You can each claim the costs you each actually pay individually although you should decide who will benefit more from itemize deductions and that person should pay the mortgage and RE taxes so that they can itemize deductions then the other person takes the standard deduction ...that person should also be listed first with the mortgage company so the 1098 is issued in their SS# thus keeping the income tax reporting clean.
If you and your GF are both on the mortgage and the deed, you can each enter the amounts of mortgage interest and property tax you paid on your individual tax returns when you prepare your 2020 returns next year in 2021. Do not expect a big refund for buying a home---you are buying it late in the year and you will be splitting up the deductions. It is unlikely that you will have enough to deduct anything related to the house as itemized deductions--unless you each spent a LOT of money on it.
There is not a first time home buyers credit on a Federal return. That ended in 2010. If your state has such as credit, you will be able to enter it when you prepare your state return.
Buying a home is not a guarantee of a big refund. Your deductions for homeownership combined with your other deductions (if any) must exceed your standard deduction to change your tax due or refund. If you purchased your home late in the year, you do not even have a full year of home
Your closing costs on your new home are not deductible except for prepaid interest, prepaid property tax or loan origination fees. There are no deductions for appraisal, inspections, title searches, settlement fees. etc.
Your down payment is not deductible.
Your homeowners insurance for fire, hazard, flood, etc. is not deductible for your own home.
Home improvements, repairs, maintenance, etc. for your own home are not deductible.
Homeowners Association (HOA) fees for your own home are not deductible.
It is very hard for a lot of people to use itemized deductions now that the standard deduction is so much higher. Your home ownership may not have any effect on your tax due or refund, especially if you purchased the house late in the year.
Your itemized deductions have to be more than your standard deduction before you will see a change in your tax owed or tax refund. The deductions you enter do not necessarily count “dollar for dollar;” many of them are subject to meeting tough thresholds—medical expenses, for example, must meet a threshold that is pretty hard to reach. The software program uses all the IRS rules that apply to the expenses you enter, and it tells you if you have enough to use your itemized deductions or if using the standard deduction is more advantageous for you. Under the new tax laws, some deductions have been capped—there is a $10,000 limit to the itemized deductions for state, local, property and sales taxes.
2020 Standard Deduction Amounts
Single $12,400 (+ $1650 65 or older)
Married Filing Separate $12,400 (+ $1300 if 65 or older)
Married Filing Jointly $24,800 (+ $1300 for each spouse 65 or older)
Head of Household $18,550 (+ $1650 for 65 or older)
You pretty much have a choice. One can claim it all or you can split it. It's usually best if only one claims it, allowing the other to use the standard deduction.
But, you have to meet the rules, which are:
- You are legally obligated to pay it
- You actually pay it. Paying from a joint account where you made sufficient deposits to cover the payments will usually meet this standard. However, paying from your own account would be a stronger audit defense.
You have to go to the trouble of arranging and documenting your finances to cover the situation.