A home mortgage is any loan that is secured by your main or second home as collateral for the loan. Home mortgages include first and second mortgages, and refinanced mortgages. A loan secured by your third home is considered a personal loan, unless the third home is used exclusively for business (such as rental property) or investment purposes (such as an inherited house that sits vacant until sold). Debt not secured by the property is personal debt. For example, interest paid on money borrowed from parents for the down payment to purchase a home is personal interest, unless the parents record the loan under state or local law and the home is collateral for the loan.
A home is defined as any house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, boat, or similar property with basic living accommodations including, sleeping, toilet, and cooking facilities.
Mortgages taken out after October 13, 1987, to buy, build, or substantially improve a main or second home.
This may be considered grandfathered debt, acquisition debt, or home equity debt, depending on the following.
You must be legally liable for the loan to deduct interest on a home mortgage. Payments made on a loan in which you are not directly liable are deductible only if you are the legal or equitable owner of the real estate. You may become an equitable owner if you assume the benefits and burdens of ownership.
Home equity debt is debt that does not qualify as grandfathered debt or acquisition debt. It is generally any indebtedness other than acquisition debt. Home equity debt includes reverse mortgages and home equity lines of credit(HELOC). All types of home equity loans essentially convert your home equity into cash to pay for a variety of expenses. Interest on home equity debt is not deductible unless used to buy, build, or improve the home that secures the loan. The combined amount of the mortgage and home equity loans must meet the limits for acquisition debt.
In a reverse mortgage, a lender pays the owner of a home while the owner continues to live in it. The payment can occur in a lump sum, a monthly advance, a line of credit, or a combination of the three. The amounts received are considered loan advances, not income, and are not taxable. The loan comes due, depending on the plan, when the loan period ends, the owner moves, reaches a certain age, sells the home, or dies. Mortgage interest accrued on the reverse mortgage proceeds is not deductible.
Interest paid on a loan to buy property held for investment is deductible. Investment interest does not include home mortgage interest or any interest taken into account in computing income or loss from a passive activity.
Property held for investment includes property that produces interest, dividends, annuities, or royalties not derived in the ordinary course of a trade or business.
The deduction is limited to your net investment income. You are allowed to carry over the amount of investment interest you are not able to deduct because of the limit. Net investment income is determined by subtracting investment expenses (other than interest expense) from investment income (interest, dividends, annuities, and royalties). Investment income does not generally include qualified dividends or net capital gain.
DISCLAIMER: This article contains general information for U.S. taxpayers and should not be relied upon as the only source of authority. Seek out professional tax, legal, or financial advice from CryptoTaxAudit or from other reputable companies.