Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

Are Home Equity Loans and HELOCs Tax Deductible?

Home equity loans and HELOCs are a great way to access the value of your home. However, they can come with some pitfalls and tax consequences.

Homeowners can deduct interest on home equity loans if they meet certain IRS guidelines. These rules apply to both loans that were in place before the TCJA as well as those taken out after it was passed.

Use the Money for Home Improvements or Renovations

Home renovations are a common way to increase your living space, add value and enhance your quality of life. They’re also a good investment that can increase your property tax exemption and boost the resale value of your house.

Whether you’re considering a complete overhaul or simply want to replace some fixtures, there are several ways to fund your project. The safest way is to save up for the job by paying off credit cards, using a home equity line of credit or refinancing your home.

Saving up can be a challenge, but it’s an excellent way to avoid interest and fees and get your money working for you. Certified financial planner Jovan Johnson of Atlanta recommends setting aside a small amount each month in your savings account, checking account or CDs. This is an excellent way to start a home improvement fund and will help you set aside money for future projects or necessary fixes.

If you’re unsure of where to find the funds for your renovation, consider asking a friend or family member to provide you with a loan. They’re likely to be willing to give you a lower interest rate than you might find with a traditional loan or a new credit card, which means you can pay off your home improvements in less time.

Credit cards are a popular method of financing a home renovation, but they can be costly if you don’t pay them off in full each month. They tend to have high interest rates, so they’re best for emergencies.

A home equity loan or line of credit (HELOC) can be another option for a major renovation, but it may not be the most cost-effective method depending on your needs and goals. This is because it’s a debt that can be hard to repay and often comes with high interest rates, as well as extra fees such as appraisal fees and origination fees.

See also  Apply For Top Business Lines Of Credit To Move Your Company Forward

Lastly, many homeowners choose to use their own money for their renovations and projects. While you can definitely do this, it can take a lot of time and be extremely expensive. That’s why a home equity loan or line of credit might be more appropriate for your situation, especially if you have a high credit score and have a strong income.

Be Prepared to Itemize Your Deductions

Home equity loans are often a good choice for homeowners who need to pay for home repairs or renovations. However, before you apply for one, you should make sure that you’re not misusing the money and that it will benefit you in the long run.

If you have a home equity loan or line of credit, you may be able to deduct interest on it for tax purposes. The IRS explains that this deduction is available if you use the funds to buy, build or substantially improve your primary or secondary residence.

But you can only use the money to pay for home improvements or renovations that will add value to your home. It’s also a good idea to avoid using the money for other expenses, like paying off credit card debt or emergency medical bills.

Whether you choose a home equity loan or HELOC, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. It’s also a good idea for you to research your other financing options, like cash-out refinancing or personal loans.

The first thing to do is check the interest rates of your options. You should do this by reviewing the information on your lender’s loan estimate or application forms. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires all lenders to provide these forms to ensure you have all the information you need before deciding on a lender.

You should also be aware that the interest on home equity loans and lines of credit isn’t tax deductible if you use them for non-eligible purposes. If you are planning to use the money for home renovations, make sure you adhere to the IRS guidelines and stick to a budget.

If you’re unsure about the tax benefits of home equity loans or HELOCs, speak to your mortgage professional or a qualified accountant. They can help you determine which type of loan is best for your situation and how to use the loan to your advantage.

You should also be prepared to itemize your deductions when you file your taxes. This is a great strategy if your expenses are high, especially if you don’t qualify for the standard deduction. For example, if your home equity loan interest is higher than $12,950 for single taxpayers or $25,900 for married filing jointly filers, you’ll likely benefit from itemizing.

See also  New York Finance Analyst Salary

Don’t Use the Money for Other Expenses

For many homeowners, a home equity loan is the best way to unlock the magic of their own homes. They can use these funds for anything from a home improvement project to paying for a dream vacation.

However, there are some things you should avoid doing when it comes to home equity lending. First, you should never borrow more than what you can afford to pay back. If you do, it will become difficult to pay off your loan in the long run and may even lead to foreclosure.

Second, you should be sure to get the most out of your money by using it wisely. The best use of your money is to use it on expenses that will repay you back in the form of higher income, lower interest payments or reduced stress.

Third, you should be able to prove that the money you spent on a home equity loan was spent wisely and that the tax benefits were not an afterthought. One of the easiest ways to do this is by keeping detailed records of your spending and ensuring that the most expensive items are itemized in your filing.

Fourth, you should be able to prove that your newest addition to your home was made with the money you borrowed. To do this, you should have a receipt from the company that made the most important purchase and keep track of how much money was used.

In the end, you should be able to find a home equity loan or HELOC that is the best match for your needs and budget. The most important thing is to make sure you take the time to research your financing options and compare them against each other.

Talk to Your Accountant

Home equity loans are popular financing options because they allow homeowners to tap into the value of their homes as collateral. This makes them a cost-effective way to pay for big-ticket items such as a vacation, a new car or other major expenses.

However, many homeowners have begun to question whether the interest on these loans is tax deductible. Since the tax law has changed, it’s important to talk to your accountant about this issue to make sure you’re not missing out on any deductions.

See also  What is an Investment Fiduciary?

Fortunately, the IRS does provide some relief for homeowners who use home equity loans for renovations and improvements on their primary or secondary residences. This is because home equity loan interest is deductible when the funds are used to “buy, build or substantially improve” the house that secures the loan.

To qualify for the deduction, you’ll need to meet certain qualifications. This includes using the money for repairs or improvements that improve the property’s value, durability or adaptability.

It’s also important to keep records of the project, including receipts and invoices showing how the money was spent. This will help you prove that your home improvements are eligible for the tax deduction and reduce the likelihood of having to submit additional paperwork when filing your taxes.

The best way to ensure you’re not missing out on a tax break is to talk with your accountant about the project and the specific details of how the loan was spent. This can save you a lot of time and hassle at the end of the year.

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to deducting interest on a HELOC or home equity loan is that the IRS only allows you to claim this deduction when you itemize your deductions. That means you’ll need to be more diligent about tracking your expenses than usual, especially if the project is significant.

For instance, if you paid more than the amount shown on your mortgage interest statement (Form 1098) during the year, you’ll need to provide a written explanation and a statement that shows this discrepancy. Then, you can file your return and claim this deduction.

Jeffrey Augers
Latest posts by Jeffrey Augers (see all)

By Jeffrey Augers

Jeffrey Augers is a highly skilled and experienced financial analyst with over 12 years of experience in the finance industry. He has a proven track record of delivering exceptional financial insights and recommendations to clients, empowering them to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals. Jeffrey holds a Bachelor's degree in Finance from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.