Careers Business Ownership Are Repairs on a Rental Property Tax Deductible? Share PINTEREST Email Print Hero Images/Getty Images Business Ownership Industries Landlords Retail Small Business Restauranting Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner Table of Contents Expand Are Repairs Tax Deductible? Repair vs. Improvement Examples of Repairs Examples of Improvements Tips for Deducting Repairs By Erin Eberlin Erin Eberlin Erin Eberlin is a real estate and landlord expert, covering rental management, tenant acquisition, and property investment. She has more than 16 years of experience in real estate. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 10/10/19 Owners of rental properties are allowed to take many unique deductions on their taxes. One type involves maintenance and repair expenses. If you’re a new landlord or have just had to do your first major repair, here’s what you need to know. Are Repairs Tax Deductible? The short answer is yes. If you are the landlord, you’re able to deduct the full cost of a repair performed on a rental property on your taxes. Deductions reduce your taxable income, so in essence, you can multiply the cost of the repair by your tax rate to determine how much you may save in taxes. Repair vs. Improvement Generally, repairs and maintenance are fully tax-deductible in the year they’re completed if they’re done in order to keep your property in good operating condition. They wouldn’t qualify if they are improvements meant to increase the value of the rental property. The cost of improvements is recovered through depreciation which must be taken over the expected life of the property. Repairs are typically done on a much smaller scale than improvements and upgrades. To qualify to deduct the repair, it must be a reasonable amount based on the nature of the repair. A few hundred dollars to repair a refrigerator or a few thousand dollars to repair a roof would be reasonable. Examples of Repairs Repairs restore an item to its original state or return it to a usable condition without increasing the value of the property. Examples of tax-deductible repairs include: Repairing a portion of the roof Repairing a hole in a wall Refinishing hardwood floor Replacing a cracked window Replacing cracked floor tile Repairing a leaking dishwasher Snaking a clogged sewer line Examples of Improvements Improvements are usually more extensive and costly than repairs. Examples of improvements include: Replacing an entire roofReplacing laminate flooring with hardwood flooringUpgrading black appliances to stainless steel appliancesAdding a dishwasher to a kitchen that did not have oneAdding central air conditioningAdding a deckReplacing the siding on the entire property Tips for Deducting Repairs Make sure it meets the definition of maintenance or repair: To deduct in one tax year, it must be considered a repair and not an improvement. Repairs are necessary, useful and reasonable in cost. Repairs restore something to its previous condition; they do not add value. Keep detailed records: When claiming anything on your taxes, it is important to have proof in case you are ever audited, and repairs and maintenance are no different. Make sure to keep receipts of any materials purchased and invoices for any repairs done by someone you hired. Also keep any requests from tenants, since those are evidence that items needed to be fixed. Take pictures: Taking pictures provides visual proof of the repair and confirms that no upgrades were performed that wouldn’t qualify. Don't dismiss making improvements: While you may be able to deduct the entire cost of a repair on your taxes, performing an improvement at your property may allow you to collect a higher monthly rent from your tenant.