Today TaxMama hears from Tiffany in the TaxQuips Forum who is upset with H&R Block. She tell us “My boyfriend and I own a home. Both of our names are on the deed and on the 2 mortgages we have on the house. We each file our own tax return… Since both of our names are on the forms – can’t we alternate years on who takes the deduction – like 2010 I take it and 2011 he takes it? H&R Block says we can’t do that. If not, can one of us just claim it? ”
When you are both on title and both on the mortgage, essentially, you’re fine with either of you claiming the deductions.
I say “essentially” because that’s only good until you’re audited.
Then IRS will want to see the source of the payments.
You are not married to each other. You’re not sharing a joint account from which the payments are made. So you may each only deduct the interest that YOU pay.
If you are paying 50-50, that’s the way you’ve got to take the deductions. You can’t just decide, we’ll split it any way we like. If you want your partner to get all the deductions, then all the payments need to come from his bank account. You pay for other things, things that are not deductible – like the utilities, household supplies, food, etc., instead of the mortgage.
When you are not married, you have to plan out your expenses to determine who will get the tax benefits.
Meanwhile, unfortunately, H&R Block is correct.
And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about sharing deductions and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At www.TaxMama.com.[Note: If you were subscribed to the e-mailed TaxQuips, you’d be getting other exciting news and tips by e-mail, that never appear on the site. Please click on the join TaxMama.com link – it’s free!]
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