Question

How do I report rental income on my tax return?

Answer

Whether you’re renting one home or many, we’ve outlined what you should know about reporting rental income on your tax return. First, let’s define what counts as rental income. Essentially, it’s any payment you receive for the use or occupation of property that you own. You’re responsible for reporting rental property income on your tax return for all your properties. 

If you own and rent buildings, rooms or apartments, you’ll generally report your rental income and expenses on Form 1040, Schedule E. If you have more than three rental properties, complete and attach as many Schedules E as you need to list the properties you own and rent. 

What if you’ve used a management company for your rental property? If you hired a property management company to manage your rental, that company collects rent and sends it to you. At the end of the year, they’ll send you a Form 1099-MISC showing how much rent you received.  You’ll include the Form 1099-MISC and your Schedule E forms to complete your rental income tax reporting. 

Rental Income Tax Reporting: Details You’ll Want to Know

As you might imagine, you’ll need to track several details for your rental income tax reporting. Here’s a quick primer on the info you need to complete your return. If you’re using H&R Block Online tax filing program or H&R Block Software, we’ll ask relevant questions so you can enter this information. 

You’ll need to know: 

  • General property information, such as the address and if you’ve rented the home before
  • How many days you owned the house and how many days it was rented or available for rent
  • If there was personal use of the house after you made it available for rent
  • The total amount of your rental income, including income shown on your 1099-MISC
  • Any expenses related to the home rental. Our programs will help you with a type of expense called depreciation, which allows you to spread the cost of an asset across a number of years.  

You might also be eligible for certain deductions, such as the mortgage interest deduction. Additionally, if you travel to check on the house, or you go there to collect the rent, you might be able to deduct vehicle expenses. 

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