Common rental expenses that are deductible include:

  • Mortgage interest
  • Property taxes
  • Insurance 
  • Utilities
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance 
  • Management fees
  • Cleaning and related supplies
  • Legal and professional fees (include tax preparation)
  • Advertising
  • Travel to and from the property

Basically, any expenses that are incurred during the operation of the rental property are deductible. This holds true even if the property is vacant, as long as you are attempting to rent it out.

Another key component is the timing of the payment. As a cash basis tax payer, income and expenses are recorded in the year they are paid. This means if you had a repair done in December of 2018, but you didn't pay for the service until January of 2019, the expense will be deducted in the 2019 tax year.