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Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171655

Rental Expenses(p69)

rule
This part discusses expenses of renting property that you ordinarily can deduct from your rental income. It includes information on the expenses you can deduct if you rent part of your property, or if you change your property to rental use. Depreciation, which you can also deduct from your rental income, is discussed later.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232317

Personal use of rental property.(p69)

rule
If you sometimes use your rental property for personal purposes, you must divide your expenses between rental and personal use. Also, your rental expense deductions may be limited. See Personal Use of Dwelling Unit (Including Vacation Home), later.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232319

Part interest.(p69)

rule
If you own a part interest in rental property, you can deduct expenses that you paid according to your percentage of ownership.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171657

When to deduct.(p69)

rule
If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, you generally deduct your rental expenses in the year you pay them.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171660

Depreciation.(p69)

rule
You can begin to depreciate rental property when it is ready and available for rent. See Placed-in-Service under When Does Depreciation Begin and End in chapter 2 of Publication 527.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171659

Pre-rental expenses.(p69)

rule
You can deduct your ordinary and necessary expenses for managing, conserving, or maintaining rental property from the time you make it available for rent.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171665

Uncollected rent.(p69)

rule
If you are a cash-basis taxpayer, do not deduct uncollected rent. Because you have not included it in your income, it is not deductible.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232316

Vacant rental property.(p69)

rule
If you hold property for rental purposes, you may be able to deduct your ordinary and necessary expenses (including depreciation) for managing, conserving, or maintaining the property while the property is vacant. However, you cannot deduct any loss of rental income for the period the property is vacant.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171661
Vacant while listed for sale.(p69)
If you sell property you held for rental purposes, you can deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses for managing, conserving, or maintaining the property until it is sold. If the property is not held out and available for rent while listed for sale, the expenses are not deductible rental expenses.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171666

Repairs and Improvements(p69)

rule
Generally, an expense for repairing or maintaining your rental property may be deducted if you are not required to capitalize the expense.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000279122

Improvements.(p69)

rule
You must capitalize any expense you pay to improve your rental property. An expense is for an improvement if it results in a betterment to your property, restores your property, or adapts your property to a new or different use.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000279123
Betterments.(p69)
Expenses that may result in a betterment to your property include expenses for fixing a pre-existing defect or condition, enlarging or expanding your property, or increasing the capacity, strength, or quality of your property.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000279124
Restoration.(p69)
Expenses that may be for restoration include expenses for replacing a substantial structural part of your property, repairing damage to your property after you properly adjusted the basis of your property as a result of a casualty loss, or rebuilding your property to a like-new condition.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000279125
Adaptation.(p69)
Expenses that may be for adaptation include expenses for altering your property to a use that is not consistent with the intended ordinary use of your property when you began renting the property.
Where Refund
Separate the costs of repairs and improvements, and keep accurate records. You will need to know the cost of improvements when you sell or depreciate your property.
The expenses you capitalize for improving your property can generally be depreciated as if the improvement were separate property.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171671

Other Expenses(p69)

rule
Other expenses you can deduct from your rental income include advertising, cleaning and maintenance, utilities, fire and liability insurance, taxes, interest, commissions for the collection of rent, ordinary and necessary travel and transportation, and other expenses, discussed next.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232321

Insurance premiums paid in advance.(p69)

rule
If you pay an insurance premium for more than one year in advance, for each year of coverage you can deduct the part of the premium payment that will apply to that year. You cannot deduct the total premium in the year you pay it.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171684

Legal and other professional fees.(p69)

rule
You can deduct, as a rental expense, legal and other professional expenses, such as tax return preparation fees you paid to prepare Schedule E (Form 1040), Part I. For example, on your 2013 Schedule E, you can deduct fees paid in 2013 to prepare your 2012 Schedule E, Part I. You can also deduct, as a rental expense, any expense (other than federal taxes and penalties) you paid to resolve a tax underpayment related to your rental activities.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232322

Local benefit taxes.(p69)

rule
In most cases, you cannot deduct charges for local benefits that increase the value of your property, such as charges for putting in streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems. These charges are nondepreciable capital expenditures, and must be added to the basis of your property. However, you can deduct local benefit taxes that are for maintaining, repairing, or paying interest charges for the benefits.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000232323

Local transportation expenses.(p69)

rule
You may be able to deduct your ordinary and necessary local transportation expenses if you incur them to collect rental income or to manage, conserve, or maintain your rental property. However, transportation expenses incurred to travel between your home and a rental property generally constitute nondeductible commuting costs unless you use your home as your principal place of business. See Publication 587, Business Use of Your Home, for information on determining if your home office qualifies as a principal place of business.
Generally, if you use your personal car, pickup truck, or light van for rental activities, you can deduct the expenses using one of two methods: actual expenses or the standard mileage rate. For 2013, the standard mileage rate for business use is 56.5 cents per mile. For more information, see chapter 26.
Where Refund
To deduct car expenses under either method, you must keep records that follow the rules in chapter 26. In addition, you must complete Form 4562, Part V, and attach it to your tax return.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171673

Rental of equipment.(p69)

rule
You can deduct the rent you pay for equipment that you use for rental purposes. However, in some cases, lease contracts are actually purchase contracts. If so, you cannot deduct these payments. You can recover the cost of purchased equipment through depreciation.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171672

Rental of property.(p69)

rule
You can deduct the rent you pay for property that you use for rental purposes. If you buy a leasehold for rental purposes, you can deduct an equal part of the cost each year over the term of the lease.
taxmap/pub17/p17-043.htm#en_us_publink1000171676

Travel expenses.(p69)

rule
You can deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses of traveling away from home if the primary purpose of the trip is to collect rental income or to manage, conserve, or maintain your rental property. You must properly allocate your expenses between rental and nonrental activities. You cannot deduct the cost of traveling away from home if the primary purpose of the trip was to improve your property. You recover the cost of improvements by taking depreciation. For information on travel expenses, see chapter 26.
Where Refund
To deduct travel expenses, you must keep records that follow the rules in chapter 26.
See Rental Expenses in Publication 527 for more information.