fbpx
Some Mortgage Interest May Not be Deductible
Banks are concerned about making loans that will be repaid not about making loans that are tax deductible for homeowners.  It is good business for the bank but how is the homeowner supposed to know? Most homeowners and potential homeowners are aware there are tax benefits associated with ownership.  For instance, mortgage interest and property taxes have […]
Some Mortgage Interest May Not be Deductible
Banks are concerned about making loans that will be repaid not about making loans that are tax deductible for homeowners.  It is good business for the bank but how is the homeowner supposed to know? Most homeowners and potential homeowners are aware there are tax benefits associated with ownership.  For instance, mortgage interest and property taxes have […]

Banks are concerned about making loans that will be repaid not about making loans that are tax deductible for homeowners.  It is good business for the bank but how is the homeowner supposed to know?

Most homeowners and potential homeowners are aware there are tax benefits associated with ownership.  For instance, mortgage interest and property taxes have been deductible expenses from federal income tax since it was enacted in 1913.

The current law provides that homeowners can deduct the interest on Acquisition Debt which is the amount of debt incurred to buy, build or improve a first or second home up to $750,000.  The amount of acquisition debt decreases as payments are made and it cannot be increased unless the additional funds borrowed are used for capital improvements.

It is not uncommon for a homeowner to refinance their home for any number of reasons.  It could be to get a lower interest rate that would lower the payments or remove mortgage insurance.  However, when additional funds are borrowed for reasons beyond “buy, build or improve”, the excess is considered personal debt and the interest is not deductible according to IRS.

Maybe this is not important if the owner is taking the standard deduction because it is higher than the total of the property taxes, qualified mortgage interest and charitable deductions made by the taxpayer.  Currently, it is estimated that 90% of homeowners are electing to use the increased standard deduction implemented with the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

A confusing issue that occurs at the end of the year is when the lender reports to the borrower the amount of interest that was paid.  While that amount is most probably accurate, the bank doesn’t know if it is qualified mortgage interest for the borrower.

It is the responsibility of the taxpayer to keep track of outstanding acquisition debt and whether part of the balance is considered personal debt.

Another area where it could become important is if the property was lost due to foreclosure, deed in lieu of foreclosure or a short sale.  The provisions of the Mortgage Forgiveness Act have been extended through 12/31/20 which exempts the forgiven debt from being considered income and therefore taxable.  However, it only applies to acquisition debt.  Any part of a mortgage refinance that is considered personal debt could be taxable in that situation.

As an example, let’s say that homeowners originally borrowed $300,000 to purchase a home that they owned for 15 years.  During that time, the home appreciated significantly, and they refinanced it twice.  Once, they made some improvements and took out cash to pay off personal loans and the second time, it was only a cash out.

Original acquisition debt

$300,000

Remaining acquisition debt including improvements

225,000

Unpaid balance on current mortgage

$550,000

Personal debt

325,000

 

In the example above, the personal debt of $325,000 would be considered income on foreclosure and recognizable as income on that year’s income tax return.

If you have never refinanced your home or have refinanced it but never taken any money out of it except to make capital improvements, your unpaid balance in most likely acquisition debt.  However, it you have refinanced your home and pulled money out of it for purposes other than capital improvements, those funds may be considered personal debt.

This article is for information purposes.  If you are unclear about the current acquisition debt on your home or need advice for your individual situation, contact your tax professional.  Additional information can be found in IRS Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction.

LIST OF BLOGS

Concessions Make Your Home More Marketable

Sellers offer concessions as an incentive to encourage buyers to purchase their home. The concessions, paid for by the seller, benefit the buyer in ways that may be more appealing than possibly, being able to purchase the home for a lower price. In some situations,...

Building Your Home Buying Team

There are a lot of professionals involved in the homebuying process. And when these people can function as a team, the buyer is much more likely to end up where they want to be...in their new home. The lender is an integral part of the team unless you are going to be...

Securing Your Retirement

Social Security was established, on August 14, 1935, to take care of the country's elderly in their retirement years. Today, about 65 million or 1/6 of Americans collect benefits and the average monthly retirement amount received in January 2022 was $1,614 per month...

Homeowners Need Resources

Managing an asset worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is a responsibility that requires attention to details such as timely payment of the mortgage, home repairs and maintenance, upkeep, and oversight on financial issues including taxes, insurance, and other...

Waiting for the Mortgage Rates to Come Down?

Waiting for the mortgage rates to come down before you buy a home may not be a good decision. If you are correct, and the rates do come down by two percent, the savings you benefit from a lower rate will most likely be devoured by the appreciated price increase. As of...

Finding Funds for a Down Payment

A soft second loan, sometimes called a silent second, is subordinate to the first mortgage, whose payment is deferred or forgiven until a specific date or the resale of the property. This would mean that buyers would not have to contend with regular payments thereby...

“Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?”

You may remember the famous line in the Dirty Harry movie when Clint Eastwood has just had a shootout with bank robbers and is standing in front of the lone surviving thief who is considering going for his gun. Harry with his gun pointed at the bad guy says to him...

When will the market turn?

Housing affordability has declined dramatically in 2022 due to continued rising home prices and a three-percentage point jump in mortgage rates. Based on the popularity of Google searches for "housing bust" or "housing bubble", it could be surmised...

Another Tool to Improve Affordability

The rapid rise in mortgage rates during 2022 coupled with continued appreciation of home prices have limited the number of buyers in the market which is reflected by the lower number of home sales currently. "It's a fact that many households are impacted by...

Cause to Pause

Rising mortgage rates are causing some would-be buyers to pause their decisions until they determine whether rates are going to come back down. While it may be possible, the probability is that prices are going to continue to increase. On December 23, 2021, the...

RECENT POSTS

Securing Your Retirement

Social Security was established, on August 14, 1935, to take care of the country's elderly in...

Cause to Pause

Rising mortgage rates are causing some would-be buyers to pause their decisions until they...

ABOUT  TWENTY
THREE HOMES

The Twenty Three Homes are one of the premiere real estate groups locally, nationally and internationally, specifically dealing with high-end properties and exclusive clientele. Partner with Keller Williams Twenty Three Homes are full service real estate experts whose clients benefit from the custom tailored, hands on service while receiving all the exclusive amenities and resources of one of the most established and respected firms in the business.

GET IN TOUCH