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Renting your vacation home

9/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A vacation home can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home or boat. If you own a vacation home that you rent to others, you generally must report the rental income on your federal income tax return. But you may not have to report that income if the rental period is short.

In most cases, you can deduct expenses of renting your property. Your deduction may be limited if you also use the home as a residence.

Here are some tips from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) about this type of rental property:

  • You usually report rental income and deductible rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss.
  • You may also be subject to paying Net Investment income tax on your rental income.
  • If you personally use your property and sometimes rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use. The number of days used for each purpose determines how to divide your costs.
  • Report deductible expenses for personal use on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. These may include costs such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses.
  • If the property is “used as a home,” your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can’t be more than the rent you received. For more about this rule, see Publication 527, “Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes).”
  • If the property is “used as a home” and you rent it out fewer than 15 days per year, you do not have to report the rental income.

Get Publication 527 for more details on this topic. It is available at www.IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM.

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