Taxpayer owns a house in Florida and resides in NY. Each year he spends 14 days in Florida, and rents the FL house for ninety days (1/1-3/31). The pattern has been going on for at least several years. He treats this arrangement as a rental property with personal use. He prorates all expenses and ends up with a loss each year.
In 2019, he was unable to get a tenant, and the house was therefore unrented. He made the usual efforts as were always successful in the past, but in 2019 were not successful. Thus, his rental income for 2019 was zero.
Based upon my calculations, if the period of 'rental' is taken as literally zero days, his FL house is disregarded, is not reported on Schedule E and has no impact on his tax return. However, if he can count the customary 90 day rental period as a zero rental but the house was a rental because the tried to rent it, than he will have a substantial rental loss, which he can offset against other rentals he owns that have rental income.
Query: can this taxpayer consider the FL house a 'rental' because he tried to rent it even though he had (just for 2019) no rental income?
I admire your succinctitude, but would you care to elaborate? In general, if you place a rental property in service and it is a bona fide rental, and you try to get a tenant, you will not be precluded from treating it as a rental during periods of vacancy. Don't you agree? If so, than what makes this different?
When the home is used for personal use, the rules change.
The deduction is then based on the number of days it was rented at Fair Market Value. So zero days of being rented at Fair Market Value equals zero deduction.
Unfortunately, I agree. I thought perhaps someone would come up with some justification. Its interesting because had there been no personal use, I would take the rental deduction without question, but any personal use seems to taint the transaction. Anyhow, that for your response.