Top 7 Tax Write-Offs

Home ownership provides many home tax deductions, tax credits and other breaks that aren’t available to renters. Check out our top 7 list of tax breaks.

Mortgage Solutions of Georgia can help you with any home financing, however, If you wish to learn more, please contact a tax professional.

1. Who is doing your taxes?
Whether you do your own taxes with a tax calculator or have a professional prepare them, you can write off fees on your miscellaneous tax deductions list. Costs can include tax return preparation and electronic filing fees. In order to qualify, however, the preparation fees must exceed 2 percent of your AGI (Annual Gross Income).

2. Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
One of the biggest home tax breaks is the mortgage interest deduction. As a homeowner, it covers interest paid on loans of up to $1 million, or $500,000 if you’re married but filing a separate return.

3. Did you buy a new home and pay mortgage points?
If you itemize, you can deduct the points — or prepaid interest — you paid to purchase or build your primary home. Typically, if you can deduct all the interest you paid on your mortgage, you can also deduct all of the points.

4. Property Tax Deduction
Property taxes are one of the many big tax breaks for first-time homebuyers. You can claim all taxes paid from the date of sale onward. Taxpayers who itemize deductions on Schedule A are also eligible to deduct real estate taxes paid on a primary residence, said Laurie Samay, a New York-based certified financial planner with Palisades Hudson Financial Group.

5. Do you work from home?
You can deduct certain expenses for using a part of your home for business. To qualify for this deduction, you must use part of your home for one of the following:
• Primary location for trade or business
• Main location for meeting with patients or clients
• Storage facility for inventory or product samples for your business or trade
• Rental use
• Day care facility

6. Moving Expenses
If you meet the IRS distance and time tests after you relocate for a new job, you can take a moving-expense deduction. Military personnel who were required to move as part of their service obligations do not have to satisfy any distance or time qualifications.

7. Not home related, but applause to those that Volunteer…
You can deduct certain expenses for charity work, like the cost of gas and oil if you use your car to get to and from the place you volunteer. If you don’t want to calculate the value per mile, ask your tax professional what the standard per rate mile is. You can also deduct the cost of purchasing and maintaining uniforms you wear to a place you volunteer or parking in a garage if that’s required.

Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights

5 Home Safety Tips for Holiday Lights

Out with the old: Inspect old lights that have been sitting in storage for the past year and get rid of any with frayed cords or loose connections. Always remember to unplug the lights before you try to replace any bulbs.

One is enough: Make sure to use the correct length of extension cords and not to connect multiple ones together.

Exterior Lights: If you are hanging lights outdoors, make sure to keep electrical connectors off the ground and away from any rain gutters, especially the metal ones! You can use plastic clips instead of metal nails to hold your lights in place.

Rush Hour: During the holiday season, electricity rush hour is also right after work, be sure to turn on your lights after 7pm to avoid the surge. Using a timer helps.

Sleep tight: To avoid fire hazards, turn off holiday lights when you leave the house unattended or when going to bed.

Home Winterization Checklist

Now that the colder weather seems to be here to stay, use this checklist to help keep your home warm this winter.

House Interior
o Check and apply caulk or weather stripping to drafty doors
o Get furnace serviced
o Get chimney swept
o Replace furnace filter
o Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
o Reverse ceiling fans so blades are turning clockwise
o Flush hot water heather
o Set thermostat for winter
o Close vents in unused rooms
o Check attic for at least 12 inches of insulation
o Protect window wells with plastic shields

House Exterior
o Clear away debris from downspouts
o Check outdoor lighting and replace bulbs
o Clean gutters
o Check vents and opening
o Split and stack firewood
o Clean debris from roof
o Inspect roof and fixe damage
o Rake away debris from around foundation
o Check heating fuel level and refill
o Buy ice melt and sand
o Move sensitive potted plants indoors
o Install exterior faucet covers