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Ahhh. You finally finished moving into your new home. But wait, there's more. Here are some of the tax benefits of becoming a new homeowner:

  1. Points on home mortgage and future refinancing in addition to mortgage interests are tax deductible. Generally if the interest is against your first home, you can take the deduction all at once. For a second home and refinance on a first home, the IRS says you most likely have to spread it out.
  2. Interest on home-improvement and home equity line of credit is also tax-deductible.
  3. Property taxes are always tax-deductible.
  4. Mortgage insurance premium is tax-deductible. If you made less than 20% down payment, most likely you are paying monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) each month. To claim this deduction, home owners must itemize and the insurance contract must be issued after 2006 and the mortgage itself must be for the primary residence. 
  5. Energy-efficient tax credit up to $500 by installing equipment like storm doors, energy efficient windows, insulation, air-conditioning and heating systems. Tax credits are dollar-per-dollar reductions in the taxes you owe (bigger bonus than tax deductions). 
  6. Renewable-energy tax credit such as sun and wind to help your home for up to 30% of the cost of the equipment and installation. 
  7. Home expenses and improvements are not tax deductible and must be added to the cost basis of your home which will reduce capital gain in the future when you sell the house. You may qualify for $250,000 capital gain exclusion ($500,000 for married couple). IRS Pub 525 for details.
  8. IRS allows first-time home buyers to withdraw up to $10,000 on traditional IRA without penalty and borrow against 401(K) balance up to $50,000 for the purchase of a home. However, the interest you pay on 401(K) loan isn't tax deductible.
  9. Property appreciation. In general, your Return-On-Investment ROI) is always positive especially over long period of time.
  10. Home office. Certain homeowners who work out of their home are eligible for the home office deduction. The IRS allows homeowners to write off some of the expenses required to conduct business from the home. There are two important prerequisites needed to claim this deduction: homeowners must regularly use their home exclusively to conduct business (i.e., running a business out of a spare room), and they must be able to prove that their home is their principal place of business or a place where they regularly meet with clients. If a home office is in an unattached structure, the homeowner can qualify for the write-off if they use the space regularly and exclusively for business. Home office deductions are usually based on the percentage of the home or the square footage of the room or rooms used for business. Remember, in order to take advantage of any of these tax benefits homeowners must itemize their deductions on their tax returns, which means forgoing the standard deduction.  

Further information can be obtained from IRS Pub 936. For more information on other topics - you can download IRS e-book here. Tax laws are always changing. Please consult with your accountant or CPA when you file your tax returns.


Posted in:tax benefits, and tagged: tax benefits
Posted by Sam Kader on March 13th, 2016 12:36 PM

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