First, Last and Security Deposits
Indianapolis Personal Finance Advice
Generally, landlords require a new tenant to pay the first and last month’s rent in advance along with a security deposit. A frequent question is whether to treat these payments as current-year income or income to a future year. The IRS says that advance rent payments are income in the year received. However, security deposits you plan to return to your tenant at the end of the lease are not income. But if you keep part or all of the security deposit during any year because your tenant does not live up to the terms of the lease, then the amount kept is income for that year.