I have an S Corp that I sell land and offer financing through. All my financing deals are done with contract for deeds for 2 to 4 years. The land does not go into the buyer's name until all payments are made. Currently I have almost 100 of these contracts. I figure out my profit after the land goes into the buyer's name by calculating the cost of the land and expenses and the sold price minus expenses. Sometimes I will have a buyer make some payments and than stop, so the buyer never gets the land.
My questions is, I want to report the income per land after it goes into the buyer's name because I do not know the profit until title transfers. I treat the land as business inventory.
How would I handle the taxes to accomplish that?
As you described them, these "contracts" are Installment Sales and need to be reported in the year the contract is first executed. File Form 6252, and continue filing this form every year until the contract is completed or until the buyer defaults.
Individuals are cash-basis taxpayers and the S-corp's earnings are reported on your individual return. You receive principal, a gain-portion and an interest-component of income every year from these contracts. You are subject to tax on the gain portion & interest income in the year received.
Once you enter into a contract for sale, the buyer has legal rights to the property - it ceases to be inventory. The fact that you are holding the title as security and there may be some uncertainty about the buyers fulfilling their obligations, doesn't change the fact that there has been a sale. As a result of that sale, you receive payments and some portion of those payments represent current interest income and current gain on sale.
Report your installment sale in TurboTax Premier under Less Common Income, Installment Sales.
Form 6252 takes into account (i.e. writes off) your cost basis for the land.
By completing Form 6252, the TurboTax program calculates how much of the annual payments are attributable to recovery of your cost basis (not taxable), gain on the sale (taxable), and interest income (taxable).