How to Minimize Taxes on Rental Income?

  • February 18, 2022
  • OHI

Rental homes can come with many costs, from maintenance and upkeep to interest on the mortgage. However, having a rental property can assist you in building wealth over the long run and diversifying your income streams.

Specifically, having a steady flow of rental income might complement your retirement income or provide an additional source of revenue if you’re still employed. In addition, when you sell a rental property, it may impose capital gains tax on your rental property. 

How is Rental Property Taxed?

There are two factors to consider in terms of rental properties tax. You must pay the tax on rental income paid to you by the tenant. As a second consideration, assess the possibility of paying taxes on the proceeds from the sale of a vacation rental property.

Regarding taxation of rental income, it’s treated the same way as any other earned income you would receive from your day job or through a side business. Rental income is treated as ordinary income and is taxed at your regular tax rate for the year.

When you sell a rental property, you are liable for capital gains tax on the transaction’s proceeds. As a general rule, capital gains tax is imposed on a rental property when you sell an asset or investment for more than what you purchased it for. 

How Much Rent is Tax-Free?

Generally speaking, renting out your home (or a room) for 14 days or less in a calendar year is tax-free under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines. However, you would not be able to deduct any of the expenses made while renting the property.

Part-time landlords may be eligible for tax relief under the new rule, which reduces their taxable income from their pass-through business income by 20%. It is possible to deduct expenses such as maintenance, mortgage interest, property taxes, and utilities, but only on a prorated basis, based on how many days you have the property available for rent.

How is Tax Income Calculated?

Figuring out the extent of taxes you owe isn’t as simple as it seems. Starting with an essential point, federal income tax rates are only applicable to taxable income. Unlike your overall earnings (also known as gross earnings), these are not your whole earnings.

Taxable income is always lower than gross income because the United States permits taxpayers to subtract certain types of income from their gross income to calculate taxable income.

To calculate your taxable income, you must first subtract specific amounts from your gross income to get an adjusted gross income. Once you get your adjusted gross income, you can remove any tax deductions for the rental property to arrive at your taxable income. 

When the Property is not Taxable

You can convert a rental property into a primary residence to avoid paying tax on the property. The IRS does, however, enforce some rules.

You must have owned the place for a minimum of five years. In addition, you must reside in the property for at least two years out of every five years before selling it. This can be something to think about if you’re not highly engaged in owning a rental property for revenue purposes or if you’d prefer to relocate from your existing residence.

Tips to Minimize the Tax on Rental Income

If you earn rental income by renting a housing unit, you may be exempt from paying certain rental gain taxes from your taxable income on your tax return. Mortgage interest, property tax, operational expenditures, depreciation, and maintenance are just a few of the charges that you may encounter.

Ordinary Expenses

You may be able to deduct the regular and necessary expenses incurred in the management, conservation, and maintenance of your rental property. An ordinary cost is typical and widely accepted in a commercial environment.

Necessary expenditures include things like interest, taxes, advertising, maintenance, utilities, insurance, and other things thought to be necessary. 

Miscellaneous Expenses

It is possible to deduct renter’s costs if they are tax deductions for rental property. You can write off the total fair market value of rented goods and services for tax purposes when adding it to your rental income.


Evaluating your overall financial status might help you decide whether it is the ideal moment to sell to reduce your tax liability. Taxable income can quickly build up with rental properties, primarily when you sell a property for a substantial profit.

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OHI is a fifteen-year-old real estate services company working with 50+ commercial and residential real estate developers, funds and property management companies across USA. Our deep expertise in real estate accounting, financial analysis, lease administration and asset management has helped clients cut associated costs by 40-50%. We currently provide these services to a portfolio of 75000 units across clients.

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