Who gets to deduct mortgage interest: I or my ex?

by Rob Seltzer

My ex still lives in our jointly owned home, but I pay the mortgage, property taxes and insurance per our divorce agreement. Do I therefore get to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes on my income tax return?

As you state in your question, your home is jointly owned. Since you are an owner, you are entitled to deduct the property taxes. For the mortgage, it depends on what other mortgage debt you have. If you have another home on which you are paying mortgage interest, then that will come into play.

There is a limit of $1 million of home mortgage acquisition debt; an additional $100,000 of home equity debt is allowed on top of that. So if your combined mortgage debt is below those limitations, then your payments on the jointly owned home would be deductible.

I assume your name is on the loan. If both your names are on the loan, I would recommend that you make sure that your Social Security number is the one the lender uses when issuing the 1098 form.

Rob Seltzer is principal of Robert Seltzer, CPA, PFS, in Beverly Hills. You can reach him at (310) 278-9944.

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