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Where do I enter the amount of expenses I used to improve my rental property

I remodeled  my rental property can I use that for a deduction on my taxes
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Expert Alumni

Where do I enter the amount of expenses I used to improve my rental property

You would enter the cost of the remodel as part of your Schedule E reporting your rental income and expenses.  

 

If the remodel was extensive and became part of the structure of the property and added value to the property, then you would depreciate the cost as a component of the building.  

 

If the remodel was a series of repairs to various sections of the property to extend the useful life, then the cost may qualify as repairs instead of an improvement.  

 

 

@m-heyward

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Level 15

Where do I enter the amount of expenses I used to improve my rental property

Some people don't realize there's a defined difference between a rental "expense" and a rental property "improvement". There is a difference and each is treated differently for tax purposes.

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.