If you have any personal use of a dwelling unit (including vacation home) that you rent, you must divide your expenses
between rental use and personal use. See Figuring Days of Personal Use and How To Divide Expenses, later.
If you used your dwelling unit for personal purposes long enough during 2001, it will be considered a "dwelling unit used as a home." If so,
you cannot deduct rental expenses that exceed rental income for that property. See Dwelling Unit Used as Home and How To Figure Rental
Income and Deductions, later. If your dwelling unit is not considered a dwelling unit used as a home, you may deduct rental expenses that exceed
rental income for that property subject to certain limits. See Limits on Rental Losses, later.
Exception for minimal rental use.
If you use the dwelling unit as a home and you rent it fewer than 15 days during the year, do not include any of the rent in your income and do not
deduct any of the rental expenses. See Dwelling Unit Used as Home, later.
A dwelling unit includes a house, apartment, condominium, mobile home, boat, vacation home, or similar property. A dwelling unit has basic living
accommodations, such as sleeping space, a toilet, and cooking facilities. A dwelling unit does not include property used solely as a hotel, motel,
inn, or similar establishment.
Property is used solely as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment if it is regularly available for occupancy by paying customers and is not
used by an owner as a home during the year.
You rent a room in your home that is always available for short-term occupancy by paying customers. You do not use the room yourself and you allow
only paying customers to use the room. The room is used solely as a hotel, motel, inn, or similar establishment and is not a dwelling unit.
Dwelling Unit Used as Home
The tax treatment of rental income and expenses for a dwelling unit that you also use for personal purposes depends on whether you use it as a
home. (See How To Figure Rental Income and Deductions, later).
You use a dwelling unit as a home during the tax year if you use it for personal purposes more than the greater of:
- 14 days, or
- 10% of the total days it is rented to others at a fair rental price.
See Figuring Days of Personal Use, later.
If a dwelling unit is used for personal purposes on a day it is rented at a fair rental price, do not count that day as a day of rental use in
applying (2) above. Instead, count it as a day of personal use in applying both (1) and (2) above. This rule does not apply when dividing expenses
between rental and personal use.
Fair rental price.
A fair rental price for your property generally is an amount that a person who is not related to you would be willing to pay. The rent you charge
is not a fair rental price if it is substantially less than the rents charged for other properties that are similar to your property.
Ask yourself the following questions when comparing another property with yours.
- Is it used for the same purpose?
- Is it approximately the same size?
- Is it in approximately the same condition?
- Does it have similar furnishings?
- Is it in a similar location?
If any of the answers are no, the properties probably are not similar.
The following examples show how to determine whether you used your rental property as a home.
You converted the basement of your home into an apartment with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a small kitchen. You rented the basement apartment at a
fair rental price to college students during the regular school year. You rented to them on a 9-month lease (273 days).
During June (30 days), your brothers stayed with you and lived in the basement apartment rent free.
Your basement apartment was used as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 30 days. Rent-free use by your brothers is considered
personal use. Your personal use (30 days) is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the total days it was rented (27 days).
You rented the guest bedroom in your home at a fair rental price during the local college's homecoming, commencement, and football weekends (a
total of 27 days). Your sister-in-law stayed in the room, rent free, for the last 3 weeks (21 days) in July.
The room was used as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 21 days. That is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the total
days it was rented (2 days).
You own a condominium apartment in a resort area. You rented it at a fair rental price for a total of 170 days during the year. For 12 of these
days, the tenant was not able to use the apartment and allowed you to use it even though you did not refund any of the rent. Your family actually used
the apartment for 10 of those days. Therefore, the apartment is treated as having been rented for 160 (170 - 10) days. Your family also used the
apartment for 7 other days during the year.
You used the apartment as a home because you used it for personal purposes for 17 days. That is more than the greater of 14 days or 10% of the
total days it was rented (16 days).
Use as Main Home
Before or After Renting
For purposes of determining whether a dwelling unit was used as a home, do not count as days of personal use the days you used the property as your
main home before or after renting it or offering it for rent in either of the following circumstances.
- You rented or tried to rent the property for 12 or more consecutive months.
- You rented or tried to rent the property for a period of less than 12 consecutive months and the period ended because you sold or exchanged
This special rule does not apply when dividing expenses between rental and personal use.
On February 28, you moved out of the house you had lived in for 6 years because you accepted a job in another town. You rent your house at a fair
rental price from March 15 of that year to May 14 of the next year (14 months). On the following June 1, you move back into your old house.
The days you used the house as your main home from January 1 to February 28 and from June 1 to December 31 of the next year are not counted as days
of personal use.
On January 31, you moved out of the condominium where you had lived for 3 years. You offered it for rent at a fair rental price beginning on
February 1. You were unable to rent it until April. On September 15, you sold the condominium.
The days you used the condominium as your main home from January 1 to January 31 are not counted as days of personal use when determining whether
you used it as a home.
of Personal Use
A day of personal use of a dwelling unit is any day that it is used by any of the following persons.
- You or any other person who has an interest in it, unless you rent it to another owner as his or her main home under a shared equity
financing agreement (defined later). However, see Use as Main Home Before or After Renting under Dwelling Unit Used As Home,
- A member of your family or a member of the family of any other person who has an interest in it, unless the family member uses the dwelling
unit as his or her main home and pays a fair rental price. Family includes only brothers and sisters, half-brothers and half-sisters, spouses,
ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.).
- Anyone under an arrangement that lets you use some other dwelling unit.
- Anyone at less than a fair rental price.
If the other person or member of the family in (1) or (2) above has more than one home, his or her main home is the one lived in most of the time.
Shared equity financing agreement.
This is an agreement under which two or more persons acquire undivided interests for more than 50 years in an entire dwelling unit, including the
land, and one or more of the co-owners is entitled to occupy the unit as his or her main home upon payment of rent to the other co-owner or owners.
Donation of use of property.
You use a dwelling unit for personal purposes if:
- You donate the use of the unit to a charitable organization,
- The organization sells the use of the unit at a fund-raising event, and
- The "purchaser" uses the unit.
The following examples show how to determine days of personal use.
You and your neighbor are co-owners of a condominium at the beach. You rent the unit to vacationers whenever possible. The unit is not used as a
main home by anyone. Your neighbor uses the unit for 2 weeks every year.
Because your neighbor has an interest in the unit, both of you are considered to have used the unit for personal purposes during those 2 weeks.
You and your neighbors are co-owners of a house under a shared equity financing agreement. Your neighbors live in the house and pay you a fair
Even though your neighbors have an interest in the house, the days your neighbors live there are not counted as days of personal use by you. This
is because your neighbors rent the house as their main home under a shared equity financing agreement.
You own a rental property that you rent to your son. Your son has no interest in this dwelling unit. He uses it as his main home. He pays you a
fair rental price for the property.
Your son's use of the property is not personal use by you because your son is using it as his main home, he has no interest in the property, and he
is paying you a fair rental price.
You rent your beach house to Rosa. Rosa rents her house in the mountains to you. You each pay a fair rental price.
You are using your house for personal purposes on the days that Rosa uses it because your house is used by Rosa under an arrangement that allows
you to use her house.
You rent an apartment to your mother at less than a fair rental price. You are using the apartment for personal purposes on the days that your
mother rents it because you rent it for less than a fair rental price.
Days Used for
Repairs and Maintenance
Any day that you spend working substantially full time repairing and maintaining your property is not counted as a day of personal use. Do not
count such a day as a day of personal use even if family members use the property for recreational purposes on the same day.
You own a cabin in the mountains that you rent during the summer. You spend 3 days at the cabin each May, working full time to repair anything that
was damaged over the winter and get the cabin ready for the summer. You also spend 3 days each September, working full time to repair any damage done
by renters and getting the cabin ready for the winter.
These 6 days do not count as days of personal use even if your family uses the cabin while you are repairing it.
How To Divide Expenses
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. Expenses for the rental use of the unit are deductible under the rules explained in How To Figure Rental
Income and Deductions, later.
When dividing your expenses, follow these rules.
- Any day that the unit is rented at a fair rental price is a day of rental use even if you used the unit for personal purposes that day. This
rule does not apply when determining whether you used the unit as a home.
- Any day that the unit is available for rent but not actually rented is not a day of rental use.
Your beach cottage was available for rent from June 1 through August 31 (92 days). Your family uses 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 by using the following steps.
- The cottage was used for rental a total of 85 days (92 - 7). The days it was available for rent but not rented (7 days) are not days
of rental use. The July weekend (2 days) you used it is rental use because you received a fair rental price for the weekend.
- You used the cottage for personal purposes for 14 days (the last 2 weeks in May).
- The total use of the cottage was 99 days (14 days personal use + 85 days rental use).
- Your rental expenses are 85/99 (86%) of the cottage expenses.
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, 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 Property Used as a Home in the following discussion.
How To Figure Rental
Income and Deductions
How you figure your rental income and deductions depends on whether the dwelling unit was used as a home (see Dwelling Unit Used as Home,
earlier) and, if used as a home, how many days the property was rented.
Property Not Used as a Home
If you do not use a dwelling unit as a home, report all the rental income and deduct all the rental expenses. See How To Report Rental Income
and Expenses, later.
Your deductible rental expenses can be more than your gross rental income. However, see Limits on Rental Losses, later.
Property Used as a Home
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 fewer than 15 days.
If you use a dwelling unit as a home and you rent it fewer than 15 days during the year, do not include in income any of the rental income. Also,
you cannot deduct any expenses as rental expenses.
Rented 15 days or more.
If you use a dwelling unit as a home and rent it 15 days or more during the year, you include all your rental income in your income. See How
To Report Rental Income and Expenses, 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.
Limit on deductions.
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 next year will be subject to
any limits that apply next 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 Table 2.