Tax Advice: Middle Class Tax Shelters Everyone Can Use, Many Don’t
Many people lose money for years to landlords because they mistakenly believe they cannot afford to buy a home. However, in most cases, these renters are where they are only because they are unaware of all their other options. Most people know that it’s better to put your money into a house that you own than into a rent check you never see again. Some are aware that mortgage payments could actually be fairly close to what they currently pay in rent.
What few people realize are the tax benefits stemming from owning a home can actually save them hundreds of dollars each month. After taking into account these additional savings, which would you choose: giving up a large chunk of your paycheck each month to a landlord for a small apartment, or, for significantly less money, having not just your own home, but also the freedom to take your money out again in the future?
Tax benefits from home ownership come in the form of deductions. It’s better to put your money into a house that you own than into a rent check you never see again. Financing your home can save money on your next tax return and so can the purchases made using money received from refinancing a mortgage.
How Tax Benefits Work
Tax benefits from homeownership come in the form of deductions. Come tax time, the amount of money you spent on tax-deductible expenses related to your home financing (many of which are outlined below) is subtracted from the total amount of taxes you owe. Depending on how much you owe and how much you put into your home over the course of a year, home financing could actually result in zero tax liability. That means that your new home may actually bring you a refund check!
For example, assume you owe $12,000 in taxes for the past year, and your mortgage interest payment is $1,000 per month. In the early years of a mortgage, payments are usually almost entirely for the interest you owe on your home loan. Mortgage interest payments are tax-deductible, so from this one deduction alone, you now owe $12,000 less in taxes—which brings the total amount you owe the government to zero. If your employer withholds taxes from your paycheck, you will receive a refund check for the tax you overpaid.
Tax Benefits for All Mortgages
Tax Benefits for New Mortgages
Many tax benefits available in the first year of your mortgage are not available later on. It is always a good idea to go over your situation with an accountant to be sure you do not miss any opportunities for savings. These first-year tax benefits include moving expenses and capital gains.
Tax Benefits for Refinancing a Current Mortgage
Benefits Beyond Tax Savings
No one would complain over having a few extra dollars in their pocket. Not only can financing your home save money on your next tax return, but it can also save money on purchases made using money received from refinancing a mortgage (or simply money not lost to rent). In fact, paying off credit cards after financing can be one of the smartest financial moves you can ever make—especially if you keep those cards paid off.
Consider that even the worst mortgage interest rates can be at least ten or twenty percentage points lower than those for the average credit card. People with poor credit are often better off with a higher mortgage interest rate if it means their other debt can be reduced, thereby bringing their credit score up. After re-establishing their credit, they can then refinance their home at a better interest rate.