Renting out a property to a tenant can have great benefits during tax season. You should always make sure to check and recheck the specific laws in what you can deduct and what you cannot so that you are filing your taxes correctly. Never assume just because you filed it in a certain way the year before that the process hasn't changed in one place or another. Laws may be changed or updated and unless you are diligent about keeping up with them, you may never know.
Keep excellent records, both for yourself and in case you are ever audited by the IRS. The best way to prove your innocence will be to provide detailed, easy-to-read records that show that everything has been filed correctly. It will help you when it comes time to fill out your taxes, simply because everything that you need will be on hand. Don't wait until the last second the get organized or you're bound to forget something.
You can use depreciation to write off larger expenses over a stretch of time. This would include things that depreciate in value over time such as the rental building itself, carpet, or anything that wears out and wears down. The land itself does not count towards this, but there are plenty of other deductions involved in a rental unit. If you have a year where your expenses are more than your rental income for the year, you can also subtract those expenses from your regular income to an extent, allowing you to ease the burden of that cast. SFGate has a great section on that in their article here.
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