Get the most from your vacation home rental property by knowing the tax rules
Summer is the time of family vacations, sun, sand and beaches. It’s also the time when a vacation home may be used to generate additional cash flow through rental.
Part-time landlords need to remember that, in many cases, the Internal Revenue Service expects them to report the extra income.
In general, if a taxpayer rents their vacation home for fewer than 14 days out of the year, the income is tax free and the property is considered a personal residence. Under this scenario, taxpayers are not required to report any rental income on their tax return. However, expenses attributable to the rental cannot be deducted, such as cleaning fees or rental commissions.
More than 14 Rental Days
If a taxpayer’s rental days are above the 14-day threshold, the income is required to be reported. Under this scenario, a taxpayer can also deduct a variety of direct rental expenses such as licenses, advertising and rental commissions.
Other expenses such as repairs, mortgage interest, property taxes and utilities are deductible on a prorated basis based upon the number of days a taxpayer rented the home out.
Claiming Expenses on Rental Property
When filing taxes on a rental property, an individual will use IRS Schedule E: Supplemental Income and Loss. The IRS provides an extensive listing of deductions in Publication 527, however common expenses include:
- Real Estate/Property Taxes
- Repairs and Maintenance
- Legal and Professional Fees