Tax Guide for Short-Term Rentals: Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and More

Tax Guide for Short-Term Rentals: Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and More

by Stephen Fishman J.D.

Paperback(First Edition)



The complete tax guide for Airbnb and other short-term rental hosts

As a short-term rental host, you’re entitled to many valuable deductions and other tax benefits. This book—the first of its kind—shows you how to pay no more tax than necessary on your rental income while complying with IRS rules.

Learn everything you need to know about taxes, including:

  • what deductions you should be taking
  • how to report your short-term rental income
  • how to deduct losses
  • vacation home and tax-free rental rules
  • how to allocate costs when you rent a room in your home, and
  • how to keep proper records.

Whether you rent your property through Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, Craigslist, or VRBO, you want to make sure you understand these tax rules. That way, you can rest assured you are making the most out of your hosting business without risking problems with the IRS.

All the information in the book remains up-to-date for the 2017 tax year. The changes brought about by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act all take effect in 2018, except for an increase in bonus depreciation which took effect September 27, 2017. Anyone who purchases the book has access to an update page on the Nolo website specific to this book which explains the 2017 bonus depreciation change and summarizes how the new tax law affects small business owners’ taxes for 2018 and later. A new edition of the book, completely updated for the new tax law, will be published August 1, 2018.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781413324563
Publisher: NOLO
Publication date: 11/30/2017
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Stephen Fishman is the author of many Nolo books, including Deduct It! Lower Your Small Business Taxes, Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide and Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn —plus many other legal and business books. He received his law degree from the University of Southern California and after time in government and private practice, became a full-time legal writer.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Who This Book Is For

2. How Short-Term Rental Hosts Are Taxed

3. Tax-Free Short-Term Rentals

4. Deducting Your Expenses: The Basics

5. Operating Expenses

6. Repairs

7. Deducting Long-Term Assets

8. Prorating Your Deductions

9. Reporting Rental Income on Your Tax Return

10. Filing IRS Form 1099 Information Returns

11. Deducting Losses for Short-Term Rentals

12. Record Keeping


[Checklist about the various tax deductions available and how to deduct losses.]


Renting your main home, vacation home, or other residential property through short-term rental hosting websites like Airbnb, FlipKey, HomeAway, TripAdvisor, or Craigslist is a great way to earn extra income. However, how much money you actually end up pocketing depends on the taxes you must pay on the rental income you earn.

Complex tax rules apply to short-term residential rentals. In some cases, the income you earn from renting your home can be completely tax free. On the other hand, some short-term landlords have to pay not only income tax on their profits, but Social Security and Medicare taxes as well. If you don’t take all the deductions to which you’re entitled, you’ll pay more tax than you need too—something the IRS will never complain about! If you incur losses, you’ll need to jump through a series of legal hoops to deduct those losses from the other income you earn.

There are many books that explain how to market and efficiently run short-term rentals. But this is the only book that is dedicated to showing you how to maximize your profits by minimizing the taxes you must pay on your rental income.

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