School of Business

Vacation Home Tax Planning

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Description: Recent tax law changes, including the Tax Reform Act of 1986 (TRA), have restricted the tax benefits of owning a so-called vacation home. If a home is deemed a residence under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 280A(d), then the taxpayer's deductions allocated to renting it are limited to the amount by which gross income exceeds the deductions. The courts and the Internal Revenue Service disagree as to how certain expenses are to be allocated during the time of the year when a property with mixed personal and rental use is vacant. Taxpayers must also be concerned about the "hobby loss" provision of IRC Section 183 if ownership of a vacation home results in a series of tax loss years. The TRA added IRC Section 469, the passive activity loss rules, which further complicate the rental activity losses involved in a vacation home situation. Other considerations include the average cash outlay per personal day and a disposition of cash flows from any ultimate sale of the property. There are numerous complexities and uncertainties in the application of these various provisions, which affect vacation home ownership.
Language: English
Format: Article