Are Property Taxes Deductible? | BiggerPockets Weblog

Paying property taxes can really feel like an unimaginable burden, particularly while you personal rental properties. Working bills, financing prices, and property taxes can really feel like they take any earnings you’d earn out of your rental property, making it tough to get forward.

Tax deductions are sometimes a technique to cut back liabilities and improve earnings, however are property taxes deductible?

Sadly, funding property actual property taxes aren’t deductible on Schedule A, just like the deduction owners might tackle the house they reside in full time. However, the excellent news is there could also be a technique to write off the hefty price of property taxes and improve your earnings.

Right here’s the whole lot you need to learn about rental properties and actual property taxes.

What Are Property Taxes?

Property tax is the tax actual property homeowners pay to personal business or private property. The native metropolis or county authorities determines the property’s assessed worth and calculates the property taxes accordingly.

Most state and native authorities companies depend on property taxes as earnings, and all states cost property taxes, though the tax charges differ by location.

In any state, if you happen to fail to pay your property taxes, your taxing authority will place a lien on the property or maintain a tax lien sale. This implies you need to fulfill the lien earlier than promoting or transferring the property and may very well be topic to massive penalties and fines.

You pay property taxes whether or not you fiscal the property with a mortgage, pay mortgage curiosity, or pay money for the property.

Understanding the Property Tax Deduction

A property tax deduction is cash paid for state and native taxes that owners could also be eligible to deduct from their federal earnings taxes. It reduces the earnings taxes owed on property taxes paid on an eligible property.

Dwelling and property homeowners should pay actual property taxes whether or not they reside within the property or lease it to tenants. In case you are the proprietor of document, you need to sustain with the property taxes owed to keep away from liens on the property.

It is best to embrace the full price in your lease fees to make sure you have sufficient to cowl the month-to-month mortgage cost, property taxes, and different working bills and nonetheless make a revenue.

What property taxes are deductible?

It’s possible you’ll be eligible to put in writing off property taxes paid on a main residence, trip property, or land every tax yr. You may additionally deduct property taxes paid on automobiles, RVs, and boats.

Did you discover that we didn’t point out rental property tax deductions? That’s as a result of the property tax deduction in your principal residence or trip properties doesn’t apply to rental properties.

Nonetheless, there are methods to get a decrease tax invoice as an actual property investor if you happen to show your actual property investments are a enterprise and never passive earnings.

Are any property taxes not tax deductible?

Technically talking, actual property traders can not deduct property taxes paid on Schedule A (Itemized Deductions), however there’s a means round it, which we’ll focus on.

Basically, you additionally can not deduct property taxes on the next:

  • Unpaid property taxes
  • Property taxes on a house you don’t personal (reminiscent of serving to a relative pay their taxes)
  • Any portion of a tax invoice that’s for a service, like trash assortment or sewer methods
  • Switch taxes
  • Business property

Dealing with property taxes in an escrow account

In case you have an escrow account to deal with your property taxes, you possibly can solely deduct the taxes paid for the tax yr. Your property tax payments will present how a lot property tax you paid, no matter how a lot cash you may need put into your escrow account.

Your lender determines how a lot cash you need to put in your escrow account based mostly on the native taxes and another accounts you will have included in your escrow account, reminiscent of owners insurance coverage. They might accumulate extra money than they pay, as some lenders require a cushion to make sure your account isn’t brief.

For instance, suppose you paid $10,000 into your escrow account, however your lender pays solely $5,000 in your actual property tax legal responsibility. In that case, chances are you’ll solely deduct the $5,000 paid if you happen to’re eligible for the deduction. Your lender will reassess your escrow cost annually to make sure you don’t overpay or underpay the quantity wanted.

What Is the Most Property Tax Deduction?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) restricted owners of a principal residence to a most deduction of $10,000 for property taxes on their full-time residence. As well as, the TCJA elevated the usual deduction, and solely taxpayers claiming itemized deductions can benefit from the property tax deduction.

This limits the variety of owners who can benefit from the deduction. With a better commonplace deduction, it gained’t profit many taxpayers to itemize deductions.

Nonetheless, if you happen to actively take part in your actual property enterprise, chances are you’ll be eligible to deduct the total quantity of your property tax funds in your funding properties, whatever the $10,000 restrict on owner-occupied properties.

Claiming the Property Tax Deduction

There are two methods you possibly can declare the property tax deduction. The right technique depends upon whether or not you declare taxes on a main residence/trip residence or rental property.

Claiming the property tax deduction on a main residence

To assert the property tax deduction in your principal residence, you need to have itemized deductions that exceed the usual deduction.

For 2023, the usual deduction is $13,850 for single filers and $27,700 for married submitting collectively taxpayers. In case your whole deductible bills, together with property taxes, exceed these quantities, chances are you’ll declare the property tax deduction.

To confirm the quantity of property taxes paid, examine your property tax invoice or paid receipt from the county while you paid them. In case you have an escrow account, you possibly can log into your county assessor’s web site and see the full quantity of taxes paid on the tax information or contact your mortgage servicer to find out the full quantity paid.

When claiming the property tax deduction, you need to file IRS Form Schedule A, which gives an itemized listing of the eligible deductions into which property taxes match.

irs schedule A form

Claiming the rental property tax deduction

How are you going to deduct native property taxes paid on a rental property? You don’t reside there, so it’s not a principal residence, nevertheless it’s additionally not a trip residence. So, are you able to deduct your tax funds and get the tax advantages?

There may be one loophole: write off native actual property taxes as a enterprise expense. Nonetheless, to do that, you need to show you will have an actual property enterprise and aren’t simply attempting to earn a passive earnings from a property.

Right here’s the issue: usually, the Inner Income Service considers actual property earnings passive, which isn’t eligible for enterprise tax deductions. However there’s a loophole. For those who can show you materially or actively take part in the actual property enterprise, you might be able to deduct the actual property taxes paid as a enterprise expense.

In true IRS vogue, there are a few methods to qualify:

  • Actual property skilled: You spend at the very least half your working hours in your actual property enterprise and spend a minimal of 750 hours per yr on it.
  • Materials participation: You spent at the very least 100 hours per yr in your actual property rental enterprise and labored at the very least as a lot as anybody else concerned within the enterprise.

Since the actual property taxes paid are part of your corporation administration actions, you aren’t topic to the identical $10,000 restrict that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act applied.

This implies chances are you’ll deduct a bigger quantity of taxes paid, decreasing your liabilities and growing your earnings. You’re nonetheless topic to the $10,000 restrict in your main residence, however any rental properties owned won’t be topic to the identical guidelines.

To assert your funding property actual property taxes, you need to report all rental earnings and bills, together with property taxes, on Schedule E of the federal tax return. Guarantee you will have ample proof of the quantity paid for taxes by offering your paid tax invoice or the receipt out of your native authorities company.

first page of IRS schedule e form
second page of IRS schedule e form

Tricks to Maximize Your Property Tax Deduction

As an actual property investor, you wish to restrict bills and improve earnings. Whereas it takes slightly work to show you qualify, listed here are a number of methods to maximise your property tax deduction.

Make sure you materially or actively take part in actual property

For those who don’t meet the IRS pointers for materially or actively collaborating in actual property, you lose the flexibility to put in writing off many bills, together with property taxes.

Don’t let your exercise be thought of passive if you wish to make your actual property enterprise a serious supply of earnings.

Prepay property taxes

In case your state or county permits it, prepay your property taxes to get the deduction within the yr you want it.

This works nicely when you will have a number of capital positive aspects to pay taxes on, reminiscent of after promoting a property for big capital positive aspects.

Work with a tax legal professional or advisor

Working with a tax advisor or legal professional will help decide what steps you possibly can take to maximise your property tax deduction and another deductions to maximise your earnings and get monetary savings in your tax liabilities.


For those who surprise if “are property taxes deductible,” it depends upon the kind of property in query. For those who itemize deductions, you possibly can possible deduct property taxes in your main residence; nonetheless, it’s not that straightforward for rental properties. 

To be eligible to deduct taxes on funding properties, you need to meet the IRS pointers concerning actual property professionals, after which you possibly can deduct the bills as a enterprise expense.

Dreading tax season?

Unsure methods to maximize deductions in your actual property enterprise? In The Ebook on Tax Methods for the Savvy Actual Property Investor, CPAs Amanda Han and Matthew MacFarland share the sensible data that you must not solely do your taxes this yr—however to additionally put together an ongoing technique that may make your subsequent tax season that a lot simpler.

Be aware By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the creator and don’t essentially characterize the opinions of BiggerPockets.