Don’t rouse the IRS or pay more taxes than necessary — know the score on each home tax deduction and credit.
Sin #1: Deducting the wrong year for property taxes
You take a tax deduction for property taxes in the year you (or the holder of your escrow account) actually paid them. Some taxing authorities work a year behind — that is, you’re not billed for 2011 property taxes until 2012. But that’s irrelevant to the feds.
Enter on your federal forms whatever amount you actually paid in 2011, no matter what the date is on your tax bill. Dave Hampton, CPA, tax manager at the Cincinnati accounting firm of Burke & Schindler, has seen home owners confuse payments for different years and claim the incorrect amount. Continue reading
Whenever you think of buying a home, the last thing on your mind are the tax advantages. Even though tax considerations isn’t the most motivating force behind most home purchases, the tax advantages associated with home ownership are significant enough that they may factor into the decision process. Here’s a quick review of federal tax benefits available:
MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION
If you itemize deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040, you’re generally able to deduct the interest you pay on debt resulting from a loan used to buy, build, or improve your principal residence, provided that the loan is secured by your home (the ability to deduct mortgage interest also generally applies to second homes, though special rules apply if you rent the home Continue reading