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Top Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Top Tax Breaks for Homeowners

If you own a home or are thinking of buying one, you’ve probably heard about tax breaks for homeowners.

Buying a home is typically the largest investment that everyday, ordinary folks make in their lifetime. A little planning goes a long way toward ensuring that you get the most value from homeownership. One way to create value is to reduce expenses – and tax deductions can help cut into your overhead.

When it comes to tax deductions, there are various benefits instituted by the government, aimed at encouraging more people to own homes. You can take advantage of these tax advantages by comparing your standard and itemized tax deductions and settling on the scenario with the highest tax benefits. Here are some itemizations that can help you make that determination.

Mortgage Interest

The deductions on mortgage interest are among the biggest tax benefits you can get on your home. Mortgage interest refers to any interest paid on a debt secured by the primary residence or second home. (Deductions are not applicable for interest paid on a personal loan, just home loans). Interest deductions can be taken up to $1 million of the loan used to acquire or improve the home.

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At the beginning of each year, your lender should provide you with Form 1098, detailing the total amount of interest you paid in the previous year. Check the settlement sheet to ensure that Form 1098 includes the interest you paid from when you closed on the home, to the last day of that month.

Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP)

Mortgage insurance premiums refer to extra fees paid to protect the lender should a borrower default on a home loan. These premiums are paid by buyers who make a down payment of less than twenty percent of the loan amount. Mortgage insurance premium deductions can be made on home mortgages issued from 2007 onward.

According to the IRS, if the adjusted gross income as indicated on Form 1040 is more than a hundred thousand dollars or fifty thousand dollars if you are married and filing separately, the amount of deductible mortgage insurance is reduced. The statement on the mortgage insurance premiums is available in Form 1098.

Mortgage Points

Mortgage points are fees paid directly to the lender/broker at closing in exchange for a lower interest rate. Points are deductible as interest if the loan is secured by the home and the amount you deposited at the closing as down payment is equal to the points.

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It does not matter whether you or the seller paid the points; you are entitled to the deductions as long as you meet the minimum requirements. You will be able to deduct your points in the same year you pay them if you itemize them on Schedule A of IRS Form 1040.

Home Improvement Expenses

If you have made home improvements, keep the receipts and other documents safely. Those expenses become tax breaks when you decide to sell your home. Current, the law allows you to add all the home improvement expenses on the purchase price of your home thus reducing the capital gains taxable amount.

IRA Payouts

As a first-time home buyer, you can take advantage of the IRA penalty-free withdrawal for your down payment. IRA rules allow you to withdraw up to $10,000 to help build or acquire a home for yourself or loved ones. The money must, however, be used to build or buy a first home within 120 days from the time it’s withdrawn. You can be considered a first-time buyer as long as you have not owned a home in the last three years.

However, even though not penalized, the IRA withdrawals are subject to federal and state tax. It is therefore not advisable to tap into this account unless there is no other option. Alternatively, you can withdraw your contribution to a ROTH IRA account, which is usually penalty free and tax free. The best thing about a ROTH is that after five years, you can withdraw up to $10,000 of earnings for first home purchase without incurring any taxes or penalties.

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Tax-Free Profit From Sale

Another tax break for homeowners is in the capital gains; a single person can sell a home for a profit of $250,000 and not pay a dime in taxes. Likewise, a married couple can sell a home and make a profit of $500,000 and still not pay anything in taxes. However, some conditions apply.

First, the home on sale must be your principal residence, and you must have lived in it for two of the five years before you sell it.

Energy Credits

You can earn an additional tax break on your primary residence through energy-saving home improvement practices. For instance, you can get credit for up to ten percent of the cost of installing things like insulation systems, qualifying central air conditioners, energy-efficient heat pumps, furnaces, water boilers and water heaters.

The credit can extend up to thirty percent of the cost for more expensive energy-efficient equipment.

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Home Equity Loans (HELs)

When your home appreciates in value, you can use the equity as security to borrow more money. Like a regular mortgage interest, the interest of home equity loans is tax deductible. Federal tax law permits mortgage interest deductions on up to $100,000 in home equity loan.

Adjust Your Withholding

The best place to check whether you are overpaying or underpaying your taxes is the W-4 form you filed with your employer. If you are always finding out that you have underpaid your taxes, check whether you are getting the mortgage interest and other deductions as required.

There are numerous ways you can genuinely claim deductions on your taxes. For instance, you can claim a deduction if you have a side job, a side business or you do some freelancing. Ensure you adjust your W-4 withholding by following the instructions on the IRS website.

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Last Updated on June 1, 2020

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money

Elite Daily have got some great points as to why you should chase down your dream job, regardless of how much the wage is. If you’re feeling unfulfilled in your career, maybe it’s because you’re on a path that doesn’t connect with your passion? Maybe it’s time to steer right off that road and take a different route:

Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.

However, this is inherently problematic as this mindset leads many people to stray down a path that doesn’t best suit them. When people choose their careers, they are sometimes blinded by money and so choose to follow the paper trail. Although money is great and can buy us all the things that will temporarily make us happy, no amount of money can buy time. Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away

This generation is particularly in trouble because jobs are scarce and many of us will be stuck doing jobs we hate just because we need money. Although this may be the right move for our careers now, this shouldn’t be something we do for the rest of our lives. it is best we search for something we are passionate about. Here are the 10 reasons why you should follow your passion and not the money.

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1. Working for money may seem like good enough motivation for one to keep at their career.

Every morning Monday through Friday you go to work 9 to 5 sitting their punching away the hours stressing about the work at hand. This is not a way to enjoy your life. Working for 8 hours a day 5 times a week at something that makes you miserable is not the way you live life to the fullest.

Many people who choose careers that don’t make them happy will tell you that they would all do it differently if they had the chance. You only have one life, so don’t waste it working somewhere you hate just because of the money.

2. You’re more passionate about the work you are doing.

There is nothing worse than having to wake up every morning during the week to mindlessly go do work you don’t even care about. However, this is never really an issue when you are passionate about the work you do. If you are not forced to work somewhere because of monetary constraint, you truly enjoy what you do and you never really work a day in your life.

3. You can relate more to the work and come up with better ideas.

Being forced to do work is one of the most draining experiences. While there are times at every job where you may feel the work may be draining and dull, you have to realize that not every day is going to be an enjoyable one. There are highs and lows, but when you are passionate about the work you you look past the dull days. Your creative process is also different. You are more inclined to come up with creative ideas when you like what you do.

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4. Work doesn’t feel like it’s forced upon you.

When you value money over your overall health and your passion, you will find yourself in an endless cycle of misery. Work no longer becomes a career or a journey, but more of a  taxing nuisance on your mind and body that has to get done.

Every day that you go to work with this mindset you begin to hate your job more and more. While many people feel that they must work hard to retire and have money to enjoy themselves, what’s the point of enjoying yourself in your later years when you spent your life being miserable?

5. No matter how much money you make, nothing will help you overcome the feeling of doing something you hate.

Many accountants come into corporate America, put in reckless hours during the week and make a great paycheck on pay day. Many of them have all this money piled up, but they never really get to enjoy the fruits of their labor because their labor takes up most of their lives.

Many of them hate their jobs because they aren’t really passionate about what they do. Is there a worse feeling than doing something you hate? Eventually this hatred will cause stress and in the long run, it will have lasting effects on your health.

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6. You are more inclined to work later hours.

When you work somewhere that you are passionate about, putting in later hours isn’t as much of a burden as it is when you don’t like what you are doing. To you, putting in the extra hours doesn’t hurt as much because you don’t feel like you are forced to do it, which makes the experience that much more enjoyable.

Every industry has a busy season and without a doubt there will come a time when you will need to put in the extra hours. Will it be easier for you to work longer on something you can relate to or something you can’t stand doing?

7.You are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty.

Certain obligations at your work will require you to go above and beyond the call of duty. In certain times during the busy seasons, you may be asked to do certain tasks that are not part of your everyday schedule. It is much easier for you to put in the extra work if it’s something you actually care about. Because you are passionate about your job, you will be willing to put in the extra effort to go beyond what is required of you.

8. No obstacle will stop you from achieving success.

When you really enjoy what you do, nothing will stop you from getting your work done. Because you are passionate about what you do, you feel unstoppable and nothing can obstruct you from achieving greatness. Your passion ignites your work, and like a rocket, it accelerates you past road blocks that may come about. Any obstacle that comes your way is accepted and fought off with a creative solution.

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9. Our working careers will consume most of our lives, so we might as well do something we enjoy.

You will spend a majority of your life working and there is no other way around this fact unless you are born into a wealthy family or marry rich. For the rest of us who weren’t fortunate enough, we will be spending a good portion of our lives working in order to make ends meet.

There is no way around this, so we might as well accept the cards we are dealt. Many people go about this the wrong way because they feel like work is something they have to do rather then something they can enjoy. Once you realize that your career should be something you enjoy, then you will lead a more happy and fulfilling life.

10. You will get more fulfillment when you finally make it.

There are few feelings better than achieving a level of success you set out for yourself. Nothing like crossing off your bucket list of goals you set out for yourself to achieve. When you finally reach the pinnacle, it is that much more enjoyable knowing you got there doing something you love. Remember work doesn’t have to be something that you hate doing, stay true to yourself and always do what makes you happy.

The 10 Reasons You Should Follow Your Passion And Not The Money | Elite Daily

Featured photo credit: Randalyn Hill via unsplash.com

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