You would not need to report the property until you begin receiving rental income or it is considered to be placed in service.
Placed in Service
You place property in service in a rental activity when it is ready and available for a specific use in that activity. Even if you aren’t using the property, it is in service when it is ready and available for its specific use.
Now let's enter that rental:
- In TurboTax, search for rentals and then click the "Jump to" link in the search result.
- Answer Yes to the question Did you have any rental or royalty income and expenses?
- Follow the on-screen instructions as you proceed through the rental and royalties section.
- We'll first ask you to enter general information about your rental (description, address, ownership percentage, etc.)
- Eventually, you'll come to the Rental Summary screen which is where you enter your rental income and expenses, assets and depreciation, and vehicle expenses.
Tip: Rent is considered income in the year you received it, not the year it applies to. This means that a rent payment for the month of January 2018 collected in December 2017 is reported on your 2017 return.
Just work it through the program the way the program is designed and intended to be used. All rental income and expenses is dealt with under the Business tab in the Rental & Royalty Income (SCH E) section of the program.
Rental Property Dates & Numbers That Matter.
Date of Conversion
- If this was your primary residence before, then this date is
the day AFTER you moved out.
In Service Date - This is the date a renter "could" have moved in. Usually, this date is the day you put the FOR RENT sign in the front yard.
Number of days Rented - the day count for this starts from the first day a renter "could" have moved in. That should be your "in service" date if you were asked for that. vacant periods between renters count also PROVIDED you did not live in the house for one single day during said period of vacancy.
Days of Personal Use - This number will be a big fat ZERO. Read the screen. It's asking for the number of days you lived in the property AFTER you converted it to a rental. I seriously doubt (though it is possible) that you lived in the house (or space, if renting a part of your home) as your primary residence or 2nd home, after you converted it to a rental.
Business Use Percentage. 100%. I'll put that in words so there's no doubt I didn't make a typo here. One Hundred Percent. After you converted this property or space to rental use, it was one hundred percent business use. What you used it for prior to the date of conversion doesn't count.
RENTAL POPERTY ASSETS, MAINTENANCE/CLEANING/REPAIRS DEFINED
Property improvements are expenses you incur that add value to the property. Expenses for this are entered in the Assets/Depreciation section and depreciated over time. Property improvements can be done at any time after your initial purchase of the property. It does not matter if it was your residence or a rental at the time of the improvement. It still adds value to the property.
To be classified as a property improvement, two criteria must be met:
1) The improvement must become "a material part of" the property. For example, remodeling the bathroom, new cabinets or appliances in the kitchen. New carpet. Replacing that old Central Air unit.
2) The improvement must add "real" value to the property. In other words, when the property is appraised by a qualified, certified, licensed property appraiser, he will appraise it at a higher value, than he would have without the improvements.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Those expenses incurred to maintain the rental property and it's assets in the useable condition the property and/or asset was designed and intended for. Routine cleaning and maintenance expenses are only deductible if they are incurred while the property is classified as a rental. Cleaning and maintenance expenses incurred in the process of preparing the property for rent are not deductible.
Those expenses incurred to return the property or it's assets to the same useable condition they were in, prior to the event that caused the property or asset to be unusable. Repair expenses incurred are only deductible if incurred while the property is classified as a rental. Repair costs incurred in the process of preparing the property for rent are not deductible.
Additional clarifications: Painting a room does not qualify as a property improvement. While the paint does become “a material part of” the property, from the perspective of a property appraiser, it doesn’t add “real value” to the property.
However, when you do something like convert the garage into a 3rd bedroom for example, making a 2 bedroom house into a 3 bedroom house adds “real value”. Of course, when you convert the garage to a bedroom, you’re going to paint it. But you will include the cost of painting as a part of the property improvement – not an expense separate from it.