Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New IRS Tax Deductions Worsen Mortgage Debt Deal

The new IRS property tax deductions make mortgage debt an even worse deal than it already was.

2008 and 2009 tax years allow you to take the standard deduction but also deduct $1,000 in property taxes (if married filing jointly, or $500 if single) simply by checking box 39c on Form 1040.

IRS Standard Tax Deductions for 2008 Tax Return
(ie, no "itemized" Schedule A needed)

$ 5,450 (single)
$ 5,950 (single, property tax deduction)
$10,900 (couple, married filing jointly)
$11,900 (couple, married filing jointly, property tax deduction)
$14,000 (senior couple, age 65 or older, married filing jointly, property tax deduction)

Non-senior singles can deduct almost $6k without itemizing and without paying a penny in mortgage interest.

Non-senior couples can deduct almost $12k without itemizing and without paying a penny in mortgage interest.

Senior-citizen couples can deduct $14k without itemizing and without paying a penny in mortgage interest.

These deductions are in addition to the $3.5k per person deductions ("personal exemption") for yourself and dependents.

The IRS tax changes are another reason on top of recent market declines as to why debt does not pay.

I warned about such issues before the market crash:

Prepay Mortgage V. Invest in Stock Market
Myth of Mortgage-Interest Income-Tax Deduction
Myth of the Stock Market (Leveraged Borrow-To-Invest Dangers)

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