I have questions about preparing my 2015 tax return
with TurboTax, as well as planning
for my 2016 return.
In 2015 I began holding my home residence out for rent, while I lived in it, as a furnished short-term vacation rental home as well as a filming location house. As it turns out my house never rented. I had no revenue in 2015. 2016 will be much different. In 2016 I began leasing my house for at least a year, but mainly as an unfurnished home.
I had a lot of start-up repairs in 2015 such as weather stripping gaps to keep bugs out, replacing old furnace grills, repainting, new molding, etc. Can I write off these expenses?
I had other expenses in 2015 including furniture such as beds and bedding that I would later sell at a loss in 2016 because I have no use for these items. The furniture was used for pictures to sell the home but was never actually used by any renter. Only a few items are being used by my current tenant.
My question is can I write off this sold furniture, and if so should I just list it on my 2015 return or can I wait until 2016 to mention it. In TurboTax would this sold furniture fall under “other expenses”?
Then I have some furniture such as couches that were purchased in 2015 for the rental home, but in 2016 it was converted to personal
use. Again this furniture was used for pictures to sell the home but was never actually used by any renter. Can I write off any depreciation
of these couches at all? If so, would I list these couches in my 2015 return or 2016 return?
My tenant is using a small amount of my furniture (dining table
, lamp, etc). Should I list these items in my 2015 return or wait until 2016?
I made a lot of repairs (such as molding, repainting, new furnace vents) on my home a couple of months before my house was ready and available for rent, although for what it’s worth, I was holding out the house out as a filming location during these repairs. Can I write-off these early expenses?
Also TurboTax is asking me to enter fair market value of the rental property
on the date that it was ready and available for rent. Should I use the assessed value shown on my property
tax bill, land and / or improvements? Or should I enter the Zillow value which is about DOUBLE what the tax assessor
? The house has more than doubled in value since I purchased it in 1999.
TurboTax is asking me for fees paid by me when I bought the house in 1999, such as recording fees, document preparation
fees, title insurance, etc. It may be difficult to find this paperwork. Can I make estimates? Or do these costs matter? I entered hypothetical numbers and it didn’t change my taxes due.
Can I write off purchased books on Landlording and tenant / landlord law
? If so would this be under the category of “professional fees”?
NOTES: Once my tenant moves out in 1 to 2 years I do not plan on renting my home again. I will move back in.