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Real Estate Tax Law - The Basics


Many of us are real estate investors. Simply owning our own home qualifies us as an investor and means that there are some basics about real estate tax law that we need to understand. And, much of the real estate tax law that we need to understand is fairly simple. But, a lack of understanding of these real estate tax law principles can cost us big bucks. Here are some basics we all need to know.

• Mortgage interest is deductible – When most of us buy a home, we get a mortgage. And, your mortgage interest is one of the biggest tax deductions you’ll have. Interest is also tax deductible on mortgages for homes other than our primary residence and it’s deductible on home equity loans as well as primary mortgages.

• You Can Avoid Real Estate Taxes When You Sell Your Home- According to real estate tax laws, you are tax exempt from profits when you sell your home, up to $250,000 if you file singly, $500,000 if you file jointly. This real estate tax law is designed to help families own their own homes and encourage investment in real estate. Even if your profit is greater than these amounts, you’ll pay capital gains taxes only on the amounts over the limits. To qualify for this exemption, the home you sell must qualify as your primary residence. A home qualifies as your primary residence if you have lived in it for at least two of the last five years prior to selling it.

• Reinvesting in Real Estate Saves You Taxes – Even if a home is not your primary residence, according to real estate tax laws, you can avoid paying capital gains taxes on your profits. To avoid the capital gains tax when selling real estate that is not your primary residence, you simply must reinvest your profits into another piece of real estate within two years.

• Real Estate Losses are Tax Deductible – If you sell a piece of real estate for less than you’ve put into it, you can claim it as a loss, or tax deduction, when you file with the IRS.

As you can see, understanding the deductions due you under real estate tax law are very important to the bottom line taxes you’ll pay each year. Work with your tax professional to ensure that you’re getting all the real estate deductions you’re due each and every year.

Christine Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of Online Taxes. Her website Taxes Exposed provides a wealth of information on everything you will need to know about Tax Law. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.

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