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Ed McCauley1959
Returning Member

Turbotax Asset Entry worksheet for rental property

   The Turbotax Asset Entry worksheet for rental property, line 4, states "Enter the total cost when asset was acquired." I entered the "Contract Sales Price" of $197,000 from Line 101 of the Settlement Statement. Should I have used this amount plus the "Adjustments for items paid by Seller in advance" on Lines 106 through 110, the total of which is $198,307.51 as stated on Line 120 "Gross Amt Due From Borrower"?

Thanks in advance for any responses...

2 Replies
Level 15

Turbotax Asset Entry worksheet for rental property

It depends on where you're entering the data, which is determined by the program in a way I've never figured out really.

If you're asked for this information by the program as you are setting up the rental for the very first time in TurboTax, then you enter the amount from line 101 of the HUD-1 closing statement. The program will then asks you for other costs and credits that will change that initially entered amount.

If you are entering the program in the assets/depreciation section yourself, then you will need to manually figure the adjusted cost basis yourself. Also, I don't know if this will help you or not. But I'm providng the below data to clarify a few things that in my opinion, the program really don't clarify enough.

COST: What you paid for the property in it's entirety.

COST OF LAND: that portion of COST that is allocated to the land.

Rental Property Dates & Numbers That Matter.

Date of Conversion - If this was your primary residence or 2nd home before, then this date is the day AFTER you moved out, or the date you decided to lease the property – whichever is later.
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 was contracted to move in, and/or "could" have moved in. That would be your "in service" date or after if you were asked for that. Vacant periods between renters do not count for actual days rented. Please see IRS Publication927 page 17 at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p527.pdf#en_US_2020_publink1000219175 Read the “Example” in the third column.
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, 2nd home, or any other personal use reasons 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.


Property Improvement.

Property improvements are expenses you incur that Improve, restore, or otherwise “better” the property. Basically, they retain or add value to the property.

Expenses that may result in a betterment to your property include expenses for fixing a pre-existing defect or condition, enlarging or expanding your property, or increasing the capacity, strength, or quality of your property. An example of a pre-existing condition or defect in this context would be something such as foundation repair (slab jacking) or some other, hidden and costly, anomaly.
Expenses that may be for restoration include expenses for replacing a substantial structural part of your property, repairing damage to your property after you properly adjusted the basis of your property as a result of a casualty loss, or rebuilding your property to a like-new condition.
Expenses that may be for adaptation include expenses for altering your property to a use that isn’t consistent with the intended ordinary use of your property when you began renting the property. Adding a wheelchair ramp would be an example.


Expenses for these types of costs 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 need to 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 retain or 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.

There are rules that allow you to just flat-out expense and deduct some property improvements instead of capitalizing and depreciating them, if the total cost of the improvement was less than $2,500. It’s referred to as “safe harbor di-minimis” But depending on the specific situation, this may or may not be beneficial. Just be aware that not every property improvement that cost less than $2,500 qualifies for this. If this interest you, the rules can get complex. So a good place to start reading is on the IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/tangible-property-final-regulations. The stuff on di-minimis starts about one page down.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Those expenses incurred to maintain the rental property and its assets in the usable 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 for the very first time are not deductible.


Those expenses incurred to return the property or its assets to the same usable 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 for the very first time 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.

Ed McCauley1959
Returning Member

Turbotax Asset Entry worksheet for rental property

Hey Carl, 

Thanks for all the great info. Your entire post is now in my Reference File. It clears up a bunch of issues I was planning to bring up later.


When I use Turbotax in the Q&A mode or in the Forms mode (Schedule E, Asset Entry worksheet) it asks for "total cost when asset was acquired." As I understand it, the cost basis of the rental property consists of the amount you paid for the property, including any expenses related to the sale, transfer and title fees. It also includes the cost of any improvements you made beyond the initial purchase. TTax later asks for the cost of the land, and the previous amount of depreciation claimed. It doesn't ask for any other costs.


I'd like to be sure that I'm starting with the correct amount. Should the (below) itemized costs be included in the "total cost when asset was acquired?"


Settlement Statement
J. Summary of Borrower's Transaction
101 $197,000 Contract Sales Price
103 $793 Settlement charges to Borrower

Adjustments for items paid by Seller in advance (12/16 to 12/31/2016)
106-110 $514.51 County Property tax; HOA Dues; Tax; Garbage collection

120 $198,307.51 Gross Amount Due from Borrower (total of Lines 101; 103; 106-110)

Payment separate from above Settlement Statement
$279 Fees for HUD-1 Closing

$198,586.51 (line 120 + HUD-1)


I'm trying to understand how TTax is making its calculations, so I am planning to use the "Forms" mode. Should I enter the above amount, $198,586.51 in the "total cost when asset was acquired" box in the Schedule E, Asset Entry worksheet?


Thanks in advance for any responses...

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