Tax Implications For Owning A Florida Vacation Home

As an attractive destination for both tourists and property investors, understanding the tax landscape is crucial before purchasing a vacation home in the Sunshine State. In this blog post, we will examine the different tax implications that come with owning a vacation home in Florida.

We will discuss key aspects like property taxes, income taxes, and capital gains tax related to vacation homes in Florida. Additionally, we will explore some of the financial benefits and personal advantages of investing in a vacation property within this popular state.

Table of Contents

Tax Rules for Vacation Homeowners in Florida

Different tax rules apply to vacation homeowners depending on their residency status and how they utilize the property. Residents of the U.S. and non-residents are taxed differently, so it’s essential to understand these implications before purchasing a vacation home in Florida.


Residency Status Affecting Tax Obligations

Rent profits from a Florida holiday home, regardless of the homeowner’s location, must be reported for federal taxation by U.S.-based citizens or permanent residents. However, non-U.S. citizens may have different property tax obligations, as well as potential withholding requirements under FIRPTA (Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act). It is crucial for foreign nationals considering investing in real estate within the Sunshine State to consult with an experienced tax professional, who understands both domestic and international tax laws.


Importance of Consulting with a Florida Tax Accountant

A knowledgeable Florida tax accountant can help you navigate through various tax implications associated with owning a vacation home, such as determining your eligibility for claiming deductions related to mortgage interest payments, and other expenses incurred while maintaining said dwelling, throughout each year’s ownership period.

In addition, understanding local regulations surrounding short-term rentals – including those offered via popular platforms like Airbnb – can prove beneficial when deciding upon which specific properties might best suit your investment goals over time. This is especially true given that certain municipalities impose additional fees upon owners/operators who rent out their homes on a temporary basis. By consulting with an expert in this field, potential vacation home buyers can ensure they are well-informed about all relevant tax rules and regulations; before making any final decisions regarding property purchases within Florida’s diverse real estate market.

Possessing a holiday home in Florida can be intricate, thus comprehending the tax effects is indispensable for settling on judicious choices. Consulting with a qualified Florida Tax Accountant should always be considered to ensure that all deductions are properly taken advantage of when renting out your property. When it comes to rental income and deductions, there are three categories of Vacation Rentals (VRs) which determine the potential tax consequences associated with owning one.

Key Takeaway:

Vacation homeowners in Florida are subject to different tax rules depending on their residency status and property usage. U.S.-based individuals or entities may be subject to taxation on any rental income produced from their Florida vacation home. Citizens may have additional tax obligations under FIRPTA and should consult with a knowledgeable Florida Tax Accountant before investing in real estate within the state.


Piggy bank and money next to a miniature wooden house

Rental Income and Deductions for Vacation Homes

If you rent out your vacation home, you may be able to deduct losses from your taxable income under IRS Section 199A. However, taxpayers must maintain records of personal services performed to support their filed tax returns. Understanding the different categories of Vacation Rentals (VRs) that determine their tax consequences is crucial in maximizing deductions and minimizing liabilities.


Deducting Rental Expenses Under IRS Section 199A

Owners who rent out their vacation property can benefit from various deductions related to rental expenses. Various deductions related to rental expenses, such as mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, maintenance costs, management fees, and depreciation are eligible for deduction under IRS Section 199A. To qualify for these deductions under IRS Section 199A:

  • The owner must have a qualified trade or business activity;
  • The taxpayer’s taxable income should not exceed $157k for single filers or $315k for married couples filing jointly; and,
  • Taxpayer needs to maintain proper documentation supporting claimed expenses.


Three Categories of VRs Determining Tax Consequences

Vacation homes are classified into three categories based on how they’re used by owners throughout the year:

  • Personal Residence with Limited Rental Use: If an owner uses the property primarily as a personal residence but rents it out less than 15 days per year, rental income is generally not reportable on federal income taxes, while most rental-related expenses cannot be deducted.


  • Mixed-use Property with Significant Personal & Rental Use: If the owner uses their vacation home for personal purposes more than 14 days per year or over 10% of actual rental days, it’s considered a mixed-use property. In this case, rental income must be reported on Schedule E, and expenses should be allocated between personal use and rental periods.


  • Rental Property with Minimal Personal Use: When an owner rents out their vacation home for most of the year (more than 15 days) and limits personal use to less than 14 days or under 10% of total rented time, they can claim deductions against all allowable expenses related to renting the property. This includes mortgage interest, real estate taxes, maintenance costs, depreciation, etc., subject to passive activity loss rules.


It is essential to understand which category your vacation home falls into, so you can accurately report your income and deductions when filing your tax return each year.

Possessing a vacation home can be intricate in terms of rental income and deductions, so it is essential to comprehend the tax consequences. Tax and loan payments on vacation homes have been affected by new regulations, thus necessitating a thorough understanding of the relevant tax ramifications.

Key Takeaway:

Owning a holiday home in Florida may come with unique tax rules. There are three categories of vacation homes that determine taxation: personal residence with limited rental use, mixed-use property with significant personal and rental use, and rental property with minimal personal use. Owners who rent out their vacation properties may be able to deduct losses from taxable income under IRS Section 199A but must maintain proper documentation supporting claimed expenses.


Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest Deductions Changes

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought significant changes to the way second-home mortgage interest and property taxes can be deducted. Under the new tax laws, single filers or those married filing jointly can now deduct all mortgage interest, up to $750,000 across both primary residences and secondary homes combined. This change impacts homeowners’ overall taxable income levels.


New Limits on Mortgage Interest Deductions After the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act

Before the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, mortgage interest on home equity debt up to $100k for a primary residence and vacation home could be deducted. However, under the new tax rules that apply since 2018, there is a cap on how much total mortgage debt you can claim deductions for – this limit is set at $750,000 for taxpayers who are either single or married filing jointly.

This means that if your combined mortgages (primary residence plus vacation home) exceed this threshold amount of $750k in outstanding principal balance during any given tax year (regardless of whether they were incurred before December 15th 2017 when these changes took effect), then only partial deductions may be claimed, based upon proportionate amounts below said limit per IRS guidelines.


Impact on Homeowners’ Overall Taxable Income Levels

  • Mortgage Interest: The reduction in deductible mortgage interest due to these new limits, may result in higher taxable income levels for some homeowners with substantial loans secured against their properties.


  • Property Taxes: Another notable change from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act was the introduction of a $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions. This includes property taxes paid on both primary residences and vacation homes. Homeowners with costly real estate taxes may now find themselves with a larger taxable income due to the inability to completely deduct these costs.


  • Home Equity Debt: The new tax laws also eliminated the ability to deduct interest on home equity debt unless it was used for “acquisition indebtedness,” meaning funds were spent towards buying or improving your residence. Consequently, if you have taken out a home equity loan or line of credit to finance other expenses such as vacations or college tuition fees (which are not considered acquisition indebtedness by IRS standards); then any associated mortgage interest would no longer be deductible under current regulations.


In light of these changes brought about by the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, it is crucial for prospective vacation home buyers in Florida to consult with experienced professionals like Heide International, who can provide expert guidance on navigating complex property tax and mortgage interest deduction rules.

Property tax and mortgage interest rules can be perplexing to understand, especially with the new Tax Cuts & Jobs Act adjustments. However, capital gains exclusions for vacation home sales may offer an opportunity for homeowners to benefit from their real estate investments in Florida.

Key Takeaway:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act brought alterations to the way mortgage interest payments and property taxes on second homes in Florida can be deducted. Homeowners may now deduct all mortgage interest up to $750,000 across both primary residences and secondary homes combined, but there is a cap on how much total mortgage debt you can claim deductions for. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, homeowners with high real estate taxes may face higher taxable incomes due to a $10,000 cap on SALT deductions.


Expense Allocations Between Personal Use & Rental Periods

If you possess a holiday abode in Florida and utilize it both for private use and as a rental asset, it is imperative to recognize how the tax regulations apply between these two objectives. Proper allocation of expenses is crucial because it affects your ability to claim deductions on your income taxes.


Allocating Expenses Between Personal Use and Rental Periods

To allocate expenses accurately, you must first determine the total number of days that the property was used personally versus rented out during the tax year. Keep track of actual rental days and personal usage days separately. For example, if you used your vacation home for 30 days personally and rented it out for 90 days during the year, then:

  • Total Days Used: 120 (30 personal + 90 rental)
  • Personal Usage Percentage: (30/120) x 100 = 25%
  • Rental Usage Percentage: (90/120) x 100 =75%


You’ll need to allocate all relevant expenses according to these percentages. Some common examples include mortgage interest, property taxes, insurance premiums, utilities bills, maintenance costs, or repairs made throughout the year.


Reporting Requirements for Vacation Homeowners

Once you’ve allocated your expenses, it’s time to report them on your tax return. Rental outlays, like mortgage interest and property taxes, can be deducted up to the amount of rental income produced by the vacation home. However, if your personal use exceeds 14 days or 10% of total rental days (whichever is greater), you may not be able to claim a loss from renting out the vacation home.

To report these figures correctly, fill out Schedule E (Supplemental Income and Loss) with your annual federal income tax return (Form 1040). On Schedule E, list all rental income received during the year in Part I and enter deductible expenses related to that income in Part II.

If you’re unsure about how these rules apply to your specific situation or need assistance with allocating expenses between personal use and rental periods accurately, consider consulting a Florida-based tax accountant who specializes in real estate taxation matters.

Key Takeaway:

If you own a vacation home in Florida, it’s important to understand how tax rules apply when allocating expenses between personal use and rental periods. You must accurately determine the total number of days used for each purpose and allocate all relevant expenses accordingly. To report these figures correctly, fill out Schedule E with your annual federal income tax return.


Frequently Asked Questions: Are There any Special Tax Implications for Owning a Vacation Home in Florida?

Are there tax benefits to owning a vacation home?

Yes, there are several tax benefits to owning a vacation home in Florida. These include deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, and rental expenses if you rent out the property. Additionally, under certain conditions, you may be eligible for capital gains exclusions when selling your vacation home.

What does the IRS consider a vacation home?

The IRS considers a vacation home as any residential property that is not your primary residence and is used for personal purposes no more than 14 days or 10% of the total days rented annually at fair market value. This includes second homes and properties rented through platforms like Airbnb or VRBO.

How can I avoid paying taxes on my second home?

To minimize taxes on your second home in Florida, consider renting it out for part of the year to generate income which can offset some costs such as mortgage interest and property taxes. Also, consult with a Florida Tax Accountant to ensure accurate reporting and take advantage of available deductions.

How does a vacation home affect your taxes?

A vacation home affects your taxes by allowing you to claim deductions related to mortgage interest payments and property taxes paid during ownership. However, these deductions might be limited depending on factors such as residency status or rental periods. Income generated from renting out the property must also be reported on annual tax returns.



Owning a vacation home in Florida can have special tax implications such as property taxes, income taxes, and capital gains tax. Nonetheless, owning a vacation residence in Florida can be advantageous, offering fiscal gains, personal advantages, and investment prospects. When buying a vacation home in Florida it is important to research the market and location carefully, consider hiring a professional real estate agent, and get pre-approved for financing before shopping.

If you’re interested in purchasing real estate in Florida or need assistance with navigating the tax implications of owning a vacation home here, be sure to contact Heide International. Our team of experts can help guide you through every step of the process.