How Rental Real Estate Depreciation Works

by Kevin Brunnock on  in Kevin Brunnock | Real Estate

Depreciation is a tool that rental property owners can use to reduce their taxes. It allows them to deduct the costs of buying and improving their property over its useful life.

Aside from being a great financial move, investing in a rental property can also provide a steady source of income. It can also help build equity in the property as it appreciates. Another benefit of investing in a rental property is that it can easily deduct its rental expenses.

Most of the expenses that rental property owners face are deductible in the year they spend the money. These include mortgage insurance, repairs and maintenance, home office expenses, and travel expenses.

One of the most commonly used tax deductions for rental property owners is the allowance for depreciation. This process allows them to reduce their taxes by taking advantage of the property’s useful life.The IRS has specific rules regarding the depreciation process. It’s important that rental property owners understand this process before they start using it.

The useful life of a property is defined as its lifespan, which means it can last for a long time. It can get used up, get decayed, or lose its value due to natural causes. Although land is considered a valuable asset, it can’t be depreciable since it never gets used up. Also, it’s not possible to deduct the costs of landscaping and clearing. You can start taking depreciation deductions on the property as soon as it’s ready to be used as a rental.

On May 15, 2019, you buy a rental property. After working on it for several months, it’s ready to rent on July 15. Once it’s placed in service, you’ll start to realize the full depreciation of the property in July. This period usually starts in September and ends in December.

If you no longer use the property as an income-producing asset, then it’s no longer in service. You can either sell it or convert it for personal use. If the property is idle or not in use, then it can still be claimed as a depreciation deduction. For instance, if you make repairs after a tenant moves out, you can still deduct the expenses related to the repairs.

The total amount of depreciation that you can deduct each year depends on the various factors that affect the property’s value.

The IRS uses a method known as the modified accelerated cost recovery system to determine the useful life of a rental property. This is the amount of time that the agency considers the property to be useful.

Before calculating the amount of depreciation that you can deduct, it’s important that you work with a qualified tax professional.

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