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6 Tax Deductions You Should Know When Selling Your Home

When it comes to taxes, we often shudder at the thought of the IRS being an ominous and inescapable entity. But for most of the time, they can also be great friends, especially when we talk about a home seller’s tax deductions to increase our savings.

Sure, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 did put some limitations on the tax deductions including the cuts for property taxes. However, you can still gain a lot by filing for deductions with the IRS if you were to sell your home today or in the foreseeable future.

So what kind of deductions can you file to stretch the profit margin of your home’s sale? Let’s discuss them below.

1. Selling costs deduction

This type of deduction is only allowed if the request is directly tied to the sale of the home and you stayed on the property for two years before the sale. Another rule, the property must be a principal residence and not for an investment.

Joshua Zimmelman, president of Westwood Tax and Consulting in Rockville Center, NY, says, “You can deduct any costs associated with selling the home—including legal fees, escrow fees, advertising costs, and real estate agent commissions.” Sometimes the deduction also includes home staging fees.

2. Home improvements and repairs deduction

“If you needed to make home improvements in order to sell your home, you can deduct those expenses as selling costs as long as they were made within 90 days of the closing,” says Zimmelman.

To avail of this tax deduction, you must do your best to close a deal within 90 days after you’ve formally accepted an offer from a potential buyer. This could pressure you if you really want the deduction. I strongly suggest hiring a real estate agent to analyze your situation and do the talking for you.

3. Mortgage interest deduction

A mortgage interest deduction is another homeowners’ tax incentive. This allows homeowners to count the interest they paid on a loan related to construction, purchase, and improvements for their primary home against their taxable income.

Homeowners who got their mortgage before Dec. 15, 2017, have a deduction limit of up to a million dollars. Those who have gotten their mortgages when The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 was in effect can only deduct up to $750,000.

The deduction figures also change depending if you’re an individual homeowner, head of household, or married with your spouse filing the deductions along with you.

4. Capital gains deduction

The capital gains tax is more of an exclusion rule for home sellers rather than a deduction. For you to avail of it, you also need to live in the house for two years prior to its sale. Single homeowners can file an exclusion for up to a quarter-million while married homeowners can file up to half a million dollars.

5. Property tax deduction

Due to the current Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 still in effect, property tax deductions are capped at $10,000. Only homeowners who have dutifully paid their property taxes can avail of this deduction. This is why it’s important to never miss an audit.

6. Moving expenses deduction for active servicemen

The last tax deduction for home sellers is reserved for those who are currently serving in the military. If you’re an active personnel on either of the six branches of the United States military and you’re moving your residence, this is a deduction you should take advantage of.

Taxes can be confusing. They vary depending on how much you’ve spent on loans, your transaction expenditures, social, and civil status. They also change depending on the politicians that currently hold office.

This is why in our social circle, we all have our own tax preparers hired to do our responsibilities of paying what we owe to the government. Examples of tax preparers are tax lawyers, certified public accountants, and enrolled IRS agents.

And the last important thing I would like to remind you is to always keep your receipts on transactions related to your home as they will help you get huge deduction amounts.

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