Taxpayer owns a house in Florida and resides in NY. Each year he spends 14 days in Florida, and rents the FL house for ninety days (1/1-3/31). The pattern has been going on for at least several years. He treats this arrangement as a rental property with personal use. He prorates all expenses and ends up with a loss each year.
In 2019, he was unable to get a tenant, and the house was therefore unrented. He made the usual efforts as were always successful in the past, but in 2019 were not successful. Thus, his rental income for 2019 was zero.
Based upon my calculations, if the period of 'rental' is taken as literally zero days, his FL house is disregarded, is not reported on Schedule E and has no impact on his tax return. However, if he can count the customary 90 day rental period as a zero rental but the house was a rental because the tried to rent it, than he will have a substantial rental loss, which he can offset against other rentals he owns that have rental income.
Query: can this taxpayer consider the FL house a 'rental' because he tried to rent it even though he had (just for 2019) no rental income?
For each property listed on line 1a, of Schedule E report the number of days in the year each property was rented at fair rental value and the number of days of personal use.
If you did use the unit as a home and rented the unit out for fewer than 15 days in 2019, do not report the rental income and do not deduct any rental expenses. If you itemize deductions on Schedule A, you can deduct allowable interest, taxes, and casualty losses.
I am aware of that provision, but with a 'regular' rental (no vacation home, no personal use), if the property is a bona fide rental, and you try to rent it, and could substantiate that you tried to rent it, it will be treated as a rental property even if vacant for a particular year, especially it you have a history of having rented out consistently in the past. I am trying to make my client's situation fit because the 'rental' has been consistent, and he can show a history of having rented this property out for this period of time for years.
...I am trying to make my client's situation fit because the 'rental' has been consistent, and he can show a history of having rented this property out for this period of time for years.
Then you should not have any issues provided the unit was available for rent. However, if you have a client, you should be posting in the Community at the link below rather than in the TurboTax Community.