Most people know that home ownership comes with great tax breaks: home mortgage interest and property taxes are deductible from federal income tax as itemized deductions. The value of these deductions should always be factored in when determining the true cost of home ownership. However, home buyers should be aware that many of the costs of buying and owning a home are not deductible at all.
You cannot deduct any of the following items:
Homeowners can deduct property taxes based on the assessed value of their real property. However, not all charges imposed on homeowners by local taxing authorities are deductible. These nondeductible charges include the following:
The IRS says that an itemized charge for services to specific property or people is not considered a tax, even if it is paid to the taxing authority. You cannot deduct a charge as a real estate tax if it is:
You must look at your real estate tax bill to decide if any nondeductible itemized charges are included in it. If your taxing authority (or lender) does not furnish you a copy of your real estate tax bill, ask for it.
You also cannot deduct amounts you pay for local benefits that tend to increase the value of your property, such as assessments for the construction of streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems. You must add these amounts to the basis of your property.
You can, however, deduct assessments (or taxes) for local benefits if they are for maintenance, repair, or interest charges related to those benefits. An example is a charge to repair an existing sidewalk and any interest included in that charge.
If only a part of the assessment is for maintenance, repair, or interest charges, you must be able to show the amount of that part to claim the deduction. If you cannot show what part of the assessment is for maintenance, repair, or interest charges, you cannot deduct any of it. An assessment for a local benefit may be listed as an item in your real estate tax bill. If so, use the rules in this section to find how much of it, if any, you can deduct.
You cannot deduct these assessments because the homeowners association, rather than a state or local government, imposes them.
The interest paid on a mortgage or mortgages of up to $1 million for a principal residence and/or second home is deductible as an itemized deduction. In addition, homeowners can borrow up to $100,000 against the equity in their home and deduct the interest as an itemized deduction. However, lender charges connected with getting or refinancing a mortgage loan are not deductible, including:
The following settlement costs are not deductible, but may be added to the home’s basis. This will reduce the amount of any taxable profit when the home is sold: