How do I categorize expenses while fixing up property to be rented?

We purchased a single unit rental property in November 2017.
We made repairs, painted it, installed window coverings, put in washer/dryer, and paid utilities while preparing it to be rented. We began advertising the unit for rent in April 2018. 
How do I properly categorize the expenses we incurred while preparing our unit to rent?
Also, we did not rent the unit until September 2018. How do I categorize expenses incurred while advertising the property for rent, but while it was still vacant.
Thank you!


  • Tom Young
    Tom Young SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Are you asking this in the context of "how do I report this on my income tax return?"

    If so, I'd slightly re-word what you've posted here to identify the income tax return aspect of the post and then post that over at the TurboTax support site:

    There's lots of SuperUsers there that have a good knowledge of these sorts of situations.
  • J. Holmes
    J. Holmes Member ✭✭✭✭
    it all really depends.    For complete accuracy, I would recommend a tax professional.  There are guidelines as to what is considered a repair/maintenance expense vs. improvement.  

    Repair/maintenance expenses can oftentimes be deducted during the year the expenses are incurred.  Improvements are a little different and should be depreciated over a period of time.  

    Also, if you legitimately paid expenses for your rental property -  there is oftentimes no differentiation between if the property was occupied or vacant.  For example, insurance, taxes and utilities are potential expenses you pay regardless if the property is occupied or vacant.   

    Most of your small ticket item repairs, painting, window coverings and washer/dryer can be categorized as Maintenance/Repair Expense (Business).  

    Your utility expenses can be categorized as Utilities (Business).  

    Your advertising expense can be categorized as Advertising (Business).  

    If you made significant repairs that adds value or prolongs the life of your rental property - these items should be treated as improvements.
  • californiakk
    californiakk Member ✭✭
    Thank you.
This discussion has been closed.