Unimproved Land Property Tax Deductions

by Ryan Cockerham ; Updated September 07, 2018
Your vacant land's taxes may be deductible.

If you are a real estate investor or are interested in developing a new plot of land for personal or commercial use, you may be entitled to a variety of helpful tax deductions for vacant land. Although purchasing land can be an expensive proposition, you can help offset your expenses by lowering your tax bill as much as possible using deductions and credits.

Claiming Deductions on Property For Personal Use

If you have purchase unimproved land for personal use, you will likely be able to deduct your recurring property taxes on the property in question. In order to qualify for this particular deduction, the land in question must be used exclusively for personal purposes. The IRS may ask for proof that the land in question is rightfully yours and that the property was not used for commercial gain. If you are unable to prove conclusively that your property has not been used for commercial gain, the IRS may not allow you to claim deductions reserved for personal use.

Deductions for Investment Property

If you have purchased an unimproved plot of land with the intent of transforming it into a revenue generator, you will also be eligible to claim a series of deductions focused on the maintenance and improvement of the property. Investment land tax deductions incorporate the bulk of expenses you will likely incur as you refine and promote your land. For example, if your land is being used to develop a new commercial property, any expenses associated with clearing or improving the property will qualify as tax deductible.

Likewise, you can add property taxes paid on the property to the previously mentioned expenses and then subtract these from your income in order to derive a net investment gain or loss. If your adjusted gross income level is less than $100,00, you may be able to deduct up to $25,o00 of investment losses on your tax return. As you can see, investment land tax deductions are widely available.

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Filing Your Taxes

You can use IRS Form 1040 in order to claim a variety of deductions related to both personal and commercial use of the property in question. If you have purchased the land as part of an investment and then generated a profit or loss from it through sale, you will likely be required to report the capital gains from this transaction as part of IRS Form 1040 Schedule D. It is critical that you take the time to properly document and report all pertinent information relating to your unimproved land, as failure to do so could result in stiff fines or penalties.

About the Author

Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things innovation, business and creativity. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured at Pocket Sense, Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.

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