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Can Reverse Mortgage Interest Be Deducted

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Payments Must Be Applied To Deduct Interest

Can Mortgage Interest Be Tax Deductible?

If youre not making a payment, then Internal Revenue is not going to get a report from the reverse mortgage servicing department that interest is being paid, explained Diaz. In order to claim the interest, you have to be making a payment.

In another scenario, where a borrower does not choose to make any payments on the reverse mortgage loan on accrued interest, that persons heir can claim the amount of interest they paid on the loan.

If the heirs pay off the interest on a reverse mortgage after the borrower dies, they can claim it in the year that they pay it, says Michael Darrett, a CPA at Chicago, Ill.-based Liberty Tax Services.

But, he adds, there are still limitations, as the amount of interest claimed cannot exceed $100,000. This is the limit on the amount of debt that can be considered home equity debt, which is how the IRS views reverse mortgage loans.

Heres Whats Not Deductible

The following costs arent considered interest, so you cant include them in your mortgage interest deduction:

  • Most ground rent: Ground rent, or rent paid specifically on the land the property is on, can only be claimed as mortgage interest under very specific and unusual circumstances.
  • Reverse mortgage interest: The IRS considers interest that accrues on a reverse mortgage to be home equity debt, which is not deductible.
  • Rent payments for a home you purchase: Rent payments you make when you rent with an option to buy, for example, are not considered interest, so theyre not deductible as interest.
  • Charges for services: Charges for closing services the lender provides in the process of financing your home purchase, such as appraisals and notary work, arent deductible.
  • Loan placement fees: You cant deduct placement fees the seller pays to arrange your financing.

Learn More: How Much Down Payment Do You Need to Buy a House

Sell Your Home Or Downsize

The options above keep you in your existing home. If youre willing and able to move, however, selling your home gives you access to the equity you have built.

This option may be especially appealing if your residence is larger than you currently need, too difficult or costly to maintain, or has prohibitively expensive property taxes. The proceeds can be used to buy a smaller, more affordable home or to rent, and youll have extra money to save, invest, or spend as needed.

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Home Equity Conversion Mortgages

These reverse mortgages, backed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, are among the most common. While home equity conversion mortgages have higher upfront costs, they’re popular because there are no constraints on how borrowers use the proceeds — and no medical restrictions or income requirements. Borrowers are required to meet with a counselor to review the costs, requirements and responsibilities of HECMs, however. In 2020, the borrowing limit for HECMs was raised to $822,375 from $765,600.

Interest Charges And Your Income Taxes

How to Deduct Reverse Mortgage Interest &  Other Costs

Q: Can I deduct the interest charges for income tax purposes?A: Interest charges can only be deducted once those interest charges have been paid. As long as you have not made any payments to your reverse mortgage, you would be precluded from deducting those interest charges for income tax purposes. If you have made partial prepayments, then you must be assured that your prepayments have been applied to your interest charges .

NRMLA strongly advises that you consult with an income tax professional for any guidance relating to the deductibility of you interest charges relating to your reverse mortgage account.

Also Check: Can You Get A Reverse Mortgage On A Condo

Benefits Of The Mortgage Interest Deduction

The key benefit of taking the mortgage interest deduction is that it can decrease the total tax you pay. Lets say you paid $10,000 in mortgage interest and are in the 32 percent tax bracket. Youll lower your tax bill by $3,200 after subtracting the $10,000 deduction from your income.

Those in higher tax brackets will benefit the most as they will see larger deductions, notes Kelly Crane, president and chief investment officer of Napa Valley Wealth Management, based in St. Helena, California.

In fact, lower-earning taxpayers get less benefit overall, explains Andrew Latham, a certified personal finance counselor and managing editor at SuperMoney in Santa Ana, California.

Taxpayers who make less than $100,000 actually only receive 11 percent of the benefits from this deduction, Latham says, citing a 2019 report by the Tax Foundation. By contrast, taxpayers who earn $200,000 or more a year get a bigger benefit 60 percent of the total savings from the mortgage interest deduction.

Need more information on filing your taxes in 2022? Read Bankrates guide for the upcoming tax season. If youre lucky enough to qualify for a refund, also consider some of the great ways to invest that chunk of money to enhance your financial well-being.

Standard Tax Rules For Deducting Mortgage Interest

The standard rules under IRC Section 163 is that personal interest is not tax deductible. But there is an exception under IRC Section 163 that allows a deduction for payments of qualified residence interest i.e., mortgage interest that is classified as either acquisition indebtedness or home equity indebtedness.

Acquisition indebtedness is a mortgage debt incurred to acquire, build, or substantially improve either a primary residence or a designed second home. Home equity indebtedness is any type of primary residence or second home mortgage debt that doesnt qualify as acquisition indebtedness.

The classifications of mortgage debt are important because of the limitations. Interest on the first $1,000,000 of acquisition debt principal is deductible, but taxpayers can only deduct the interest on the first $100,000 of home equity indebtedness. In addition, interest on home equity indebtedness is an AMT adjustment .

In addition to the rules to deduct primary residence mortgage interest, there are also rules to deduct interest for investment real estate or to claim interest as a deduction against rental real estate, but those rules are a moot point for a reverse mortgage since a reverse mortgage must be against your primary residence.

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Reverse Mortgages: Everything You Need To Know

There’s a simple way to cash in on the equity you’ve built through home ownership. But is it right for you?

If you’re 62 years old and have owned your home for long enough to have built up some equity, there’s a way to turn your equity into cash to finance home improvements, medical costs or even supplemental income: a reverse mortgage. Unlike a traditional “forward” mortgage — the kind you use to buy a home — there are no recurring loan payments to make with a reverse mortgage.

The catch? You, your spouse or your estate will eventually have to pay back the loan amount — once you no longer occupy the property. Read on to learn more about reverse mortgages and whether it’s a good option for you.

As Far As Taxes Go There Are Pros And Cons To Reverse Mortgages

Should I use a Standard Deduction or Deduct the Mortgage Interest and Property Taxes I paid in 2019?

By Stephen Fishman, J.D.

A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan designed to enable homeowners 62 years of age and older to access part of the equity in their homes. It’s called a “reverse mortgage” because, instead of you paying the lender, the lender pays you. These payments can be a lump sum, a monthly advance, a line of credit, or a combination.

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How Often Does A Variable Rate Change

All variable rates are subject to reset to the market-based index rate at a predetermined frequency. How often the rate on your variable rate loan will change depends on the frequency you choose. Here are your frequency options:

  • Yearly-Variable As the name suggests, a yearly variable rate changes to the market-based index once per year. It has these characteristics:
  • Offers protection against steep and rapid rate changes.
  • Offers lower principle limits.
  • Rate changes may be no more or less than 2% at each yearly adjustment.
  • The potential changes in interest rate over the life of the loan are typically capped at a 5%.
  • Yearly variable rates are preferred by those borrowers who anticipate sharp or frequent increases in rates over the coming years.

How Much A Reverse Mortgage Can Cost

Costs associated with a reverse mortgage may include:

  • a higher interest rate than for a traditional mortgage
  • a home appraisal fee
  • a prepayment penalty if you pay off your reverse mortgage before it is due
  • legal fees for closing costs or independent legal advice

The costs will vary depending on your lender. Some fees may be added to the balance of your loan. You may have to pay for others up front.

Recommended Reading: How Does 10 Year Treasury Affect Mortgage Rates

Taking The Mortgage Interest Deduction For Your 2021 Tax Filing

While almost all homeowners qualify for the mortgage interest tax deduction, you can only claim it if you itemize your deductions on your federal income tax return by filing a Schedule A with Form 1040 or an equivalent form.

Because of this, youll have to decide whether its better to deduct the mortgage interest by itemizing or taking the standard deduction. The standard deduction for tax year 2021 is $12,550 for single filers and $25,100 for married taxpayers filing jointly. For tax year 2022, those amounts are rising to $12,950 for single filers and $25,900 for married joint filers.

Lets say youre a single homeowner who spent $18,000 in mortgage interest in 2021. It would make sense in this scenario to itemize your deductions, as youll reduce your taxable income by a greater amount than you would if you were to take the standard deduction.

If youre not sure which is the better route to take, consult a tax professional to help you understand the best move for your financial situation.

Benefits Of A Reverse Mortgage

How much mortgage interest can you deduct?

The No. 1 benefit of a reverse mortgage is that it helps borrowers fulfill their particular financial needs. But here are a few more pros:

  • No monthly mortgage payments: You can avoid paying monthly mortgage payments as long as you have at least 50% equity. However, you’ll still have to pay property taxes and homeowner’s insurance and keep the home in good condition.
  • Spared from foreclosure: Obtaining a reverse mortgage lets you access funds needed to avoid foreclosure.
  • Lump sum: Depending upon the type of reverse mortgage you get, you can spend the money any way you wish.
  • Housing security for spouse: If a spouse was not involved in taking out a reverse mortgage, in most cases they can stay in the home even after the borrower dies. They’ll have to pay taxes and insurance.

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Overview: Tax Implications And Mortgages

You accept a loan with a higher principal and take out the difference in cash when you take a cash-out refinance. The IRS views refinances a bit differently compared to when you take out your first mortgage. In other words, the IRS sees refinances as a type of debt restructuring. This means that the deductions and credits you can claim with a refinance are less robust than when you originally took out your loan.

The new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 increased the standard deduction for both single and married filers, but also cut many of the deductions homeowners could previously count on.

Under the new tax law, your insurance payments arent considered tax deductible. Some new rules also apply to refinances. For example, you cannot deduct the total cost of any discount points you pay at closing in the year you get your new loan. However, you may deduct them over the course of your new loan.

What Happens After Your Sell Your House

Firstly, be forewarned that while working from home or turning your primary residence into an investment property does come with certain tax advantages, selling it after youve generated income from it has one lingering disadvantage. If and when you do decide to sell your home, you will have to pay taxes on the proceeds from your investment property. This is known as the capital gains tax, wherein youll have to pay taxes on roughly half the profits that your asset has gained since it started producing an income for you.

However, if you decide not to turn your principal residence into an investment property, any revenue that you generated by selling the house will be tax sheltered. In other words, if you bought a house 10 years for $350,000, and end up selling it today for $500,000, the extra $150,000 you made will not be subject to taxation. Just remember, as of 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency has specified that home or condominium owners must now declare the profit theyve earned from the sale of their home under Schedule 3 of their income tax refund, even if youre selling your principal residence and are exempt from the capital gains tax.

For more information on debt and specifically mortgage debt in Canada, take a look at this infographic.

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Do I Keep The Mortgage On My Home

You still get to keep the house in your name you are still on title . When you sell the home the debt is paid through the proceeds of the salehowever you even have the option to transfer your reverse mortgage to a new property.

You keep all the equity that is left in your home. 99% of all homeowners have equity in their home when the reverse mortgage loan is repaid. In fact, on average over 50% of the house value is still equity by the time that the Canadian Reverse Mortgage is repaid. In the event of the passing of the borrower, when the reverse mortgage must be repaid the heirs of the estate can obtain a standard mortgage on the property to pay out the reverse mortgage at that time.

Who Qualifiesfor The Mortgage Interest Deduction

Mortgage Interest Deduction

The TaxCuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the rules for the mortgage interestdeduction.

Since2017, if you take the standard deduction, you cannot deduct mortgageinterest.

For the 2020tax year, the standarddeduction is $24,800 for married couplesfiling jointly and $12,400 for single people or married people filingseparately.

But if you use itemized deductions instead of claiming the standard deduction, you candeduct the interest you pay each tax year on mortgage debt. This includes any mortgage loan used to buy, build, or improve your home.

You may also be able to deduct interest on a home equity loan or line of credit , as long as the loan was used for one of those three purposes.

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What Happens If I Want To Sell My Home But Its Not Worth As Much As The Reverse Mortgage

Selling a home with a reverse mortgage is simple if the homes value is greater than the mortgage balance. Sell the house, pay off the reverse mortgage and pocket the difference. But if the value of your home has fallen below the amount you owe, the lender will accept 95% of the homes appraised value, or the full loan balance, whichever is less.

You may need to conduct a short sale selling your home for less than the balance owed if you have to sell when your home is valued at less than what you owe. The problem is, any real estate agent you work with will have to get the lenders permission to list the home for less than the mortgage balance, and the lender may require an appraisal before agreeing to the listing. This is one of the reverse mortgage pitfalls: Short-selling a home with a reverse mortgage is usually time-consuming and complicated.

How The Mortgage Interest Deduction Works In 2021

The mortgage interest deduction allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of money youve paid in mortgage interest during the year. So if you have a mortgage, keep good records the interest youre paying on your home loan could help cut your tax bill.

As noted, in general you can deduct the mortgage interest you paid during the tax year on the first $1 million of your mortgage debt for your primary home or a second home. If you bought the house after Dec. 15, 2017, you can deduct the interest you paid during the year on the first $750,000 of the mortgage.

For example, if you got an $800,000 mortgage to buy a house in 2017, and you paid $25,000 in interest on that loan during 2020, you probably can deduct all $25,000 of that mortgage interest on your tax return. However, if you got an $800,000 mortgage in 2020, that deduction might be a little smaller. Thats because the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act limited the deduction to the interest on the first $750,000 of a mortgage.

Theres an exception to that Dec. 15, 2017, cutoff: If you entered into a written binding contract before that date to close before Jan. 1, 2018, and you closed on the house before April 1, 2018, the IRS considers your mortgage to be obtained prior to Dec. 16, 2017.

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IRS Publication 936 has all the details, but heres the list in a nutshell.

Interest on a mortgage for your main home
Prepayment penalties

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Are Borrowers With Delinquent Tax Liens Orfederal Tax Debts Able To Procure A Hecm Loan

No, HECM borrowers must settle all federal tax debts to qualify for a reverse mortgage. Lending institutions are required to pause processing a reverse mortgage loan until the debt has been settled with the creditor. Tax liens can remain unpaid but only if the reverse mortgage borrower has started a repayment plan. The borrower must have made a minimum of three months of scheduled payments before entering into a HECM loan agreement and cannot prepay to meet the three-month minimum.

Lenders are also required to check publicrecords in order to ascertain the borrower in question doesnt owe any federaldebt and doesnt have a tax lien against their primary residence.

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