IRS Cuts Taxes For Unmarried Homeowners

Q: Gerald, I own several properties jointly with my boyfriend.  How much mortgage interest can we each write off on our taxes? Karen, San Bernardino, CA.

A: Karen, unmarried couples can now deduct effectively twice as much of their mortgage and home interest on their tax returns, thanks to a recent change by the Internal Revenue Service.  The law says taxpayers can deduct up to $1 million in mortgage debt and $100,000 in home equity financing, but the new IRS position on the mortgage deduction based on a ruling from a lawsuit brought by an unmarried California couple that co-own property, allows them now to deduct up to $2.2 million.  This new IRS position presents a strange situation–get married and you’re limited to deductions of $1.1 million in mortgage and home debt, stay unmarried and you can deduct up to $2.2 million!  But in this case it works in you and your boyfriend’s favor, Karen.

Thanks for your question!

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