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Passive Activity Loss ATG - Exhibit 2.5: Real Estate Professional: Interview Half Personal Services Test

Publication Date - December 2004

NOTE: This guide is current through the publication date. Since changes may have occurred after the publication date that would affect the accuracy of this document, no guarantees are made concerning the technical accuracy after the publication date.

Exhibit 2.5: Real Estate Professional: Interview Half Personal Services Test

_____ Describe the work you perform as a real estate professional. Check occupations by signatures and W-2s.

_____ Who is the real estate professional, you or your spouse?

_____ Does the spouse claiming to be the real estate professional work full-time or part-time?  If the taxpayer  has a full-time job working 2080 hours a year in a non-real property business, he must work 2081 on his real property businesses to meet half-personal services test!

_____ What percentage of each real property business(es) do you own?  Unless taxpayer owns 5 percent or more, time is not counted.  See IRC § 469(c)(7)(D)(ii).  If, for example, the taxpayer works full-time for a construction company, but does not own any of the company, he is not a real estate professional.


Time does not count for purposes of the 750 hour test and the half personal services test – unless the taxpayer materially participates in the activity. One spouse ALONE must meet the 750 hour test. 

_____ Who performs the services, husband or wife?   Hours by husband?  Hours by wife?    

_____ Approximately how many hours did you spend working on your rentals in the year under exam?  Ask the taxpayer for supporting documentation (appointment books, diaries, calendars, logs, etc.)  You may want to give taxpayer a log to be completed for each rental – and for each year under exam.  Material participation is a year by year determination.  Rentals are generally not time intensive. 

_____ If non-working spouse claims to be the real estate professional, ask what other commitments he/she may have.  Is the spouse a student?  Is the spouse providing full-time care to young children?


_____ Who monitors the rentals?  Who collects the rent?  Who does the repairs?

_____ Do you have a real estate agent or manager or employee responsible for any of the rentals?  Ask for each rental property.  Check Schedule E properties for large commissions or management fees. Also check for large labor expense - possibly a hired contractor spent more time than taxpayer.  If there is paid management, it is a strong indicator taxpayer did not materially participate. 

_____ Is anyone besides you involving with managing or overseeing any the properties?  Does a relative or friend manage/monitor the property for free?

_____ Does a tenant receives free/reduced rent for managing the rentals – or for caring for the properties? 

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Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 08-Nov-2016