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After my wife's mother died the three kids took ownership of the house and rented it out. We live far away from that area, but her brother "manages" the rental. I put "manage" in quotes because he doesn't know what the heck he is doing and won't bother learning or helping figure it out. My wife has absolutely no control over him or the house.

All we know is he sends her a check every month for her share of the rent.

But when I try to include this in our taxes, on schedule E, I have no clue what to do about depreciation and expenses since we can't get ANY information out of her brother. Forget about that entirely! There is nothing we can do there.

I guess I can forget about expenses since I can assume the check she gets is NET. But the IRS wants all kinds of information like the cost of the house, depreciation, etc.

What would you do? Should we do Schedule E with merely ONE entry for the amount of her check as income and forget expenses, depreciation, and all the other data they ask for? Will it raise a red flag if there is no cost of house, etc?
But since they inherited the house, there is no cost anyway, right?

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