Thinking of buying a home to save some money on taxes? Here are a few reasons why buying your dream home might help you pay less to Uncle Sam.
1. Mortgage Interest Deduction.
Each year you can deduct from your taxable income the amount of money you paid in interest on up to $1 million in mortgage debt.
In particular, a huge portion of your mortgage payments in the first few years of owning your home will mostly go to interest and only a small portion will go to the principal of the loan. This deduction alone can add up to thousands of dollars. Your lender should send you IRS Form 1098 which will show how much interest you paid on your home mortgage in the prior year.
2. Home IMprovements.
In addition to mortgage interest, you may be able to also deduct the interest on a home equity loan or line of credit for improvements to your home.
There are limits on the amount you can deduct if the home equity loan or line of credit is more than $50,000 if you are filing single or $100,000 if you are filing married or jointly. In addition, the amount you can deduct also has a limit if your mortgage is more than the fair market value of your home.
3. Expenses When You Move.
You might be able to write off the expenses you incur moving to your new home if you purchase a house that is at least fifty miles closer to where you work.
4. Taxes On The Appreciation Of Your Home Value.
For most assets, you have to pay capital gains tax if you sell the asset for more than what you paid for it.
For example, if you buy Apple stock and the stock increases in value before you sell it, you might have to pay capital gains tax on those gains.
In contrast, if you buy a home that is your "primary residence" for at least two of the past five years and it increases in value, you might not have to pay capital gains tax on the first $500,000 in gains if you file jointly or $250,000 if you are single.
5. Mortgage Insurance Premium.
You are likely paying a mortgage insurance premium if you paid less than a 20% down payment on your home. You may be able to deduct this mortgage insurance premium as mortgage interest on Schedule A of your Form 1040 if you and your spouse earn less than $109,00 each year.
6. Property Taxes.
Finally, you may be able to claim an income tax deduction for the property taxes you pay on the assessed value of your home.
As an added bonus, unlike the $1 million limit on the home mortgage interest tax deduction, there is no dollar limit on the amount of real estate taxes that can be deducted.
Your county's acssessor's office should send you a statement showing the amount of property taxes you paid.
Propety taxes taxes can be written off in the year they are paid, not the year they are due.
What can't you deduct?
Unfortunately, you cannot deduct:
(i) Utilities, such as electricity or water;
(ii) Home and title insurance;
(iii) Homeowner association fees or
(iv) Transfer taxes in a personal home sale.
This article provides some of the most common tax savings for home owners. That being said, because each person's tax scenario is unique you should definitely consult with your CPA to see if these potential tax breaks might benefit you.
Are you looking for a rockstar real estate agent to help you purchase a home? If so, give us a call at (415) 295-6370.
Disclaimer: This article discusses general tax issues, but it does not constitute tax advice. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented herein without seeking the advice of tax counsel. BLG Properties expressly disclaims all liability in respect of any actions taken or not taken based on any contents of this article.