Knowledge Base

16362: Schedule E - Business Use Percentage Calculation

1040 Individual Data Entry

How is the Business Use Percentage calculated on a Schedule E Rental that was not used the entire year or had Personal Use days?


A rental may be used for both personal and business purposes throughout the year. Per Publication 527,

"A day of personal use of a dwelling unit is any day that the unit is used by any of the following persons.

  1. You or any other person who owns an interest in it, unless you rent it to another owner as his or her main home under a shared equity financing agreement...
  2. A member of your family or a member of the family of any other person who owns an interest in it, unless the family member uses the dwelling unit as his or her main home and pays a fair rental price. Family includes only your spouse, brothers and sisters, half brothers and half sisters, ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.), and lineal descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.).
  3. Anyone under an arrangement that lets you use some other dwelling unit.
  4. Anyone at less than a fair rental price."

If this is the case, then your expenses may be limited. On the screen, report the number of Fair rental days and the Personal use days on the Income/Expenses tab to allow Drake Tax to calculate the business use percentage. Per Publication 527, the business use percentage is calculated using the following worksheet.

To calculate the business use percentage, you divide the total number of days the unit was actually rented out, by the total number of days that it was rented out and used for personal use.

The calculated amount of the business use percentage flows to the Wks Sch E Personal (WKS_E in Drake15 and prior) in View Mode.

If the total expenses exceed the total income, a loss may be generated. This loss cannot be used to offset income from another source. If the loss is not allowed in the current year, it will generate a carryforward to future year(s). The following worksheet(s) will generate in view mode to show the losses and any limitations: 

  • Wks Sch E Personal
  • Wks Carry
  • Wks PAL
  • Form 8582 and the applicable worksheet(s): Wks 85821, Wks 85824, Wks 85825, Wks 85826

Not-for-Profit Rentals

Schedule E should generally only be used to report rental income from a property that is being rented in order to make a profit (whether or not a profit was realized). Per IRS Publication 527: "If you don’t rent your property to make a profit, you can’t deduct rental expenses in excess of the amount of your rental income. You can’t deduct a loss or carry forward to the next year any rental expenses that are more than your rental income for the year." The income from a not-for-profit rental is reported on Schedule 1, line 8. You may be able to deduct some expenses, up to the amount of that rental income, on Schedule A, if you choose to itemize deductions. 

See Publication 527 for more information and assistance with determining whether or not the rental would be considered "for profit."

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