Saturday, April 19, 2014

NOLO's Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide (10th Ed.) by Stephen Fishman

The blurb:
If you own residential rental properties, you will want to know all about the valuable deductions you are entitled to take as landlord.  Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide is the only book that focuses exclusively on tax deductions for landlords.

Find out how to:
deduct casualty and theft losses
deduct rental losses
deduct home office, car, travel and meals
keep proper tax records - and much more

The book also explains how to fill out the Schedule E and clarifies the complicated new IRS rules on repairs and improvements.  Filled with practical advice and real-world examples, Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide will save you money by making sure you owe less to the IRS at tax time.

As a small landlord, I'm always looking for helpful and practical advice, particularly if it helps with taxes, expenses or property management.  I had planned to share this review before April 15, in the hope that it would prove helpful to other small landlords.  Unfortunately, as it got closer to April 15, I ran out of time! 

So for those of you who did get extensions or are looking into help for the next tax season, I'm hoping that you'll have time to read Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide.

I've been summarizing particularly helpful chapters for myself and my partners.  But it's the sort of book that's helpful to read through once and keep on hand as specific incidents occur.  
Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide is divided into 20 chapters.  The Guide begins with an explanation of how landlords are taxed and list which taxes specifically apply to landlord investors and those that actively manage their properties ("business owner").  The guide then discusses the requirements that must be met before operating expenses can be considered deductible and a discussion of the operating expenses that are not deductible.  The next chapters discuss how the IRS treats repairs to the property and compares their tax treatment to that of improvements to the property.  Subsequent chapters discuss in detail the more complicated deduction of depreciation, interest, start-up expenses, travel expenses, car and transportation expenses, labor expenses (differentiating between employees and independent contractors), as well as casualty and theft losses.  What I particularly appreciated about The Guide is that it flags the IRS forms and publications that are relevant to specific complicated situations, such that I know what to research and I need to file when specific situations occur.  

Also much appreciated are the chapters on record keeping and accounting as well as the final chapter which covers information from the IRS and various online resources.  

Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide is well worth the $35 that I'd paid for it. I am encouraging my landlord friends to get copies for themselves. 

  • ISBN-10: 1413319270 - Paperback $35
  • Publisher: NOLO; Tenth Edition edition (November 29, 2013), 536 pages.

About the Author:
  • Stephen Fishman has dedicated his career as an attorney and author to writing useful, authoritative and recognized guides on taxes and business law for entrepreneurs, independent contractors, freelancers and other self-employed people, as well as books on copyright law and the public domain. He is the author of over 20 books and hundreds of articles, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and many other publications. He lives in Alameda, California with his wife.
    His website is at

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