There is a time once a year that takes place in winter-early spring period, when adults of the United States talk nothing, but taxes. Yes, paying taxes is among few things that are certain to happen in our life, and of course we want to be smart when paying it.
That is why I was really excited to discover that having a roommate can affect my taxes, possibly in a good way, even though I am not a homeowner. Although I have to claim the rent payments I receive from my roommate as a rental income (because I charge her more than half of my own rent, hence, profit from renting my room out), I can deduct all the rent-related costs such as advertising, repairs, improvements etc, that could help to ease my tax payments if I do it right.
So here are the things I, personally, plan on claiming as my rental related expenses: the rental room improvements (the A/C and closet I have bought for the room before my roommate moved in), the costs of painting the room prior to her move in, the registration fee I paid at roomster.com to join and post my profile there (which resulted in me finding the best roommate ever), basically anything I have spent on my roommates room + 50% of all my household charges!!
There is one more thing that needs to be considered when deducting expenses of your rental room: the percentage you can deduct will depend on how long has your roommate been living in that room for the year and how long have you had it for your personal use. For example: if the tenant has occupied the room for the whole year, you can deduct 100% of all your expenses. If your roommate has only been living in your room for three months, and before that the room was used by you, then you will have to divide the amount of days in year to the amount of time your roommate has stayed there to find out what percent of your expenses is deductable.
And again, remeber that sharing an apartment can be fun experience in your life which you can benefit from both financially and personally, if you arrange everything about it the right way.