Solved: How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?
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New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Then-wife and I purchased a home in 2007 for about 235K.  Converted it to a rental in 2011.  Renters moved out for some work on the home in 2016, which totalled about 6K.  We divorced in 2016.  Most of the house work was completed in 2016, but there was some not complete (and paid for) until 2017.  There was some debate between us about whether to re-rent or to sell, but mostly the plan was to sell (at least on her end), and it was sold in 2017 for a loss -- sale price of about 215K I think (I have the exact number, but not with me at the moment). 

I believe I can't claim my half of the expenses as rental unless it was re-held out for rent, or at least if our intent was to re-rent.  If not, how do I handle the combination of converting its status (primary home to rental, and then I believe to business) and the divorce (in terms of adjustments to the basis, if indeed it ended as a business property and not a rental)?  I do have access to my tax returns since it became a rental and can figure out what depreciation was taken on it since then.


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New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

You are correct that you can't deduct expenses if the property was not held out for rent. If it was rented in 2017, you would enter it in the Rental section and work through the interview. If it was not rented in 2017, enter it in Sale of Business Property. You will need to enter the depreciation taken to recapture it.

When you converted the property from personal use to rental, the basis for depreciation was lower of the Adjusted Basis or the FMV on the date of conversion.

Now that you are selling, it gets a little trickier.

Calculating Gain/Loss on Subsequent Sale of Rental Property

If a residence converted to rental property is later sold at a gain, the basis in the converted property is the original cost or other basis plus amounts paid for capital improvements, less any depreciation taken.

 If the sale results in a loss, however, the starting point for basis is the lower of the property’s adjusted cost basis or FMV when it was converted from personal to rental property (Regs. Sec. 1.165-9(b)(2)). This rule is designed to ensure that any decline in value occurring while the property was held as a personal residence does not later become deductible on the sale of the rental property


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22 Replies
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

You are correct that you can't deduct expenses if the property was not held out for rent. If it was rented in 2017, you would enter it in the Rental section and work through the interview. If it was not rented in 2017, enter it in Sale of Business Property. You will need to enter the depreciation taken to recapture it.

When you converted the property from personal use to rental, the basis for depreciation was lower of the Adjusted Basis or the FMV on the date of conversion.

Now that you are selling, it gets a little trickier.

Calculating Gain/Loss on Subsequent Sale of Rental Property

If a residence converted to rental property is later sold at a gain, the basis in the converted property is the original cost or other basis plus amounts paid for capital improvements, less any depreciation taken.

 If the sale results in a loss, however, the starting point for basis is the lower of the property’s adjusted cost basis or FMV when it was converted from personal to rental property (Regs. Sec. 1.165-9(b)(2)). This rule is designed to ensure that any decline in value occurring while the property was held as a personal residence does not later become deductible on the sale of the rental property


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New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Thank you Coleen.  What about the fact that I divorced before it was sold?  Is there some way I claim only half of the loss?
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Yes, you can split the amounts with your former spouse.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

How do I do that in Turbo Tax?  Just use half of the sale price, half of the purchase price, etc.?
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Yes. Make sure your former spouse does the same.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Unfortunately for her, I think she may have claimed the expenses as rental in nature.  If I claim them correctly, is that going to increase the risk of one or both of us getting audited?
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Also, does residential property depreciate if you are using it as your residence, not as a rental? From what I can tell from online and Publication 946, it doesn't look like it.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

For the time period that it was a rental, you took depreciation. That has to be recaptured no matter what else happened with the house.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

I think I have found where that was recorded on past Schedule E's, thanks.  I don't know if you're able to answer my earlier question about audits.  There's not much I can do either way except follow the rules.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Did you mean you took the expenses after you divorced?
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

No, I am looking at the Schedule E's for the years when we were married and the property was a rental.  Checking how much depreciation was taken each year, which if I understand correctly must be used to increase the basis when calculating gain/loss on the sale.  It was only sold last year, so I have not done anything with it tax-wise as far as the sale, improvements before the sale, losses on the sale, etc.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Oh, I get it. The depreciation must be recaptured whether or not you actually take it. Always better to take it.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

There are other things that Pub. 551 says are allowed.  Are these allowed even if they were paid in 2007 when the home was purchased as a primary residence?

Abstract fees (abstract of title fees).

Charges for installing utility services.

Legal fees (including title search and preparation of the sales contract and deed).

Recording fees.

Surveys.

Transfer taxes.

Owner's title insurance.
New Member

How do I handle a home that started as primary residence in 2007, was converted to rental in 2011, then had work done it in 2016, then sold in 2017?

Yes, settlement charges on the purchase and closing costs on the sale are added to the basis.
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