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Publication 527

Figuring Rental 
Income and Deductions(p22)

If you use a dwelling unit as a home during the year, how you figure your rental income and deductions depends on how many days the unit was rented at a fair rental price.

Rented 15 days or more.(p22)

If you use a dwelling unit as a home and rent it 15 days or more during the year, include all your rental income in your income. See Reporting Income and Deductions, later. If you had a net profit from the rental property for the year (that is, if your rental income is more than the total of your rental expenses, including depreciation), deduct all of your rental expenses. However, if you had a net loss, your deduction for certain rental expenses is limited.

Dividing Expenses(p22)

If you use a dwelling unit for both rental and personal purposes, divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use based on the number of days used for each purpose.
When dividing your expenses, follow these rules.


Your beach cottage was available for rent from June 1 through August 31 (92 days). Your family used the cottage during the last 2 weeks in May (14 days). You were unable to find a renter for the first week in August (7 days). The person who rented the cottage for July allowed you to use it over a weekend (2 days) without any reduction in or refund of rent. The cottage was not used at all before May 17 or after August 31.
You figure the part of the cottage expenses to treat as rental expenses as follows.
When determining whether you used the cottage as a home, the July weekend (2 days) you used it is personal use even though you received a fair rental price for the weekend. Therefore, you had 16 days of personal use and 83 days of rental use for this purpose. Because you used the cottage for personal purposes more than 14 days and more than 10% of the days of rental use (8 days), you used it as a home. If you have a net loss, you may not be able to deduct all of the rental expenses. See Limit on Deductions, next.

Limit on Deductions(p22)

The rental activity discussed in this chapter—using the same dwelling unit for both rental and personal purposes—is not a passive activity. Instead, the limitation is based on the rental income from this activity.
If your rental expenses are more than your rental income, you cannot use the excess expenses to offset income from other sources. The excess can be 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. You can deduct the expenses carried over to a year only up to the amount of your rental income for that year, even if you do not use the property as your home for that year.
To figure your deductible rental expenses and any carryover to next year, use Worksheet 5-1 at the end of this chapter.