Tax Deductions to Remember When Buying a Home

by Bill Gassett on March 8, 2010 · 24 comments

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Tax Deductions to Remember When Buying a Home

Tax Deductions For a Home Loan

When you are getting a mortgage to purchase a home, there are certain deductions that the IRS allows that are well worth remembering come tax time in April. The following is a list of  some of the deductions that many people forget about when buying a home:

POINTS

Points on a home loan are tax deductible if they are used to bring down the mortgage interest rate. For those that don’t know a point is 1% of the loan amount. On a $300,000 mortgage a point would equal $3000.00. You would only want to pay points on a loan if you knew your were going to be in the home for a while and the cost of such points would be less than taking a higher interest rate.

In order to understand if paying points makes sense you need to calculate the mortgage payment amount with and without points. By looking at the spread between those amounts you can determine how long you would need to be in the house before it would pay off for you. For a complete explanation see when to pay points on a mortgage.

Points or origination fees paid when you purchase a home are generally tax deductible in full in the year that you pay them. It should be noted that origination charges from the lender that constitute a “service fee” are not tax deductible.

Another alternative you could choose is to amortize the points over the term of your mortgage. This choice is usually made only when your itemized deductions are less than the standard deduction for the year you bought the home.

As a side note  when you refinance a mortgage the points must be deducted over the term of the loan. If you deduct points over the term of the loan and sell the home or refinance it again before the loan expires, you can deduct in the year of the sale or refinancing any points that you didn’t previously deduct. Keep in mind that you will be able to get the best mortgage interest rates when you have a great FICO Credit Score.

PRO RATED MORTGAGE INTEREST

When you are buying a home, depending on when in the month the home sale closes, the buyers pay either a small or large amount of pro-rated mortgage interest for the particular month they close. Whether the amount is large or small, a home buyer can write that amount off. The Final Closing/Settlement Statement will show just how much the buyer is due.

PRO RATED REAL ESTATE TAXES

Often times a seller will send the local tax collector’s office a check for Real Estate taxes prior to the closing. In many circumstances, however, the buyer will pay a pro-rated portion of the taxes for the year at closing. This tax deduction is one that is forgotten quite often.

NEW HOME CONSTRUCTION LOAN INTEREST

As long as the construction period doesn’t last more than two years before you make the new home your “principal residence,” you can write off the interest for that new construction loan.                                                                                                                                                                                                              Tax deductions home loan

PRE-PAYMENT PENALTIES

Although it is rare that a home loan today will have a pre-payment penalties on a few rare occasions you will still find one. If your mortgage does include a pre-payment penalty and you pay off the loan early, these penalties are tax deductible.

MORTGAGE INSURANCE

If you got a mortgage in either 2007, 2008, 0r 2009 and got the loan through the Federal Housing Agency (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA) or the Rural Housing Agency (USDA loan) you may be able to deduct private mortgage insurance (as defined in section 2 of the Home Protection Act of 1998 as in effect Dec. 20, 2006). Prepaid mortgage insurance premiums usually must be deducted over the period to which they apply.

MORTGAGE INTEREST TAX DEDUCTION

One of the beauties of owning a home is the fact you can deduct the mortgage loan interest every year on your tax return. This is one of the best tax breaks afforded to homeowners.

Mortgage interest is tax deductible on mortgages  of up to 1 million dollars ($500,000 if married and you are filing separately) as long as you use the money to buy, build or improve on your property and the mortgage is secured by your home.

In addition, the interest you pay on loans secured by your home and used for a purpose other than to buy, build or improve your home is tax deductible for loans up to $100,000 ($50,000 Married Filing Separately). In other words if you used a home equity line of credit to purchase a car the interest on this 2nd mortgage would be tax deductible.

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About the author: The above Real Estate information on Tax deductions when buying a home was provided by Bill Gassett, a Nationally recognized leader in his field. Bill can be reached via email at billgassett@remaxexec.com or by phone at 508-435-5356. Bill has helped people move in and out of many Metrowest towns for the last 24+ Years.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise!

I service the following towns in Metrowest MA: Hopkinton, Milford, Southboro, Westboro, Ashland, Holliston, Mendon, Hopedale, Medway, Franklin, Framingham, Upton, Grafton, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Northboro, Bellingham, Uxbridge, and Douglas.

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Tax Deductions to Remember After Buying a Home
March 30, 2010 at 3:21 pm
Getting The Best Mortgage Home Loan
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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Brewer March 8, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Thanks for this information Bill. I hope that some of my clients benefit from the work you have done.

Leander Mcclain March 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Bill,
This is great information. Since I purchased a house in 2009 and do my own taxes, I will refer to you list.
Thanks again for sharing

Leander

Steve Loynd March 8, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Bill,
The tax deductions continue to be some of the best benefits of home-ownership, I am reminded every April…why I own a home. The equity I have in it, is accessible when I need it and will be my best bet to provide a profit when I’m ready to change where I live. Great Blog and you make some fine points…for home-ownership.
Steve

Mara Hawks March 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

Reminders are so welcome, and you’ve listed ones that can save us tax dollars. Seems I’m forgetting more and remembering less these days, so blog-reading is my best preventative — this is very informative, thank you!

Bill Gassett March 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Thanks guys for all your comments on the tax deductions you need to remember when buying a home. Many of these are often forgotten!

Carole Provenzale March 8, 2010 at 7:15 pm

H Bill! Thank you for sharing such useful information. I have to say I love your new blog and format and will have to consider one soon–you did a fabulous job.

Paula Collins March 8, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Great reminders Bill. I would add that it’s a good idea to use a professional tax preparer the year you purchase a home and bring your settlement sheet. The tax laws are changing all the time and they are up to speed on them. The IRS website has the 5405 form for the buyer credit that is still in play until April. You can amend your 09 return if you buy now instead of waiting until next year to get that money.

Sharon Alters March 9, 2010 at 2:17 am

Bill, what a great list! I knew some of them but not others. We always send a copy of the HUD to both buyers and sellers each January. Let’s hope they have savvy accountants to pick up on all the tax deduction possibilities.

Lora "Leah" Stern March 9, 2010 at 2:27 am

What great info Bill. Love your new blog. Thanks for sharing this list. What a timely reminder.

Karen Rice March 9, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Excellent info, Bill. Thanks for being such a great resource for consumers!

Jennifer Fivelsdal March 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Bill as usual you have such great information for the consumers. I can see why they call you when they think real estate.

Rhonda Burgess March 9, 2010 at 3:18 pm

This information is so valuable. Keep up the great job.

Pamela March 10, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Wonderful and useful information Bill. Nice job on your new WP blog! Your images are great…

Karen Kruschka March 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Bill You’ve done an excellent job with this new site – your info is always top notch

Jane Peters March 10, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Hey, I am now able to leave a comment. Great new website, Bill. It is clean, simple and easy to navigate and you will be providing your consumers with a great resource for their local real estate needs.

Betsy March 10, 2010 at 9:39 pm

Bill,
A great list of deductibles for the borrowers as we all tend to forget what is deductible. Add to your list, PMI. This has been allowed for a few years now but it depends on the income level and loan amount. I would have your buyers check with their CPAs to be sure.

Bob Hammerstein March 10, 2010 at 9:44 pm

Great Information Bill… Nice new blog site as well.. Best of luck with it. BH

Bill Gassett March 10, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Thanks guys for all your compliments on my Real Estate blog and the tax deductions people need to remember when purchasing a home!

Matt Stigliano December 27, 2010 at 2:08 am

Bill – What a great list! This should be shared far and wide. I actually got hit with a huge pre-payment penalty on the first house I sold. Imagine my surprise years later when I found out this was a tax deduction. D’oh!

Bill Gassett December 27, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Matt not taking advantage of a home tax deduction like that must have been gut wrenching! I am sure since then you have studied up on all the tax deductions that are available when buying or selling a home:)

Peggy Dowcett January 4, 2011 at 2:47 am

Bill – This is great list of tax deductions that everyone should know about.

Paul Francis July 23, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Very impressive article on tax deduction when buying a home Bill… Just caught my attention on your tweet… which I’m Re-Tweeting.

Thanks!

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