Tax Deduction for Property Survey?

3 Replies

I'm in the process of finding a good accountant in my area, but I was hoping the community could help me with a question while I search. 

I bought a property as my primary residence. I'm exploring building a guest house/duplex on an empty part of our lot to rent. I have to have a survey done first and have initial plans drawn up by an architect. 

Can I deduct these even though I do not yet have any property I am renting and I may never end up building? We needed the survey to comply with zoning regulations and the contracts I talked to need initial plans before they will give me a quote. So, these are all needed to decide if it will even be feasible to build a guest house/duplex to rent. 

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@Brian Chase Since it is your primary residence and the property is not yet advertised/available for rent, the cost of the survey would not be deductible...currently. That's the bad news. The good news is, it's not lost - it will be added to your basis.

But wait...there's more (read in a Billy Mays voice)...

Once you convert the property to a full or partial rental, you will be able to deduct all or part of that cost over time via depreciation since it will have been added to your basis.

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