Can you deduct travel expenses when visiting your Florida condo?
Renting out your Florida condo can be a good way to offset some of your costs. But be wary when it comes to writing off expenses, experts warn.
Don't expect to rent out it out for a month or two during the winter and deduct a year's worth of interest and other expenses, for instance. The CRA expects to see such expenses be pro-rated, allowing you to deduct them only for those months when income was actually being earned.
If you've advertised that the property is available for rent but it still remains empty, you may be able to write off the expenses for this open time period. The time spent trying to find a tenant may be considered a deductible expense,providing you can document your efforts.
Forget about deducting the cost of your flight down there, however. And the same rules apply if you're driving.
"There are really two types of travel expenses, those for rental properties in your own city or a couple hours away, such as a cottage and those to visit more remote locations, typically in resort cities such as Florida, Arizona, Las Vegas, Whistler or Banff," explains Mark Goodfield, the accountant behind the popular blog The Blunt Bean Counter.
"Where travelling by car, you should log your mileage or specifically track your gas expenses. For the more remote locations, the CRA will always consider your costs to be personal unless you have hard evidence to the contrary."
However, while it's unlikely, some taxpayers have been able to argue otherwise, reports accountant Andy Wong. But don't count on it.
As a landlord, have you been able to use some expenses to offset your rental income? Have you had any problems doing so?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money