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Can I reduce my nonpassive income taxes with my rental property losses?

It's possible!

BUT, it's not as easy as the social media folks are making it appear to be.

Generally, rental activities are passive activities even if you materially participated in them. Passive activity losses are only deductible against passive activity income. A passive activity is an activity involving a trade or business in which the taxpayer does not materially participate. Thus, the passive losses from such activities are usually only deductible against passive activity income.

If there is no passive income against which to deduct a passive loss, the loss is carried over to the following year.

If a taxpayer qualifies as a real estate professional, the passive activity loss rules do not apply and losses from rental real estate activities are deductible against nonpassive income such as wages or Schedule C.

Qualifications. You qualified as a real estate professional for the year if you met both of the following requirements.

  • More than half of the personal services you performed in all trades or businesses during the tax year were performed in real property trades or businesses in which you materially participated.

  • You performed more than 750 hours of services during the tax year in real property trades or businesses in which you materially participated.

Don’t count personal services you performed as an employee in real property trades or businesses unless you were a 5% owner of your employer. You were a 5% owner if you owned (or are considered to have owned) more than 5% of your employer's outstanding stock, outstanding voting stock, or capital or profits interest. If you file a joint return, don’t count your spouse's personal services to determine whether you met the preceding requirements. However, you can count your spouse's participation in an activity in determining if you materially participated.

Real property trades or businesses. A real property trade or business is a trade or business that does any of the following with real property.

  • Develops or redevelops it.

  • Constructs or reconstructs it.

  • Acquires it.

  • Converts it.

  • Rents or leases it.

  • Operates or manages it.

  • Brokers it.

Voyage Tax Consulting LLC helps households and businesses earning over $400k to stay in compliance with the ever-changing tax laws and maximize their tax savings.


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