For our clients out there who are real estate agents and property owners: The taxpayer was a licensed real estate agent who owned rental properties. For 2006 and 2007, she deducted a total of $78,543 in rental losses. Upon audit, the IRS disallowed these losses because the taxpayer failed to show she materially participated in the rental activity. The taxpayer argued that her status as a real estate professional automatically rendered the losses nonpassive, regardless of material participation. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit sided with the IRS, holding that although real estate professionals are not subject to the per se rule under IRC Sec. 469(c)(2) that rental losses are passive, they must still show material participation before deducting rental losses. Therefore, the taxpayer was not entitled to deduct the losses.
If you have any questions, please contact your Linkenheimer CPA.