Can I deduct home improvements on my tax return?
On your personal residence, the answer is usually no, although you might qualify for certain kinds of energy-related home improvements. More info
Home improvements may come into play when you sell your home because they're included in your home's adjusted cost basis. The bigger your basis, the smaller your capital gain, and that means less tax if your home sale profit exceeds $250,000 ($500,000 if you're filing jointly). Read more about the tax implications of home sales.
To qualify as a tax deduction, the home improvement must:
- Add materially to the value of your home; or
- Prolong your home's useful life significantly; or
- Adapt your home to new uses.
For most people, home improvements – even major ones – won't help their taxes after the home is sold. Nevertheless, it's always a good idea to keep track of what you paid in home improvements over the years, not just for potential tax savings but also to help justify your selling price.