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shawnha
New Member

I built an apartment in my basement. Which TurboTax will be best for me to use to account for the costs to build/furnish the apartment and account for the rental income?

 
4 Replies
Critter
Level 15

I built an apartment in my basement. Which TurboTax will be best for me to use to account for the costs to build/furnish the apartment and account for the rental income?

You can use ANY of the downloaded versions but the Premier will give you more guidance  BUT if you use the online version you must use the Premier version. 

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MinhT
Expert Alumni

I built an apartment in my basement. Which TurboTax will be best for me to use to account for the costs to build/furnish the apartment and account for the rental income?

If you plan to rent your basement, you'll need to use TurboTax Premier (Online or CD/Download).

 

Click here for a comparison between the different versions of TurboTax Online.

 

Click here for a comparison between the different versions of TurboTax CD/Download.

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Critter
Level 15

I built an apartment in my basement. Which TurboTax will be best for me to use to account for the costs to build/furnish the apartment and account for the rental income?

@MinhT 

 

I hate it  when TT employees lie and  force unneeded programs on clients (just tell the truth like I do)  ... although the Premier version is "recommended"  it is NOT required by any means ( can you say "upsell" ?) ...  I suggest the poster start with the Deluxe (Basic if they do not need a state program) and only upgrade if they feel the need for some extra guidance thru the screens ( most do not).  

 

 

Carl
Level 15

I built an apartment in my basement. Which TurboTax will be best for me to use to account for the costs to build/furnish the apartment and account for the rental income?

If you are a first time landlord then you will also need the below information. When dealing with rental property and taxes, perfection in that first year is not an option. It's an absolute must. Even the tiniest of mistakes in that first year will grow exponentially as the years pass. Then when you catch your error (if the IRS doesn't catch it first) the cost of fixing it will be $expensive$. So if you have questions, ASK!. The only stupid question, is the one you didn't ask.

Also understand that your remodel/buildout of the basement is *NOT* a deduction in any way, form or fashion. It is a property improvement that must be capitalized and depreciated over time.

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 PROPERTY ASSETS, MAINTENANCE/CLEANING/REPAIRS DEFINED

Property Improvement.

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.

Repair

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.

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