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IRS.gov Website
Publication 527
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285456

Dwelling Unit Used as a Home(p18)

rule
If you use a dwelling unit for both rental and personal purposes, the tax treatment of the rental expenses you figured earlier under Dividing Expenses and rental income depends on whether you are considered to be using the dwelling unit as a home.
You use a dwelling unit as a home during the tax year if you use it for personal purposes more than the greater of:
  1. 14 days, or
  2. 10% of the total days it is rented to others at a fair rental price.
See What is a day of personal use, later.
If a dwelling unit is used for personal purposes on a day it is rented at a fair rental price (discussed earlier), do not count that day as a day of rental use in applying (2) above. Instead, count it as a day of personal use in applying both (1) and (2) above.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285457

What is a day of personal use?(p18)

rule
A day of personal use of a dwelling unit is any day that the unit is used by any of the following persons.
  1. You or any other person who owns an interest in it, unless you rent it to another owner as his or her main home under a shared equity financing agreement (defined later). However, see Days used as a main home before or after renting, later.
  2. A member of your family or a member of the family of any other person who owns an interest in it, unless the family member uses the dwelling unit as his or her main home and pays a fair rental price. Family includes only your spouse, brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.), and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.).
  3. Anyone under an arrangement that lets you use some other dwelling unit.
  4. Anyone at less than a fair rental price.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219179
Main home.(p18)
If the other person or member of the family in (1) or (2) above has more than one home, his or her main home is ordinarily the one he or she lived in most of the time.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219180
Shared equity financing agreement.(p18)
This is an agreement under which two or more persons acquire undivided interests for more than 50 years in an entire dwelling unit, including the land, and one or more of the co-owners is entitled to occupy the unit as his or her main home upon payment of rent to the other co-owner or owners.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219181
Donation of use of the property.(p18)
You use a dwelling unit for personal purposes if:
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219182
Examples.(p18)
The following examples show how to determine if you have days of personal use.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219183

Example 1.(p18)

You and your neighbor are co-owners of a condominium at the beach. Last year, you rented the unit to vacationers whenever possible. The unit was not used as a main home by anyone. Your neighbor used the unit for 2 weeks last year; you did not use it at all.
Because your neighbor has an interest in the unit, both of you are considered to have used the unit for personal purposes during those 2 weeks.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219184

Example 2.(p18)

You and your neighbors are co-owners of a house under a shared equity financing agreement. Your neighbors live in the house and pay you a fair rental price.
Even though your neighbors have an interest in the house, the days your neighbors live there are not counted as days of personal use by you. This is because your neighbors rent the house as their main home under a shared equity financing agreement.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219185

Example 3.(p18)

You own a rental property that you rent to your son. Your son does not own any interest in this property. He uses it as his main home and pays you a fair rental price.
Your son's use of the property is not personal use by you because your son is using it as his main home, he owns no interest in the property, and he is paying you a fair rental price.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219186

Example 4.(p18)

You rent your beach house to Rosa. Rosa rents her cabin in the mountains to you. You each pay a fair rental price.
You are using your beach house for personal purposes on the days that Rosa uses it because your house is used by Rosa under an arrangement that allows you to use her cabin.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219187

Example 5.(p18)

You rent an apartment to your mother at less than a fair rental price. You are using the apartment for personal purposes on the days that your mother rents it because you rent it for less than a fair rental price.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219188
Days used for repairs and maintenance.(p18)
Any day that you spend working substantially full time repairing and maintaining (not improving) your property is not counted as a day of personal use. Do not count such a day as a day of personal use even if family members use the property for recreational purposes on the same day.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000219189

Example.(p18)

Corey owns a cabin in the mountains that he rents for most of the year. He spends a week at the cabin with family members. Corey works on maintenance of the cabin 3 or 4 hours each day during the week and spends the rest of the time fishing, hiking, and relaxing. Corey's family members, however, work substantially full time on the cabin each day during the week. The main purpose of being at the cabin that week is to do maintenance work. Therefore, the use of the cabin during the week by Corey and his family will not be considered personal use by Corey.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285474
Days used as a main home before or after renting.(p18)
For purposes of determining whether a dwelling unit was used as a home, you may not have to count days you used the property as your main home before or after renting it or offering it for rent as days of personal use. Do not count them as days of personal use if: However, this special rule does not apply when dividing expenses between rental and personal use. See Property Changed to Rental Use in chapter 4.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285467

Example 1.(p18)

On February 29, 2012, you moved out of the house you had lived in for 6 years because you accepted a job in another town. You rented your house at a fair rental price from March 15, 2012, to May 14, 2013 (14 months). On June 1, 2013, you moved back into your old house.
The days you used the house as your main home from January 1 to February 29, 2012, and from June 1 to December 31, 2013, are not counted as days of personal use. Therefore, you would use the rules in chapter 1 when figuring your rental income and expenses.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285469

Example 2.(p18)

On January 31, you moved out of the condominium where you had lived for 3 years. You offered it for rent at a fair rental price beginning on February 1. You were unable to rent it until April. On September 15, you sold the condominium.
The days you used the condominium as your main home from January 1 to January 31 are not counted as days of personal use when determining whether you used it as a home.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285470

Examples.(p19)

rule
The following examples show how to determine whether you used your rental property as a home.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285471

Example 1.(p19)

You converted the basement of your home into an apartment with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchen. You rented the basement apartment at a fair rental price to college students during the regular school year. You rented to them on a 9-month lease (273 days). You figured 10% of the total days rented to others at a fair rental price is 27 days.
During June (30 days), your brothers stayed with you and lived in the basement apartment rent free.
Your basement apartment was used as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 30 days. Rent-free use by your brothers is considered personal use. Your personal use (30 days) is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the total days it was rented (27 days).
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285472

Example 2.(p19)

You rented the guest bedroom in your home at a fair rental price during the local college's homecoming, commencement, and football weekends (a total of 27 days). Your sister-in-law stayed in the room, rent free, for the last 3 weeks (21 days) in July. You figured 10% of the total days rented to others at a fair rental price is 3 days.
The room was used as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 21 days. That is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the 27 days it was rented (3 days).
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285473

Example 3.(p19)

You own a condominium apartment in a resort area. You rented it at a fair rental price for a total of 170 days during the year. For 12 of these days, the tenant was not able to use the apartment and allowed you to use it even though you did not refund any of the rent. Your family actually used the apartment for 10 of those days. Therefore, the apartment is treated as having been rented for 160 (170 – 10) days. You figured 10% of the total days rented to others at a fair rental price is 16 days. Your family also used the apartment for 7 other days during the year.
You used the apartment as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 17 days. That is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the 160 days it was rented (16 days).
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285475

Minimal rental use.(p19)

rule
If you use the dwelling unit as a home and you rent it less than 15 days during the year, that period is not treated as rental activity. See Used as a home but rented less than 15 days, later, for more information.
taxmap/pubs/p527-018.htm#en_us_publink1000285476

Limit on deductions.(p19)

rule
Renting a dwelling unit that is considered a home is not a passive activity. Instead, if your rental expenses are more than your rental income, some or all of the excess expenses cannot be used to offset income from other sources. The excess expenses that cannot be used to offset income from other sources are carried forward to the next year and treated as rental expenses for the same property. Any expenses carried forward to the next year will be subject to any limits that apply for that year. This limitation will apply to expenses carried forward to another year even if you do not use the property as your home for that subsequent year.
To figure your deductible rental expenses for this year and any carryover to next year, use Worksheet 5–1.