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clueless4269
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

The name on the deed of the home that I live in is my mothers name. I pay the property taxes and insurance. It's my home but it has her as the owner on the deed and the tax bill comes in her name. Can I claim the property taxes on my return since I pay it?
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Accepted Solutions
Phillip1
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

No. Real estate taxes are only deductible by a taxpayer who pays the tax and is legally required to pay the taxes. Since the home is in your mother’s name, you do not meet the requirement that you are liable for the property tax.

From IRS Publication 530:

You can deduct real estate taxes imposed on you. You must have paid them either at settlement or closing, or to a taxing authority (either directly or through an escrow account) during the year. Click here for the full explanation in IRS Publication 530.

You could have your mother transfer title to you so that you can claim the property taxes as a deduction on your tax return in future years. However, there is one major reason why continuing with the title in your mother’s name might be the best idea.

  • If the home remains in your mother’s name until she passes away (assuming the home is willed to you out of her estate) the cost basis of the home will jump to the fair market value of the home on the day that she passes away. This could save you a great deal in taxes in the future when you sell the home.

  • Conversely, if the home is transferred to your name while your mother is alive as a gift, your cost basis would be the amount she paid for the home. If the home was bought several years ago, this would leave you with a very small cost basis and a large gain if you sell the home.

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6 Replies
Phillip1
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

No. Real estate taxes are only deductible by a taxpayer who pays the tax and is legally required to pay the taxes. Since the home is in your mother’s name, you do not meet the requirement that you are liable for the property tax.

From IRS Publication 530:

You can deduct real estate taxes imposed on you. You must have paid them either at settlement or closing, or to a taxing authority (either directly or through an escrow account) during the year. Click here for the full explanation in IRS Publication 530.

You could have your mother transfer title to you so that you can claim the property taxes as a deduction on your tax return in future years. However, there is one major reason why continuing with the title in your mother’s name might be the best idea.

  • If the home remains in your mother’s name until she passes away (assuming the home is willed to you out of her estate) the cost basis of the home will jump to the fair market value of the home on the day that she passes away. This could save you a great deal in taxes in the future when you sell the home.

  • Conversely, if the home is transferred to your name while your mother is alive as a gift, your cost basis would be the amount she paid for the home. If the home was bought several years ago, this would leave you with a very small cost basis and a large gain if you sell the home.

View solution in original post

What-a-shame
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

I do not have a title to my mobile home I have been living in since 2004. I have paid the property n school taxes each of those years. My question is, who is the responsible party that has to pay these taxes according to The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania? The person that has the title or the person living in the mobile home?

What-a-shame
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

Additional information. I rent the land and the landlord pays the property tax. The property tax I pay is called that too but it means something else which confuses me. I live in Chester County, PA. 19362. I have told the tax people that I don't own the mobile home many times, verbal n in writing and their response is "We don't care".

TomD8
Level 15

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

@What-a-shame --  I don't know about your local situation, but in many jurisdictions a mobile home itself is subject to a personal property tax, while the land on which it sits is subject to a real property tax (real estate tax).  The mobile home owner pays the personal property tax; the landowner pays the real estate tax.  Two different taxes.

Look carefully at your tax bill and see if what you're paying is a personal property tax.

**Answers are correct to the best of my ability but do not constitute tax or legal advice.**

Sherri5
New Member

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

Does the property taxes go on state return or federal return?

MaryK1101
Expert Alumni

I pay property taxes on house I don't own

In general, the property taxes are entered in TurboTax under Federal Taxes--> Deductions & Credits--> Your Home. 

@Sherri5

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