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Your Home. A Bundle of Tax Benefits.
There are many tax benefits built into home ownership. Here is a review of the most common. It may be worth a quick check to ensure you are maximizing your home ownership tax benefits.
- Interest deductibility. Mortgage interest is one of the few allowed deductible interest expenses. It is limited to the first $750,000 dollars in loans secured by your primary residence ($1 million for mortgages underwritten prior to 2018). You may also deduct points paid as an itemized deduction over the life of your mortgage.
- Bonus: You can also deduct interest on a second home (cabin).
- Home office. If you have a qualified home office, it also creates a deductible expense. There is also a safe harbor home office simplified calculation that makes it easy to get this tax deduction.
- Property taxes. Your property taxes are also allowed as an itemized deduction. Current tax laws limit this deduction along with other taxes to $10,000 whether you are married or single.
- Free rental income. You can rent out your home for up to two weeks and not claim the income. This is a great tax break if your home is located next to a popular landmark or a major event. Many taxpayers rent out their lake home for two weeks to help reduce the cost of their home away from home.
- Home mortgage insurance. Premiums paid for home mortgage insurance are also deductible through 2020. While this tax deduction is not a permanent part of the tax code, it is often extended from year to year by Congressional action.
More home benefits!
- Capital gain exclusion. Perhaps the best tax benefit of home ownership is receiving tax-free gains. Generally when you sell property for a profit it creates a taxable event. However, if the property is your primary residence you can omit up to $250,000 ($500,000 married filing jointly) of these gains. Special rules apply, but this is a major tax benefit of home ownership.
- Better than rent. Since the housing bust of 2008, many would be homeowners are reluctant to exit their rental housing because of the perceived risk involved in owning a home. However, with the recovery of the housing market coupled with lower interest rates, now might be the right time to realize the tax benefits of owning your own dream home.