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What is the QBI rental real estate safe harbor rule?

Taxpayers who derive income from a rental real estate enterprise and meet the following requirements may claim the QBI safe harbor outlined in Rev. Proc. 2019-38:

  • Separate books and records are maintained to reflect income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise.
  • For rental real estate enterprises that have been in existence less than four years, 250 or more hours of rental services are performed per year. For other rental real estate enterprises, 250 or more hours of rental services are performed in at least three of the past five years.
  • The taxpayer maintains contemporaneous records, including time reports, logs, or similar documents, regarding the following: hours of all services performed; description of all services performed; dates on which such services were performed; and who performed the services.
  • The taxpayer or RPE attaches a statement to the return filed for the tax year(s) the safe harbor is relied upon.

Additional information about the QBI safe harbor rule can be found in IR-2019-158 and the IRS.gov Tax Reform page.

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