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199A Trade or Business Safe Harbor – Rental Real Estate


Notice 2019-07

This notice contains a proposed revenue procedure that provides for a safe harbor under which a rental real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business solely for purposes of section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and §§ 1.199A-1 through 1.199A-6 of the Income Tax Regulations, which are being published contemporaneously with this notice. To qualify for treatment as a trade or business under this safe harbor, the rental real estate enterprise must satisfy the requirements of the proposed revenue procedure. If an enterprise fails to satisfy these requirements, the rental real estate enterprise may still be treated as a trade or business for purposes of section 199A if the enterprise otherwise meets the definition of trade or business in § 1.199A-1(b)(14).

In general. This safe harbor is available to taxpayers who seek to claim the deduction under section 199A with respect to a rental real estate enterprise. If the safe harbor requirements are met, the real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business as defined in section 199A(d) for purposes of applying the regulations under section 199A. Relevant passthrough entities (RPEs) as defined in § 1.199A-1(b)(10) may also use this safe harbor in order to determine whether a rental real estate enterprise is a trade or business as defined in section 199A(d). Failure to satisfy the requirements of this safe harbor does not preclude a taxpayer from otherwise establishing that a rental real estate enterprise is a trade or business for purposes of section 199A.

Rental Real Estate Enterprise

Real Estate Investments

Solely for purposes of this safe harbor, a rental real estate enterprise is defined as an interest in real property held for the production of rents and may consist of an interest in multiple properties. The individual or RPE relying on this revenue procedure must hold the interest directly or through an entity disregarded as an entity separate from its owner under § 301.7701-3. Taxpayers must either treat each property held for the production of rents as a separate enterprise or treat all similar properties held for the production of rents (with the exception of those described in paragraph .05 of this section) as a single enterprise. Commercial and 7 residential real estate may not be part of the same enterprise. Taxpayers may not vary this treatment from year-to-year unless there has been a significant change in facts and circumstances.

Safe Harbor

Solely for the purposes of section 199A, a rental real estate enterprise will be treated as a trade or business if the following requirements are satisfied during the taxable year with respect to the rental real estate enterprise:

  • Separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise;
  • For taxable years beginning prior to January 1, 2023, 250 or more hours of rental services are performed (as described in this revenue procedure) per year with respect to the rental enterprise. For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2022, in any three of the five consecutive taxable years that end with the taxable year (or in each year for an enterprise held for less than five years), 250 or more hours of rental services are performed (as described in this revenue procedure) per year with respect to the rental real estate enterprise; and
  • The taxpayer maintains contemporaneous records, including time reports, logs, or similar documents, regarding the following: (i) hours of all services performed; (ii) description of all services performed; (iii) dates on which such services were performed; and (iv) who performed the services. Such 8 records are to be made available for inspection at the request of the IRS. The contemporaneous records requirement will not apply to taxable years beginning prior to January 1, 2019.

Rental Services

Rental services for purpose of this revenue procedure include: (i) advertising to rent or lease the real estate; (ii) negotiating and executing leases; (iii) verifying information contained in prospective tenant applications; (iv) collection of rent; (v) daily operation, maintenance, and repair of the property; (vi) management of the real estate; (vii) purchase of materials; and (viii) supervision of employees and independent contractors. Rental services may be performed by owners or by employees, agents, and/or independent contractors of the owners. The term rental services does not include financial or investment management activities, such as arranging financing; procuring property; studying and reviewing financial statements or reports on operations; planning, managing, or constructing long-term capital improvements; or hours spent traveling to and from the real estate.