Renting out a vacation property to others can be profitable. This doesn’t just include your cabin in the woods or condo at the beach. These rules apply if you rent your home or a bedroom on AirBnB, Craig’s List, or similar type of website or app. If you do this, you must normally report the rental income on your tax return. You may not have to report the rent, however, if the rental period is short and you also use the property as your home. Here are some tips that you should know:
- Vacation Home. A vacation home can be a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat or similar property.
- Schedule E. You usually report rental income and rental expenses on Schedule E, Supplemental Income and Loss. Your rental income may also be subject to Net Investment Income Tax.
- Used as a Home. If the property is “used as a home,” your rental expense deduction is limited. This means your deduction for rental expenses can’t be more than the rent you received. For more about these rules, see Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes).
- Divide Expenses. If you personally use your property and also rent it to others, special rules apply. You must divide your expenses between rental use and personal use. To figure how to divide your costs, you must compare the number of days for each type of use with the total days of use.
- Personal Use. Personal use may include use by your family. It may also include use by any other property owners or their family. Use by anyone who pays less than a fair rental price is also considered personal use.
- Schedule A. Report deductible expenses for personal use on Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. These may include costs such as mortgage interest, property taxes and casualty losses.
- Rented Less than 15 Days. If the property is “used as a home” and you rent it out fewer than 15 days per year, you do not have to report the rental income. In this case you deduct your qualified expenses on Schedule A.
Forbes Magazine published an article in November 2015 which goes into greater detail regarding the tax consequences of renting out your home or vacation home. CLICK HERE to read the article.