I have one loan for several rental properties. How do I record the rental expense in TT for business for the mortgage interest? Do I have to allocate a portion of the interest to each property in the RENTAL REAL ESTATE EXPENSE SUMMARY section, or can I just enter it in the general business section, or can I create a bogus rental property and put all the expense there so it shows up as offsetting the rental income in summary?
Similar to this, I pay an agent to collect rents for all the properties. Do I need to allocate this cost across the properties or can I treat it as a general business expense?
You should allocate the expenses across all the rental properties, to be totally accurate. The good news is that once you calculate the % allocations, you won't have to do it again!
However, if you indicate in the Rental section that you are a Real Estate Professional, you may be able to consider your rental activity to be a Business. You would still allocate expenses between properties, though, and report your net Schedule E Income/Loss.
Don't set up a bogus rental property for your Rental Income and Expenses.
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You have to allocate across all properties on the SCH E. The comment that you won't have to allocate in subsequent years isn't correct either. Since the total interest paid on the loan each year will not be the same, you need to make sure you allocate the same percentage to each property, each year.