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bptsj
Level 2

How to handle rental renovations costs prior sale

I've owned a single family rental property for 30 years. In 2019 we did a major remodel in preparation for sale. The renovation cost was about $90k including material costs and contractor costs. The project completed by Oct. 13, 2019 and was listed for sale but the eventual sale did not close until Jan 10, 2020.

 

How do I handle this on my 2019 taxes? Do I need set up depreciation items for separately for appliances, sinks, counter tops, floors,  etc ? How do I handle the contractor fees? Are these expensed in 2019 or depreciated?

 

When I eventually do my 2020 taxes the cost basis of the rental should reflect the $90k cost I put in the year before. 

 

Thanks,

Brian

 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
RobertG
Expert Alumni

How to handle rental renovations costs prior sale

Your remodel is a capital expense that should be depreciated.

 

Since much of the cost was structural, you should include all expenses and depreciate it as a single improvement.

 

The un-depreciated portion will be added to your basis when you report the sale.

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2 Replies
RobertG
Expert Alumni

How to handle rental renovations costs prior sale

Your remodel is a capital expense that should be depreciated.

 

Since much of the cost was structural, you should include all expenses and depreciate it as a single improvement.

 

The un-depreciated portion will be added to your basis when you report the sale.

**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
Carl
Level 15

How to handle rental renovations costs prior sale

Since none of your property improvements were actually placed "in service" after they were completed, you do not need to bother depreciating them. That means you can just list the total cost of all of your property improvements combined, as a single asset entry.  But in doing this there is data that the program will "INSIST" you enter. SO here's how you do it so that minimal depreciation (if any at all) is taken.

The "in service" date (or acquisition date if asked for that instead) will be the date you close on the sale.

The business use percentage will be ZERO percent. If it won't take ZERO (it probably won't) enter 1%

It flat out does not matter that you may have actually paid for the improvements in 2019. It will still add to your cost basis of the property no matter what year tax return you enter it on. But since you did not sell the property in 2019 or even try to rent it again in 2019, there's no sense in adding the improvements to the 2019 tax return. All it will do is "FORCE" you to take depreciation that you are both not entitled to, and don't want to take anyway.

Remember, when you sell the property all prior depreciation is required to be recaptured and taxed in the year you sell. That recaptured depreciation adds to your AGI and has the potential to bump you into the next higher tax bracket. You want to avoid that at all costs, and you want to do it legally too, of course.

 

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