7 tips for landlord tax deductions

One of the best reasons to be a landlord is because the current tax system makes investment properties definitely worthwhile. When landlords understand how to properly file taxes on their rental properties, they can get quite a few rental property tax deductions, reducing the total amount owed to the Internal Revenue Service. Whether you own one rental property or several, it’s good to know that the current system really does treat landlord well.
Here are 7 landlord tax deduction tips:

Here are 7 landlord tax deduction tips:

  1. Repairs
  2. Legal Costs
  3. Professional Services
  4. Mortgage Interest
  5. Travel
  6. Insurance Costs
  7. Utilities

Repairs

Any repairs that you make to your rental property are tax deductible, so make sure you keep every receipt related to fixing up your investment. From a new dishwasher to a can of touch-up paint, every purchase for the rental can count. If you have multiple units, make sure to distinguish what receipt aligns with which property sooner rather than later before your memory fails you.

Legal Costs

A good attorney is invaluable, but using his or her services can also help you with your taxes. Any legal services rendered by an attorney are deductible, so keep copies of all billings, invoices and other expenses for tax time.

Professional Services

Just as repairs done by you are deductible, so are any services you contract out for. In other words, professional services and expenditures—from plumbers to painters to pest control—can all be tax deductible. Keep copies of all invoices and bills, and organize them by the property.

Mortgage Interest

Just as when you own your primary residence, property owners can take the mortgage interest deduction on their taxes. Instead of trying to calculate it on your own, use the official statements from your mortgage company that provides the year-end totals.

5. Local and Long Distance Travel

Whether you live near or far from your rental properties, the cost of driving there can be deductible. Most landlords choose the standard mileage rate as outlined by the IRS, but if the distance requires an overnight stay, the deductions can also include hotel, meals and even airfare, as long as you have the receipts to back it up.

6. Insurance Costs

Insurance premiums for your rental property are also deductible, including landlord liability, fire, theft and more. Not only does insurance bring peace of mind, it also reduces taxes for you.

7. Utilities

If you cover the utilities for any rental property, that amount can be deducted from your taxes. Be careful, however, because if you charge your tenant for those utility expenses, the cost is no longer deductible and that total amount actually counts as income on your taxes.
The keys to making sure that all your deductions and tax tips happen are that you keep good records, save receipts, take detailed notes, and always be honest. Of course, consult with a tax professional to ensure that all deductions are appropriate and done right. While most people dread tax time, landlords like you should have nothing to fear and every reason to relax about your real estate investment.

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