House hacking is a popular strategy for individuals who want to own a home while also generating rental income. Essentially, it involves purchasing a property with multiple units or bedrooms, living in one unit or bedroom, and renting out the others to cover the mortgage and other expenses.

One of the many benefits of house hacking is the potential tax deductions available to property owners. As a house hacker, you may be eligible for a variety of tax deductions that can significantly reduce your overall tax burden and increase your rental income.

In this article, we will explore the tax deductions available to house hackers and how to maximize your tax benefits. Whether you’re a new or experienced house hacker, understanding these tax deductions can help you save money and increase your profits, while also legally pissing off the IRS.

Mortgage Interest Deductions for House Hackers

One of the most significant tax deductions available to house hackers is the mortgage interest deduction. This deduction allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on their mortgage from their taxable income.

As a house hacker, you can deduct the mortgage interest on the portion of the property that you use as your primary residence. For example, if you live in one unit of a duplex and rent out the other unit, you can deduct the mortgage interest paid on the portion of the property that you occupy.

It’s important to note that there are limits to the mortgage interest deduction. The deduction is only available on mortgages up to a certain amount, and there may be restrictions on the types of properties that are eligible for the deduction.

To claim the mortgage interest deduction, you will need to itemize your deductions on your tax return. This means that you’ll need to keep detailed records of your mortgage payments and other expenses related to your rental property.

Overall, the mortgage interest deduction can be a significant tax benefit for house hackers. By deducting the interest paid on your mortgage, you can reduce your taxable income and increase your rental income. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of this deduction.

Property Tax Deductions for House Hackers

As a house hacker, you may also be eligible for property tax deductions, which can help reduce your overall tax burden. Property taxes are typically one of the largest expenses for property owners, but they can also provide valuable tax deductions.

To claim property tax deductions, you must itemize your deductions on your tax return using Schedule A. You can deduct the property taxes paid on your primary residence as well as any rental properties you own.

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If you use your property for both personal and rental purposes, you can deduct the portion of property taxes that apply to the rental use. For example, if you live in one unit of a duplex and rent out the other, you can deduct the portion of property taxes that apply to the rental unit.

It’s important to note that property tax deductions are subject to limitations. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the total amount of state and local taxes you can deduct, including property taxes, is limited to $10,000 per year. If your property taxes exceed this amount, you may not be able to deduct the full amount on your tax return.

Overall, property tax deductions can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers, but it’s important to understand the limitations and eligibility requirements. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions and complying with all IRS regulations.

Home Office Deductions for House Hackers

Another potential tax deduction for house hackers is the home office deduction. If you use a portion of your home exclusively for business purposes, you may be able to deduct related expenses on your tax return.

To be eligible for the home office deduction, you must use a portion of your home exclusively for business purposes, and it must be your principal place of business. This means that if you’re renting out a portion of your home, such as a spare bedroom, you may be able to deduct a portion of your home’s expenses as a home office deduction.

There are two methods for calculating the home office deduction: the simplified method and the regular method. The simplified method allows you to deduct $5 per square foot of your home used for business, up to a maximum of 300 square feet. The regular method involves calculating the actual expenses of your home office, including mortgage interest, property taxes, utilities, and other expenses, and allocating them based on the percentage of your home used for business.

It’s important to note that the home office deduction is subject to limitations and restrictions. For example, you cannot deduct expenses related to the portion of your home used for personal purposes. Additionally, if you’re a house hacker and you’re renting out a portion of your home, you may need to allocate expenses between the rental and home office uses.

Overall, the home office deduction can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers, particularly if you’re using a portion of your home exclusively for business purposes. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions and complying with all IRS regulations.

Depreciation Deductions for House Hackers

Depreciation is another potential tax deduction for house hackers. Depreciation is a tax deduction that allows you to recover the cost of certain assets over time, such as rental property.

As a house hacker, you may be able to claim depreciation on the portion of your property used for rental purposes. The amount of depreciation you can claim depends on the value of the property and the portion used for rental purposes. Generally, you can depreciate the cost of a residential rental property over 27.5 years.

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Depreciation can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers because it allows you to deduct a portion of the cost of your property each year, even if you’re not incurring actual expenses. This can help offset rental income and reduce your overall tax burden.

It’s important to note that if you sell your property, you may be required to recapture the depreciation you claimed and pay taxes on it. Additionally, if you use your property for both personal and rental purposes, you will need to allocate the depreciation deduction between the two uses based on the amount of time each use occurs.

Overall, depreciation deductions can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers, but it’s important to understand the rules and limitations. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions and complying with all IRS regulations.

Deductions for Repairs and Maintenance

As a house hacker, you may also be eligible for deductions related to repairs and maintenance expenses. These expenses can include costs associated with maintaining and repairing your rental property, such as painting, fixing leaks, and repairing appliances.

The IRS allows you to deduct expenses related to repairs and maintenance as long as they are necessary and reasonable. These expenses can be deducted in the year they are incurred, rather than capitalized and depreciated over time.

It’s important to note that there are limitations to the deductions you can claim for repairs and maintenance. For example, if you make improvements to your property that increase its value, such as adding a new room, these expenses must be capitalized and depreciated over time, rather than deducted in the year they are incurred.

Additionally, if you’re a house hacker and you use your property for both personal and rental purposes, you will need to allocate the expenses between the two uses based on the amount of time each use occurs.

Overall, deductions for repairs and maintenance can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers. Be sure to keep detailed records of all expenses related to your rental property and consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions and complying with all IRS regulations.

Deductions for Utilities and Home Expenses

As a house hacker, you may also be able to deduct certain home expenses, including utilities, insurance, and other expenses related to maintaining your rental property.

In general, you can deduct any expenses related to maintaining your rental property as long as they are necessary and reasonable. This can include expenses such as electricity, water, gas, trash removal, and insurance premiums.

It’s important to note that if you’re using your property for both personal and rental purposes, you will need to allocate the expenses between the two uses based on the amount of time each use occurs. For example, if you’re renting out a spare bedroom in your home, you may be able to deduct a portion of your utilities and other home expenses based on the percentage of your home used for rental purposes.

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Additionally, if you’re claiming deductions for home expenses, it’s important to keep detailed records and receipts to substantiate your deductions.

Overall, deductions for utilities and home expenses can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing your deductions and complying with all IRS regulations.

Maximizing Tax Deductions as a House Hacker

As a house hacker, you have the opportunity to maximize your tax deductions and reduce your overall tax burden. Here are some tips to help you maximize your tax deductions as a house hacker:

  1. Keep detailed records: It’s important to keep detailed records of all expenses related to your rental property, including repairs and maintenance, utilities, insurance, and other expenses. This will help you substantiate your deductions and ensure you’re not missing out on any potential tax benefits.
  2. Allocate expenses appropriately: If you’re using your property for both personal and rental purposes, you will need to allocate expenses between the two uses based on the amount of time each use occurs. This will help you maximize your deductions and avoid any potential issues with the IRS.
  3. Take advantage of depreciation: Depreciation can be a valuable tax benefit for house hackers, allowing you to deduct a portion of the cost of your property each year. Be sure to understand the rules and limitations related to depreciation and consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re maximizing this deduction.
  4. Consider a home office deduction: If you’re using a portion of your property for business purposes, such as managing your rental property, you may be eligible for a home office deduction. This can help you reduce your taxable income and lower your overall tax burden.
  5. Consult with a tax professional: Finally, it’s important to consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re taking advantage of all potential tax benefits and complying with all IRS regulations. A tax professional can help you navigate the complex rules related to rental properties and maximize your deductions.

By following these tips and working with a tax professional, you can maximize your tax deductions as a house hacker and reduce your overall tax burden.

Conclusion: Take Advantage of Tax Benefits as a House Hacker

House hacking can be a great way to generate income and build wealth, but it’s important to understand the tax implications and take advantage of all potential tax benefits. By understanding the different types of tax deductions available to house hackers, such as mortgage interest, property tax, home office, and depreciation deductions, you can maximize your tax benefits and reduce your overall tax burden.

It’s important to keep detailed records, allocate expenses appropriately, and consult with a tax professional to ensure you’re taking advantage of all potential tax benefits and complying with all IRS regulations. By following these tips and taking advantage of all potential tax benefits, you can increase your profitability as a house hacker and build long-term wealth through real estate investing.

About the author 

Eric Lee

Eric, Co-Founder of REIInsiders, brings extensive real estate investing expertise and a finance background to drive growth and oversee marketing and business development efforts.

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