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No landlord would pay more than necessary for utilities or other operating expenses for a rental property. Yet millions of landlords pay more taxes on their rental income than they have to. Why? Rental real estate provides more tax benefits than almost any other investment.
Every year, millions of landlords pay more taxes on their rental income than they have to. Why? Because they fail to take advantage of all the tax deductions available for owners of rental property. Often, these benefits make the difference between losing money and earning a profit on a rental property.
Here are a few of the top tax deductions for owners of small residential rental property.
INTEREST is often a landlord’s single biggest deductible expense. Common examples of interest that landlords can deduct include mortgage interest payments on loans used to acquire or improve rental property and interest on credit cards for goods or services used in a rental activity.
DEPRECIATION The actual cost of a house, apartment building, or other rental property is not fully deductible in the year in which you pay for it. Instead, landlords get back the cost of real estate through depreciation. This involves deducting a portion of the cost of the property over several years.
REPAIRS The cost of repairs to rental property (provided the repairs are ordinary, necessary, and reasonable in amount) are fully deductible in the year in which they are incurred. Good examples of deductible repairs include repainting, fixing gutters or floors, fixing leaks, plastering, and replacing broken windows.
LOCAL TRAVEL Landlords are entitled to a tax deduction whenever they drive anywhere for their rental activity. For example, when you drive to your rental building to deal with a tenant complaint or go to the hardware store to purchase a part for a repair, you can deduct your travel expenses.
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS Whenever you hire anyone to perform services for your rental activity, you can deduct their wages as a rental business expense. This is so whether the worker is an employee (for example, a resident manager) or an independent contractor (for example, a repair person).
INSURANCE You can deduct the premiums you pay for almost any insurance for your rental activity. This includes fire, theft, and flood insurance for rental property, as well as landlord liability insurance. And if you have employees, you can deduct the cost of their health and workers’ compensation insurance.
Here at JLA Real Estate Group we provide our clients with documentation during tax season to help their returns.
If you would like a copy of our Property Management Diagnostic which will help you understand how to manage your property please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.