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Making a tax receipt for rent?

  1. Apr 4, 2007 #1
    hey i'm subletting this place for the summer, it's a student house and I'm getting from another student. My mom says I should get a receipt for my rent for tax deductions.
    I don't know how to do that and i'm pretty sure the person i'm renting from wouldn't either.
    So what's involved. Do I just need her to sign a sheet of paper that says I paid this much for this and this place ? or is it a more formal thing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2007 #2
    A signed sheet of paper is fine. In the end the accountant will submit only totals to the IRS, not receipts.

    The receipts are there to protect the accountant from accusations of immoral behavior, and to provide a record in case the IRS chooses to audit (look more closely at) you.
  4. Apr 4, 2007 #3


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    More importantly, you should get a receipt every month for your own protection as proof that you have paid the rent, just in case there is any conflicting stories from the person you're subletting from (i.e., they take your rent check and don't pay it to the landlord). The sublet agreement (this should be done just like any other lease agreement, except it's between you and the student not you and the landlord) should suffice for proof enough for IRS should they question that you were renting the apartment.

    Either way, yes, a signed piece of paper is sufficient. Make sure it includes the date, the rent period covered by that payment, the amount you paid, and the form of payment (check, cash, money order, etc.), and that it was paid from you to the other student for the purpose of rent. I would suggest paying with a check each month and making sure to write in the memo line, "Rent for (address) for (month and year)." That way, if you have to mail the check one month or someone questions the receipt, you can always get a copy of the cancelled check as evidence you paid.
  5. Apr 4, 2007 #4
    Now thinking of it, you can go to office max and get a blank booklet of receipt templates that will prompt you for all of the information Moonbear suggests.
  6. Apr 4, 2007 #5


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    True. The good thing about those booklets is there is usually a carbon copy for each receipt, so you can get the original, and the student you're renting from also has a copy in case they want to keep track of what they're signing and giving to you.
  7. Apr 4, 2007 #6


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    Moonbear's advice about paying by check is the safest way to prevent problems about whether or not the rent was paid. The returned check not only is proof that payment was made, but the person who was paid has to sign the check in order to cash it - so the returned check is clear proof that payment was made and that it was cashed by the person that it was given to.

    You can print up a simple receipt form, make a few copies and get a signed receipt for each payment. It can be really simple like "Received from (your name), $XXX for rent of Apt.#, ### Somewhere street, City for the period covering (blank space for Beg. Date to End Date)" and a place for them to date and sign the receipt.
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