Who Qualifies for the 2023 Mortgage Interest Rate Deduction?
You might be able to deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage from your taxable income if you itemize your deductions and meet a few other requirements. Particularly for those with large mortgages and high interest rates, this deduction can help homeowners save a lot of money on taxes. However, you should consult a tax professional to learn if you qualify for this deduction and how much you can write off.
What Exactly is the Mortgage Interest Deduction?
The mortgage interest deduction is a tax break for interest paid on the first $750,000 of mortgage debt. Homeowners who purchased their homes prior to December 16, 2017, can deduct interest on the first $1 million of their mortgage. To claim the mortgage interest deduction, you must itemize your tax return.
Here's how it works and how you can save money on taxes:
Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction: How It Works
You can deduct mortgage interest paid throughout the year from your taxable income. If you have a mortgage, it is critical to keep accurate records because the interest you pay may reduce your taxable income.
As was indicated earlier, the interest that you pay during the year on the mortgage of either your primary or second property is normally tax deductible up to a maximum of $750,000 (or $375,000 if you file your taxes separately). If a home was purchased before the 16th of December in 2017, the interest paid during the year on the first million dollars of a mortgage (or the first half million dollars if married filing separately) is tax deductible.
If you bought a home in 2017 with a $800,000 mortgage and made interest payments of $25,000 in 2022, you could potentially deduct the full $25,000. Nevertheless, if you secured a mortgage for $800,000 in 2022, you might have to reduce that deduction. That's because the interest on only the first $750,000 of a mortgage is deductible under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. But, the IRS will consider your mortgage to have been obtained prior to December 15, 2017, if you signed a written binding contract before that date to close before January 1, 2018, and you actually closed on the house before April 1, 2018.
What Types of Costs Qualify as "Mortgage Interest?"
The complete list can be found in IRS Publication 936, but below is a summary.
Mortgage interest on the primary residence:
- The home could be a conventional one, a cooperative unit, an apartment, a condo, a mobile home, a travel trailer, or even a houseboat.
- The house must be used as security for the mortgage.
- To qualify as a house, it must have a place to sleep, a kitchen, and a bathroom.
- Mortgage interest can still be deducted even if you receive a tax-free housing allowance from the military or the ministry.
- If you want to "buy out" your ex and receive the other half of the house in a divorce, you'll need a mortgage.
Interest on a second-home mortgage
- You are not obligated to make any annual use of the property.
- The residence must serve as collateral for the mortgage.
- If you rent out your secondary residence, you must spend the greater of 14 days or 10 percent of the total number of days you rented it out.
Mortgage points that you paid
- Prepaid interest on a loan is measured in points. A mortgage point might be deducted gradually during the life of the loan, or it can be deducted in full once certain conditions are met.
- You use the cash method of accounting for your taxes, the points aren't for closing costs, your down payment is greater than the points, the points are computed as a percentage of your loan, the points are on your settlement statement, and the points weren't paid in place of amounts shown separately, to name a few of the general requirements.
Mortgage late payment fees
You can deduct a late payment charge if it was not for a specific service performed in connection with your home loan.
Fees for early withdrawal
If you pay off your mortgage early, you could have to pay a penalty, but the interest you pay could be tax deductible.
Costs associated with a second mortgage
- The funds from the home equity loan must be used to acquire, construct, or "significantly improve" your primary residence.
- Interest is not tax-deductible if the funds are used for anything other than a primary residence (learn more about deducting home equity loan interest).
What Isn't Deductible?
- Property insurance.
- Additional principal payments made on your mortgage.
- Title protection.
- Settlement expenses (most of the time).
- Deposits, down payments, or earnest money that you were unable to obtain.
- The amount of interest paid on a reverse mortgage.
- Premiums for mortgage insurance.
How to Take Advantage of the Mortgage Interest Deduction?
You must complete the following steps:
1. Look out for Form 1098
It provides information about your mortgage interest and point payments made during the tax year. The IRS receives a copy of that Form 1098 from your lender and will attempt to compare it to the information you report on your tax return.
If you paid the lender $600 or more in mortgage interest (including points) during the year, you will receive a 1098. Your lender's monthly bank statements may also contain information on mortgage interest rates for the entire year.
2. Maintain Accurate Records
The good news is that you may be able to deduct mortgage interest in the following situations under certain conditions:
- You used a portion of your home as a home office (you may need to fill out a Schedule C and claim even more deductions).
- You owned a co-op apartment.
- You rented out a portion of your residence.
- The residence was a timeshare.
- Throughout the year, a portion of the house was under construction.
- You used a portion of the mortgage proceeds to pay down debt, invest in a business, or do something unrelated to home buying.
- Your house was destroyed last year.
- You were divorced or separated and either you or your ex is required to pay the mortgage on a home that you both own (the interest might actually be deemed alimony).
- You and someone other than your spouse were jointly responsible for and paid mortgage interest on your home.
The bad news is that the rules are becoming more complicated. For more information, see IRS Publication 936 or consult a qualified tax professional. Keep track of the square footage involved, as well as the income and expenses attributable to different parts of the house.
3. Itemize Your Tax Returns
The mortgage interest deduction is claimed on Schedule A of Form 1040, which means you must itemize instead of taking the standard deduction when filing your taxes. This may imply spending more time on tax preparation, but if your standard deduction is less than your itemized deductions, you should itemize anyway to save money. If your standard deduction is more than your itemized deductions (including your mortgage interest deduction), take the standard deduction and save yourself some time. (To learn more about itemizing versus taking the standard deduction, click here.)
Schedule A allows you to calculate your deduction by doing the math. Your tax software will guide you through the process.
4. Determine Whether You are Eligible For Special Deduction Rules
If you received assistance from a state housing finance agency's "Hardest Hit Fund" program or an Emergency Homeowners' Loan Program (managed by the state or the Department of Housing and Urban Development), you may be able to deduct all of your mortgage payments for the year.
I hope this information was helpful! If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us here. I’d be happy to chat with you.
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This post is just for informational purposes and is not meant to be legal, business, or tax advice. Regarding the matters discussed in this post, each individual should consult his or her own attorney, business advisor, or tax advisor. Vincere accepts no responsibility for actions taken in reliance on the information contained in this document.