions. In some cases, there is nothing the tenant can do until they resolve the issue. It could even be that a simple cash transfer gets flagged as suspicious, and you don’t receive the money for weeks.

apps for a small business requires having a business account. Unfortunately, this means you incur fees for each transaction. For example, Venmo charges 1.9% plus $0.10 in fees, and PayPal fees can be as much as 3.5%.

What about using your personal Venmo or PayPal account to collect rent? Unfortunately, the policies of most cash apps prohibit accepting business transactions through a personal account.

For example, Venmo states the following: “Venmo may NOT otherwise be used to receive business, commercial or merchant transactions, meaning you CANNOT use Venmo to accept payment from (or send payment to) another user for a good or service, unless explicitly authorized by Venmo.”

2. Cash apps don’t allow payment control

A significant flaw when using a mobile payment app for rent collection is that you can’t block partial payments. Typically, money received appears instantly in your account. This means that there is no way to decline a payment.

The inability to block partial payments is a serious concern for landlords. For example, let’s say you are trying to evict a tenant for nonpayment of rent. Suppose you accept rental payments through a cash app, such as Venmo, PayPal, Cash App, or Zelle. In that case, the delinquent tenant can transfer as little as $1 as partial rent payment and stop the eviction process.

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To learn more about the property management services that we can offer you, contact us today by calling (702) 903-3556 or click here.