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The IRS publications on Short-term rental property leave me cold. Is there an easy guide to follow to determine what deductions are available; strategies for tax avoidance; pitfalls to avoid; the distinction between expenses and liabilites; discussion of depreciation; Whether it is better to have long-term or short-term rental in vacation area. Thanks to all you Tax mavens out there....
Well, you should definitely looked at IRS Publication 527, Residential Rental Property (Including Rental of Vacation Homes)

That is a pretty good source of information. If you were left cold, what were you looking for?

IRS Pubs. are probably the most easy-to-read, free, public domain sources of tax information out there. That's why they're so frequently cited here. They're actually kind of a pro-government "Tax Law for Dummies", but considering the subject matter, they're pretty good.

They don't out-and-out mislead you, but they will not tell you if a topic is controversial; and they certainly will not tell you anything but the IRS' official position on a topic. For that, professionals subscribe to expensive reference materials, which formerly filled library shelves, and we now obtain online.

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