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Em1
Level 2

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

I had to switch property managers mid-year while a tenant moved out. The previous property manager reported the security deposit that was transferred to the new property manager as "other income" in box 3 of the 1099-misc he sent me. (I received two 1099-misc forms - one from each property manager.) But this security deposit was returned to the tenant by the new property manager and was not income to me. Is this a mistake? How do I report this "other income" reported in box 3 so that I don't have to pay federal and state income taxes on it? The new property manager only reported rents in box 1.


1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

If you don't report the "income" from the 1099, the IRS will contact you when your return doesn't match their information. The problem is that amounts in box 3 can't be reported  as income in your rental schedule ( your former property manager didn't report this correctly). 

It would be entered as "Other Income." Make sure that in the interview questions you say that it wasn't related to your main job, and it didn't involve an intent to earn money. That way the income will show on line 21 of your return, and you won't be charged Self-Employment Tax.Then you would take a corresponding deduction for the same amount. The simplest way to do that would be to enter it as a miscellaneous Rental expense, with a description. See the screenshot below.

Here's How:

  1. Enter your 1099-MISC in the Rental Income section, including the amounts in Box 1 and Box 3.
  2. The next screen will tell you that you can't report Box 3 income here, and you'll handle it later.
  3. Since you are in the rental section already, deduct that returned deposit as a miscellaneous rental expense.
  4. Next, in TurboTax Home and Business, click the Personal Tab, and go to Personal Income. 
  5. Go to Other Common Income, and Update 1099-MISC.
  6. Click Edit on the 1099-MISC that shows there.
  7. Follow the prompts, saying that it's not like your main job, and doesn't involve an intent to make money.
  8. On the screen Choose the source of this rental income (the amount in Box 1), choose Rental Property.
  9. Click on the rental property which generated the 1099 income.

After you are done, your Rental income will include your 1099-MISC for the box 1 amount and a deduction for the Box 3 amount. It will show as part of Line 17 on your 1040. The returned deposit will show on line 21. I've attached more screenshots, and the 1040 form, showing lines 17 and 21. For line 17, I input $30,000 from box 1 of the 1099-MISC, and $3000 for the returned deposit, netting out to $27000. 

Line 21 is the returned deposit amount.

Rental security deposits aren't considered to be income if they may be required to be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease. https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc414

[Edit 03/06/18 12:27 PM]

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6 Replies
Em1
Level 2

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

Wow, THANK YOU!
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

Glad I could help, and sorry that I didn't include all the steps in the first place!
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Her_Gaster
New Member

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

Hi Amy,

And anyone who has a similar problem, as I did.  I have a better solution, if you have a cooperative property manager.

All money from tenants, be it rent, utilities, late fees, payment for damages or deductions from security deposits to pay for damages are (or should be) considered "rental income" by the IRS.  If that's all you are receiving from your property, you should not show anything in Box 3 of your 1099-MISC.  

I had an amount in box 3 of my 1099-MISC that represented a utility charge for water and garbage.  I asked my property manager to look into this, and they found out that in fact, that should have gone into box 1.  They issued me a corrected 1099-MISC, and saved me taxes on "Self Employment," which is what TurboTax wanted to do.

So ask your property manager to issue a corrected 1099-MISC if they do this.  They work for you, after all, and they should have no problem doing so.  Just be sure to keep both copies (corrected and original).
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

If you don't report the "income" from the 1099, the IRS will contact you when your return doesn't match their information. The problem is that amounts in box 3 can't be reported  as income in your rental schedule ( your former property manager didn't report this correctly). 

It would be entered as "Other Income." Make sure that in the interview questions you say that it wasn't related to your main job, and it didn't involve an intent to earn money. That way the income will show on line 21 of your return, and you won't be charged Self-Employment Tax.Then you would take a corresponding deduction for the same amount. The simplest way to do that would be to enter it as a miscellaneous Rental expense, with a description. See the screenshot below.

Here's How:

  1. Enter your 1099-MISC in the Rental Income section, including the amounts in Box 1 and Box 3.
  2. The next screen will tell you that you can't report Box 3 income here, and you'll handle it later.
  3. Since you are in the rental section already, deduct that returned deposit as a miscellaneous rental expense.
  4. Next, in TurboTax Home and Business, click the Personal Tab, and go to Personal Income. 
  5. Go to Other Common Income, and Update 1099-MISC.
  6. Click Edit on the 1099-MISC that shows there.
  7. Follow the prompts, saying that it's not like your main job, and doesn't involve an intent to make money.
  8. On the screen Choose the source of this rental income (the amount in Box 1), choose Rental Property.
  9. Click on the rental property which generated the 1099 income.

After you are done, your Rental income will include your 1099-MISC for the box 1 amount and a deduction for the Box 3 amount. It will show as part of Line 17 on your 1040. The returned deposit will show on line 21. I've attached more screenshots, and the 1040 form, showing lines 17 and 21. For line 17, I input $30,000 from box 1 of the 1099-MISC, and $3000 for the returned deposit, netting out to $27000. 

Line 21 is the returned deposit amount.

Rental security deposits aren't considered to be income if they may be required to be returned to the tenant at the end of the lease. https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc414

[Edit 03/06/18 12:27 PM]

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Em1
Level 2

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

I tried to follow instructions to remedy, but ended up with an additional schedule E generated, with the screenshot description entered in lieu of the address. Can I call someone to walk me through this?
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

Residential condo property manager reported returned security deposit in box 3 of 1099-misc as "other income" to me.

@Amy, see my revised answer with steps and screenshots. If you have an additional rental property added, delete it before you try this. And please respond here if you reach a screen you don't understand.
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