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Wendy Reed
Wendy Reed, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3346
Experience:  15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
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Can I deduct a tennants unpaid rent from my taxes

Customer Question

I had a renter last year that lived there for several months without paying her rent. Can I deduct that from my taxes as a loss?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Wendy Reed replied 10 years ago.

Hi there,

You may not deduct unpaid rent as a loss, unless you are an accrual based taxpayer and had already claimed the "anticipated rent" as income. (Most taxpayers are cash basis taxpayers) You may have a loss however, if your rental expenses exceed rent collected on your Schedule E.