New Visitors Privacy Policy Sponsorship Contact Us Media
Baby Boomers Family Green Home and Auto In Critical Condition Just Starting Out Lifestyle Money
-advertisement -
News & Advice Compare Rates Calculators
Rate Alerts  |  Glossary  |  Help
Mortgage Home
Auto CDs &
Retirement Checking &
Taxes Personal

George Saenz, the Tax Talk columnistAllowable rental property deductions

Dear Tax Talk,
I purchased office furniture for $1,500 this year and purchased three investment/rental properties. I will use the office furniture to store all of the files related to the properties. Question: Can I write off the furniture as a tax write-off?
-- Christina

Dear Christina,
In a rental property you can usually deduct the ordinary and necessary expenses associated with the rental activity. Most of these expenses are obvious, such as interest, taxes, maintenance and repairs. Some of the other expenses you can deduct are indirect, such as automobile expenses that are incurred to collect rental income or to manage, conserve or maintain your rental property. A part of office expenses would also be includable if the activity justifies maintaining an office for the properties (i.e., ordinary and necessary). The amount of the furniture expense appears reasonable, but I assume that the furniture will be in your home, so you'll need to show that the items are used exclusively for administering the properties. Otherwise, only an allocable part of the expense may be allowed.

Since investment property is not a trade or business, you must depreciate the furniture over its useful life. You cannot expense it in the year of purchase as Section 179 expense. Section 179 expense only applies to the active conduct of a trade or business. The useful life of furniture is seven years. The depreciation tables can be found on Page 14 of Publication 527.

To ask a question on Tax Talk, go to the "Ask the Experts" page, and select "taxes" as the topic.'s corrections policy -- Posted: July 19, 2006
Read more Tax Adviser columns Ask a question
Losses from rental real estate
Section 179 deduction for SUVs
Claiming depreciation on rental property
June 15 filing deadline for some
Find the tax professional who's right for you
Coming up with tax cash

Compare Rates
30 yr fixed mtg 4.45%
48 month new car loan 3.77%
1 yr CD 0.89%
Rates may include points
Mortgage calculator
See your FICO Score Range -- Free
How much money can you save in your 401(k) plan?
Which is better -- a rebate or special dealer financing?
- advertisement -

About Bankrate | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Online Media Kit | Partnerships | Investor Relations | Press Room | Contact Us | Sitemap
NYSE: RATE | RSS Feeds |

* Mortgage rate may include points. See rate tables for details. Click here.
* To see the definition of overnight averages click here. ®, Copyright © 2016 Bankrate, Inc., All Rights Reserved, Terms of Use.