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I've got a home that I live in and rent out rooms. I'm wondering which expenses I can deduct from taxes and what percent of them I can deduct.

Specifically, can I deduct

  • Repainting the house
  • Repairs
  • Improvements (like new furniture)

I heard from someone that for common areas, I can only deduct the percentage matching the percent of the house that is rented.

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IRS Publication 527 addresses these questions, particularly the section on Renting Part of Property.

Please read for yourself but the gist, I believe, is:

  • Paint your tenant's room, you can deduct the paint because the room is rented.
  • Paint your room, you can't because it's personal use.
  • Paint the house, deduct part determined "by any reasonable method" such as square footage of rented part, or number of rooms rented out, since it's common.

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