Most Common Tax Deductions and Credits for Homeowners

Roni Deutch
March 4, 2009 — 1,865 views  
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From an outsider's perspective, owning a home may look like it comes with all kinds of expenses. But when you look at all the tax incentives homeownership has to offer, you may see things differently.

Local taxes every homeowner pays an annual real estate tax on his or her home based on its value. However, what every homeowner does not know is that this tax is fully deductible. The federal government allows you to deduct the amount you spent on local taxes--this includes local property taxes.

Casualty Losses If a fire or storm damaged or destroyed your home, you may be able to deduct the associated expenses as casualty losses. However, there are a lot of rules and restrictions, and the actual amount you can deduct will vary upon your location and the amount of damage.

Home Office If you work from home then you may be able to deduct your home office expenses. However, this deduction is a little tricky, and the office needs to have it's own room in your house.

Health-Related Improvements Home renovations or other home expenses made for medical reasons can be deducted. This includes any expenses made specifically for an ill or disabled person living in the home. Some common examples of this deduction include handicap ramps, special air filters or air conditioners, and swimming pools to help treat illnesses.

Mortgage Interest The IRS allows you can deduct all of the interest you pay on your mortgage for both your first and second home, up to $1.1 million. In fact, the mortgage interest deduction is the largest single tax break in the tax code.

Paid Refinanced Loan Points Refinancing can be a pain, but it does come with its advantages. If you recently refinanced, then you can deduct points you paid for the new loan. However, you cannot deduct all points at one time. You must divide them evenly throughout your loan. For example, if your loan was for 20 years and you have 40 points, you can deduct 2 points a year.

Green Credit There are dozens of credits available for "green" renovations. These credits range from getting solar panels to purchasing more energy efficient kitchen appliances. These types of credits are great to take advantage of because they help you save both money and the planet at the same time!

Selling Costs In addition to deductions and credits for owning a home, there are also benefits if you decide to sell your home. Legal fees, advertising expenses, real estate agent's commission, title insurance, and any other expenses associated with selling your home are deductible. The IRS will even let you include things like landscaping and painting in your selling costs if you complete them with the intention of making the home more valuable.

About the Author

The Tax Lady Roni Deutch and her law firm Roni Lynn Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation have been helping taxpayers across the nation find IRS tax relief for over seventeen years. The firm has experienced IRS tax attorney who will fight the IRS on your behalf.

Roni Deutch