So you're pretty excited you bought your first home and you heard there are some pretty sweet tax deductions that will get you gobs of money back, cause after all it took truckloads of money to buy the thing so you should get some of that money back right?
well, not exactly. You MAY or MAY NOT be able to deduct the expenses on your home there are a bunch of factors we need to consider so lets go thru the pieces...
First, what can you deduct?
When you first buy the home you can deduct any points you may have paid with the loan. You can check your settlement sheet to find them listed usually as loan origination fees. Points, are basically a % of the loan amount...so 1 point is equal to 1% of the loan amount. I would recommend that you don't pay points, your interest rate will be slightly higher, but over time most people don't stay in their home for 30 years or they'll refinance often... so better to save the up front costs. So if you OR the seller paid points they could be deductible for your new home purchase.
Every year you'll be able to deduct the Real Estate Taxes and any Mortgage Interest that you spend as well as Mortgage Insurance, not home owners insurance, mortgage insurance premium, MIP for short, is the insurance you have to pay each month since you don't have 80% equity in the house. (the laws keep changing whether you can take the MIP)
Just a side note here, you can get the MIP removed as soon as you hit the 80% value so pay attention, most times the mortgage company won't let you know when that occurs, and there are some things you can do to get rid of it sooner, like pay down the loan to the 80% value OR you could increase the value of the property thru remodeling and renovations.
That's pretty much all you can deduct for your home, real estate taxes, mortgage interest, MIP & points paid in the first year of purchase. So what's that translate into for your refund?
Begin by adding those numbers together with any other deductions you might have like medical expenses your spend over 10% of your income, state and local taxes, charities and work expenses you spend over 2% of your income. If that number goes over $12,400 for a married couple or $6200 for a single person, you would multiply the excess by your tax bracket, so if your in a 15% tax bracket you would get 15 cents for every dollar over $12,400 or $6200. so $1000 over you'd get back $150 dollars in your refund. If you didn't go over the 12,400 then you get nothing extra for having deductions. You may have spent a lot to purchase the home and not really see very much back in your refund. Buying at the end of the year won't help your cause much either.