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7 Tax Tips for Homeowners!

March 12th, 2013 Written By Carol Pawley

Whether you are a first-time buyer, long-time homeowner who refinanced or a seller, there are a multitude of important tax deductions available.

Here are 7 important tax tips for homeowners:

Mortgage interest is your best friend. Taxpayers collectively get roughly $100 billion annually in mortgage interest breaks. If you bought a home or refinanced in the last few years, the savings are even more significant, as more than half your monthly payment goes toward interest.

Mortgage insurance is still deductible.
There were fears that the deduction for personal mortgage insurance would fall victim to fiscal fights in Washington. However, Congress left it in place. That’s a huge boon to lower-income homeowners who often can’t afford a big down payment and must pay private mortgage insurance until they have at least 20 percent equity in their homes.

Taxes are tax deductible. It sounds odd and is frequently overlooked, but homeowners can deduct their local and state property taxes on federal tax returns. There also may be special property tax benefits for lower-income homeowners based on your state or municipality of residence, so look into further breaks specific to your community.

Qualified renovations count. Fixing a leaky faucet or putting crown molding in the living room is not tax deductible. But there are a number of items in the tax code that allow for tax breaks and credits. A host of items covered under residential energy efficiency can provide tax relief, including new solar panels or certain water heaters. There are also deductions available for home office improvements, as well as for medically necessary changes, such as an entry ramp or a handicap-accessible bathtub.

Unqualified renovations can count later. While that addition might not be “necessary,” the expense could be an important part of reducing your tax burden when you sell. This is especially noteworthy in hot real estate markets or for homeowners sitting on big property appreciation. The IRS allows you only $250,000 of tax-free profit when you sell a primary residence, but you can deduct any renovations that boosted your home’s value from any total profit to get under that threshold. Find those receipts if you’re sitting on a big profit and planning to sell.

Claim selling costs. If you sold a home in the past year, costs including title insurance, advertising and real estate broker fees can be claimed. You can claim certain repairs to reduce capital gains on the sale, presuming they were made within 90 days of sale and clearly for the intent of marketing the property.

Don’t forget moving expenses. If you bought a home in 2012, there’s a chance you did so because of a job-related move. If this is the case, you may be able to deduct some expenses, provided you have the receipts. You must have moved 50 miles or more, and the reasons for your move can’t be personal.

*Copyright USA TODAY 2013; Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks*
 
Throughout the years I have helped many friends and clients purchase or sell property throughout Miami & the surrounding area.  If you are interested in purchasing or selling a home, please contact me as I can give some first-hand sound advice with no pressure.  Please send me an email at [email protected] or call me at 305-992-6188.
 
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Great to have you on my site! Seeking to sell or buy property in Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, or anywhere in Miami? I can assist you. Real estate is my area of expertise and Miami-Dade the place I grew up. I know the communities, the schools, the culture, and the business of real estate. I’ve consistently ranked in the top 1% of my field, locally and nationally. I’d love to have the opportunity to introduce myself and discuss your real estate needs. Let’s connect: PH 305-992-6188,EMAIL: [email protected]

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