Rental properties in affluent areas of Los Angeles can be cash flowing tremendously- so it's important to have property bookkeeping and tracking of expenses, and understand the tax advantages compared to other types of investments.
One of the biggest benefits of owning rental property come tax time are the special opportunities to deduct expenses related to your rental property and rental income.
When you rent a property to others as a landlord or real estate investor, you must report the collected rental income as taxable income. The following article provides tax tips from the IRS for landlords reporting rental income and list of acceptable tax deductions offered to rental property owners.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED RENTAL INCOME?
Rental income includes all amounts you receive as rent from residential occupancy of your properties. You must include all income collected as rent from all your properties.
Advanced rent received during the year, even if it is meant to cover rent in a future year, must be reported on the current year’s return. For example, if you have a 12-month lease that began in June 2016, and your tenant paid you first and last month’s rent up front, you would report the rent for June 2016 (first month’s rent) and May 2017 (last month’s rent) as rental income earned in 2016.
Security deposit funds are not included in your tax return when you first receive them from a renter. Only if you keep all or a portion of the security deposit funds during the year as part of the lease terms, you must include the amount of the deposit you kept in your reported income that year.
Fees collected from a tenant for things like late rent payments, pet fees, parking spaces, or early lease cancellation fees must be included in your total rental income for that year.
Services received, instead of money, as rent, must be included as the fair market value of the services in your rental income. For example, your tenant is a painter and offers to paint your rental property instead of paying rent for two months. If you accept the offer, include in your rental income the amount the tenant would have paid for two months worth of rent.
RENTAL PROPERTY TAX DEDUCTIONS FOR LANDLORDS
The following list of landlord deductions is provided by the IRS to help investors at tax time minimize their tax burden.
As you begin a new year, or prepare your taxes from the preceding year, make sure to keep excellent records of the following tax deductions available to landlords come tax time. The only way to make sure you are maximizing your tax deductions is to maintain proper records of all your expenses.
Make sure to speak with your tax professional if you have any questions or concerns about the tax opportunities available to rental property owners.
Based on Rentec Direct Blog post.