Have you ever thought of your home as a source of untapped income? Consider this: Your home is located in an area that has a lot of tourism or large events that attract many people. Sometimes hotel space is limited or fills quickly. You prefer to be out of town while these events are taking place. If you rent your home for less than 15 days during the year, you just earned some tax-free income.
If you itemize deductions, your mortgage interest and real estate taxes are deducted on your Schedule A. None of the income you collect is taxable, nor is it reported on your tax return. The key to keeping the income tax-free is the number of days you rent your home. You must keep it to less than 15 days during the year. If you rent your home for 15 days or more, tax reporting becomes a bit more complex. Since you also use your home for personal purposes—meaning you live there—you must divide your expenses between the rental use and the personal use based on the number of days used for each purpose. If, after you reduce your rental income by allowed expenses, you have a profit, that profit is taxable. Deductions are limited to rental income.
If you are considering renting your home to others, regardless of the number of days, consult with me first so we can discuss all potential tax consequences.