Field Guide to Mortgage Interest Deduction
(Updated January 2016)
Introduced along with the Income Tax in 1913, the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) allows homeowners who itemize their taxes to deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt up to $100,000. Though the MID is a popular tax deduction for millions of U.S. homeowners, it has become a controversial topic in recent years. This field guide highlights basics, perceived pros and cons, IRS rules, and more to get you up-to-speed on this widely-debated tax deduction. (S. Hogan, Manager, Library & Archives)
Q - ProQuest articles available for NAR members only. Password can be found on the ProQuest/Find Articles page.
For a list of states that have a mortgage interest deduction, please see the Short Answer Table - Mortgage Interest 2015 Deductions (State Issues Tracker, National Association of REALTORS®) (Note: Realtor.org username and password is required).
Mortgage Interest Deduction: Background, (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.).
2016 Mortgage Deduction: What You Should Know, (The Motley Fool, Dec. 19, 2015).
Map: Mortgage Interest Deductions, (Brookings Institution, Dec. 5, 2014).
Mortgage Interest Deduction topic page, (National Association of REALTORS®).
How Does the MID Benefit Housing and Homeownership?
Mortgage Interest Deduction Must Be Saved, (National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 20, 2013).
Why We Can't Compromise on the Mortgage Interest Deduction, (National Association of REALTORS®, n.d.).
Not a High-Wire Act, (REALTOR® Magazine, May 2013).
Some Ideas on Reforming the Mortgage Interest Deduction to Benefit More People, (Mother Jones, Apr. 7, 2013).
Why Is There Opposition to the MID?
Fixing the most expensive tax deduction, (The Washington Post, Nov. 29, 2015).
Why the mortgage interest tax deduction should disappear, but won't, (Money & Banking, June 8, 2015).
A senseless subsidy, (The Economist, May 16, 2015).
The Uselessness of the Mortgage Interest Deduction, (The New York Times Opinion Pages, Apr. 14, 2015).
The Tax Deductions Economists Hate, (FiveThirtyEight Economics, Apr. 3, 2015).
The Mortgage Mistake, (The New Yorker, Jan. 12, 2015).
A Deduction Unevenly Used, (The New York Times, May 16, 2013).
Rules, Forms, & Guidelines from the IRS
Home Mortgage Interest Deduction: Publication 936 (for use in preparing 2015 returns), (IRS.gov, Dec. 30, 2015).
Mortgage Interest Deduction Applies on a Per-Taxpayer Basis, (The Tax Adviser, Nov. 2015). Q
Topic 504—Home Mortgage Points, (IRS.gov, Apr. 15, 2013).
Equitable Ownership and Mortgage Interest Deductions, (The Tax Adviser, Jan. 2012). Q
The IRS, MID and You
REALTORS® Urge Preserving Homeownership Tax Policies, (REALTOR® Magazine Online, Apr. 26, 2013).
Testimony of Gary Thomas, 2013 President National Association of REALTORS®, Before the United States House of Representatives (Committee on Ways and Means Hearing Titled Tax Reform and Residential Real Estate, Apr. 25, 2013).
NAR Issue Summary: Federal Tax/Mortgage Interest Deduction, (National Association of REALTORS®, 2012).
Revenue Costs and Incentive Effects of the Mortgage Interest Deduction for Owner-Occupied Housing, (National Tax Journal, June 2011). Q
Americans Oppose Eliminating Income Tax Deductions, (Gallup.com, Apr. 15, 2011).
eBooks & Other Resources
The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:
How to Invest in Real Estate & Pay Little or No Taxes (Adobe eReader)
J.K. Lasser's New Tax Law Simplified 2010 (Adobe eReader)
J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2010 (Adobe eReader)
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