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Cruzesa
Level 3

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

I refinanced my mortgage in 2020 and only took out cash to cover some of the closing costs. When responding to the question about how much of the loan was used to buy, improve, or build the home it's secured by, I'm entering the amount needed to pay off the previous loan, correct? The question is confusing as I didn't "purchase" the home with the refinanced funds, but did refinance the home, which I guess to the new lender is like the purchased amount, correct? If I put $0 in this field, then I'm not able to include the interest paid as a deduction which is forcing me into the standard deduction instead of being able to deduct more than the standard, which I believe I should be able to do. Please confirm or correct. Thank you.

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Accepted Solutions
DawnC
Employee Tax Expert

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

For purposes of calculating deductible mortgage interest, you can include the interest from the amount of your loan that was used to buy, build, or improve the home that it’s secured by.  As long as those closing costs were for the mortgage that is secured by the home, they are included as part of buying the home.   You would only exclude the amount if it were a different home or mortgage.   

 

Examples of common ways you might have used this money not on your home include:

  • Making a downpayment on a different home
  • Funding improvements on a different home
  • Making a payment on a different loan or debt
  • Having miscellaneous large purchases

Example: John took out a home equity line of credit on his home on Tuberose Street for $40,000.  He used $25,000 to remodel his kitchen and bathrooms in his Tuberose Street home, and $15,000 as a downpayment on a second house on Snowdrop Lane.   He can only deduct the interest he paid on $25,000 he used to improve his Tuberose Street home.   

  

 

 

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5 Replies
DaveF1006
Employee Tax Expert

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

It depends. Here is how I would report this in Turbo.

 

  1. Assuming you have entered your mortgage information
  2. Navigate to the screen where it says Was this loan paid off or refinanced with a different lender in 2020? Yes
  3. Is this loan secured by a property of yours? yes
  4. Is this loan a home equity line of credit or a loan you've ever
  5. Is this loan a home equity line of credit or a loan you've ever refinanced? indicate yes, this is a loan I've refinanced or a home equity line of credit (HELOC)>A mortgage loan that I've refinanced>Have you ever pulled cash out from this loan when refinancing it? yes
  6. Next question asks, Have you used the money from this loan exclusively on this home? Yes   Note: This doesn't ask if you used the cash to buy, improve, or build the home. It just asks if you used it on the home and you did to pay the closing costs.
  7. Next screen will inform you you received the tax break.
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Cruzesa
Level 3

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

Thanks, Dave. My questions are not appearing exactly as you have laid out; however, I think I get the jest. In a previous query regarding the response to the question about if the cash taken was used for the home, in my case, cash was taken to cover some of the closing costs, an "expert" said that I should say "No" to the question. So I'm not sure which is the correct answer. When I respond "yes", as you have suggested, I don't get the follow-up question about how much of the loan was used to buy, improve, build. If I say "No" to the question, as the previous "expert" recommended, then I'm asked the question. So:

 

Are funds taken in a refi to cover closing costs a use of funds to "buy, improve, or build" the house the loan is secured by? and

If the answer is "no", do I put the payoff for the previous loan in response to the question on "how much" of the funds were used to "buy, improve or build" the house?

DawnC
Employee Tax Expert

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

For purposes of calculating deductible mortgage interest, you can include the interest from the amount of your loan that was used to buy, build, or improve the home that it’s secured by.  As long as those closing costs were for the mortgage that is secured by the home, they are included as part of buying the home.   You would only exclude the amount if it were a different home or mortgage.   

 

Examples of common ways you might have used this money not on your home include:

  • Making a downpayment on a different home
  • Funding improvements on a different home
  • Making a payment on a different loan or debt
  • Having miscellaneous large purchases

Example: John took out a home equity line of credit on his home on Tuberose Street for $40,000.  He used $25,000 to remodel his kitchen and bathrooms in his Tuberose Street home, and $15,000 as a downpayment on a second house on Snowdrop Lane.   He can only deduct the interest he paid on $25,000 he used to improve his Tuberose Street home.   

  

 

 

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Cruzesa
Level 3

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

Thank you, DawnC. Assume this applies whether the mortgage is for a purchase or refi.

DMarkM1
Employee Tax Expert

Just want to ensure I'm inputting Mortgage Interest Properly

You are correct.  The rules apply to all mortgage loans.  

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