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Old 03-22-2009, 09:22 AM
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Utility company rents land

Someone owns a second home. Gas company comes in and rents some of the land for 5 years. They pay all rent upfront and issue 1099. There is no mention of easement in the lease. 1. Does the owner have to report all income up front? 2. Does this then become rental property where they can claim the normal rental expenses?



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Old 03-22-2009, 02:26 PM
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If you are a cash basis taxpayer, (which most probably your are) then you must report all the rental income received from the Utility company for the tax year 2008 as reported on the Form 1099-Misc Income. Failure to do so would result in potential IRS penalties. You would clearly report as either this income as either Miscellaneous income not subject to S/E tax or you may report on this rental income on Schedule E.

If you do report this income on Schedule E, then you are generally entitled to deduct normal or customary rental expenses in connection with the Utility company leasing your property. I would consider allocating some of the property taxes, mortgage interest, maintenance, and any direct expenses incurred in connection with the land being leased.

Clearly, there would not be any depreciation expenses as land is not depreciable, neither can you deduct insurance and repair expense. Further, allocating mortgage interest or property expenses may not result in any material tax savings as it limits the amount that can be deducted on schedule A.

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