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Are you a homeowner who’s planning to rent out your property and wondering how your rental income will be taxed once you have a mortgage? As a landlord, it’s important to understand how rental income taxes work to avoid surprises come tax season. In this article, I’ll explain how rental income is taxed when you have a mortgage.

How Is Rental Income Taxed When You Have a Mortgage

First, it’s important to understand that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) considers rental income as taxable. This means that if you rent out your property and receive rental income, you must report this income on your tax return. When you have a mortgage on the rental property, your rental income will be subjected to taxation based on net profit.

Net profit is the money you have left over after you’ve deducted all expenses associated with the rental property, including mortgage interest, taxes, insurance, repairs, maintenance, and depreciation. As a landlord with a mortgage, you can deduct the interest portion of your mortgage payments from your rental income to reduce your net profit. However, keep in mind that you’ll need to itemise your deductions instead of taking the standard deduction to claim this tax benefit.

Tax Implications of Rental Income

When you own a property with a mortgage and rent it out, the rental income is taxable and needs to be reported to the IRS. Here’s how rental income is taxed when you have a mortgage.

Gross Rental Income

Gross rental income is the total amount you receive from your tenants before expenses are deducted. This includes rent, application fees, security deposits, and any other income related to the property. You need to report this income on your tax return, and it’s subject to ordinary income tax rates.

Rental Expenses

You can deduct expenses related to your rental property, such as mortgage interest, property tax, insurance, repairs and maintenance, and depreciation. These expenses reduce your taxable rental income.

However, you can only deduct expenses up to the amount of rental income you earned. If your expenses exceed your rental income, you can carry over the excess to the next year.

Mortgage Interest

Mortgage interest is usually the biggest deduction for rental property owners. You can deduct the interest on your mortgage payments for the portion of the year that your property was rented out. If you only rented out a part of the property, such as a basement apartment, you can only deduct the percentage of interest related to that part.


Depreciation is the loss of value of your property over time due to wear and tear, age, and obsolescence. You can deduct depreciation as an expense over a period of 27.5 years for residential rental property. This deduction reduces your taxable rental income even if you don’t spend any money.

Passive Activity Limitations

Rental activities are considered passive activities, which means that you can only deduct losses up to the amount of your passive income from all sources. If you have excess passive losses, you can carry them over to future years, but you cannot deduct them against other income, such as your salary or business income.

In conclusion, rental income is taxed when you have a mortgage, but you can deduct rental expenses and mortgage interest to reduce your taxable income. Depreciation is another valuable deduction, even if you don’t spend any money. However, there are limitations on deducting rental losses against other income, so it’s important to plan accordingly.

How is Rental Income Taxed When You Have a Mortgage?

Rental income is taxable as regular income, but determining how it’s taxed when you have a mortgage can be complicated. In this section, we’ll explore the tax implications of rental income when you have a mortgage.

Income Tax: Rental income is considered taxable income, and you’re required to report it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). However, the amount of rental income that will be subject to income tax will depend on several factors, including your mortgage payment, mortgage interest, property tax, and other expenses related to the rental property.

Passive Activity Loss Rules: The IRS has specific rules known as passive activity loss rules for rental property owners. These rules dictate how much rental income can be offset by rental-related expenses, and how much of a loss you can claim on your tax return.

Mortgage Interest Deduction: If you’re paying a mortgage on the rental property, you may be able to deduct the mortgage interest on your tax return. This could reduce your taxable income and lower your tax liability.

Depreciation: The IRS allows rental property owners to claim depreciation, which is a deduction for the depreciation of the property over time. This can be a significant tax benefit, especially if your rental property has a higher value.

Self-Employment Tax:  If you’re receiving rental income and actively managing the property, you may be subject to self-employment tax. This tax is used to fund Social Security and Medicare and can add an additional tax burden on top of your regular income tax.

In conclusion, rental income can be a great source of additional income, but it’s important to understand the tax implications of rental income when you have a mortgage. Consider working with a tax professional to properly report and manage your rental income taxes.

Tax Deductions for Rental Properties

As a landlord, you are eligible for certain tax deductions on the rental property you own, especially when you have taken out a mortgage to purchase the property. Here are some tax deductions you might consider:

Mortgage Interest

The mortgage interest on the rental property is tax deductible. You can deduct the interest paid on the mortgage as an expense on your tax return. This can significantly reduce your taxable income.


Another tax deduction for rental properties is depreciation. Depreciation is the accounting method used to deduct the cost of a rental property over time. You can deduct the depreciation of the rental property over 27.5 years.

Repairs and Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance expenses are tax deductible. Landlords can deduct the expenses made in the ordinary course of maintaining the rental property such as fixing a leaky roof, painting, and lawn maintenance.

Property Taxes

Property taxes on a rental property are tax deductible. You can deduct the property taxes paid on the rental property on your tax return.


If you pay for the utilities on your rental property, such as electricity, gas, water and sewer, these expenses are tax deductible. Keep a record of the amount paid for each utility so that you can claim these deductions.

Home Office Deduction

If you work from home, you might be eligible for a home office deduction. This deduction allows you to deduct a portion of the expenses related to the rental property, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and repairs and maintenance, based on the percentage of the home you use for your business.

In conclusion, rental properties come with various tax deductions that can significantly reduce your taxable income. From mortgage interest to property taxes, landlords have several options to save money. Be sure to keep proper records of all the expenses related to your rental property to claim these deductions on your tax return.


Owning a rental property can provide a steady stream of passive income, and if you have a mortgage on that property, it’s important to understand how your rental income will be taxed. Here’s a summary of what we’ve covered in this article on how rental income is taxed when you have a mortgage:

– Rental income is generally considered taxable income by the IRS

– You can deduct expenses related to your rental property, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, and property management fees.

– If you have a mortgage on your rental property, you may be able to deduct the interest you pay on that mortgage from your rental income.

– The amount of your mortgage interest deduction will depend on a number of factors, including the type of mortgage you have, the interest rate, the length of your mortgage term, and the amount of your rental income.

– Keep in mind that there are certain limitations and restrictions on how much mortgage interest you can deduct from your rental income.

In conclusion, owning a rental property can be a great way to generate income, but it’s important to understand how your rental income will be taxed when you have a mortgage. By deducting your eligible expenses and mortgage interest, you may be able to reduce your taxable rental income and lower your overall tax liability. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to ensure you are taking full advantage of all the available deductions and credits.