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<< As I read the IRS documents, that means that all of gogolfer's expenses for 2000 are deductible (not counting paydown of principal, and depreciation of appliances and such is open to debate) on Schedule E. I will assume the $25,000 limit does not apply, or more precisely has not been bumped up against. >>

I agree with JABoa. You (gogolfer) are an active participant and are entitled to deduct your expenses. I'm still not sure why the person who prepared your return wants to show rental income. You shouldn't be worried about an audit. If you didn't show rental income for two or three years that would be one thing. But you bought a house, fixed it up and eventually found a tenant. There is nothing wrong or unusual about that.
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