Until this year, landlords who earned profits from their rentals didn’t have to worry about whether they qualified as a “real estate professional” for tax purposes. The only reason to seek to qualify as such was to avoid application of the incredibly complex passive loss rules.
These rules are designed to prevent landlords from deducting rental losses from their other non-rental income. So if you didn’t have rental losses, these rules didn’t concern you and you could care less whether or not you were a “real estate professional.”
This has now changed. Qualifying as a real estate professional will now benefit many landlords who earn profits from their rentals because, by doing so, they won’t have to pay the Net Investment Income tax (NII tax) on them.