In a recent Tax Court decision, the court held that Ellen P. O’Neill’s time incurred while travelling to her rental properties to perform various tasks could be used as a way to prove her 750-hour threshold to qualify as a real estate professional. The ruling in this case contradict Truskowsky, a prior Tax Court case in which the court refused to count travel time because it represents commuting that “is an inherently personal activity and as such does not constitute ‘work’ in connection with a trade or business.” The Court noted that the taxpayer was aware of the record-keeping requirements to establish real estate professional status and found she provided detailed, accurate, day-to-day explanations of the specific activities in which she engaged. Based on this case, A real estate professional should consider establishing an office in home under the principal place of business test. By doing so, the real estate professional will receive multiple benefits and can more easily meet the requirements.

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