SIX TAX BENEFITS OF HOME OWNERSHIP
By Jessica Hudson | July 1, 2019
When considering purchasing or selling a home, you should consider the fact that there are many tax benefits that could potentially make owning a home quite profitable. Below are six to keep in mind.
Homeowners who itemize deductions may reduce their taxable income by deducting interest paid on a home mortgage. If your home was purchased prior to December 15, 2017, you can deduct interest on debt up to $1 million, but if it was purchased after, you can only deduct interest on debt up to $750,000.
Private Mortgage Insurance
Private mortgage insurance is required on most loans if you have less than 20 percent equity. The upside is it's tax deductible as long as your adjusted gross income is less than $100,000 (for each $1,000 you make after that, you can deduct 10 percent less of your PMI, up to $109,000). If you make $100,000 and put down 5 percent on a $200,000 house, you'll pay on average about $1,300 in annual PMI premiums and cut your taxable income by $1,300. For the 2018 tax year, Congress renewed this deduction and, like mortgage interest, it is for itemizers only. It is still up in the air for 2019.
Homeowners who itemize deductions may also deduct property taxes they pay on their homes. There is now a $10,000 cap on the combined amount of your property taxes, state and local income taxes, and (for states without income tax) deductible sales tax.
If you had solar panels or a solar-powered water heater installed, that means you are entitled to a hefty tax credit. Qualifying solar electric panels and solar water heaters are good for a credit of 30 percent of the cost of the equipment and installation. For a $25,000 green investment, that's $7,500 back. To qualify, the solar panels have to generate at least half of the energy used by the home and they have to be installed in your primary residence. Thirty percent of the expenditures are eligible for the credit for equipment installed between now and the end of 2019, 26 percent until the end of 2020, and 22 percent until the end of 2021.
Home Office Deduction
If you are self-employed and use part of your home regularly and exclusively for business-related activity, your office space and expenses related to it can be deducted. With the simplified method you take $5 for every square foot of office space, up to a maximum of 300 square feet. For a 200 square foot home office, you're looking at a $1,000 deduction.