Tax Reform For Homeowners
Mack: Hi, Mortgage Mack here. And I’m here again with Jo Ann Stevens, the National President of Women’s Council of Realtors. And we thought we’d get together and talk about specifically about the results of the recent tax reform bill and how some of the new regulations are going to impact homeowners both here and throughout the United States.
So, Jo Ann, tell me— Let’s maybe go into some specifics of what the new regulations look like.
Jo Ann: I’ll be happy to and Happy New Year to everybody. And guess what? We’re gonna have a new tax reform bill.
I do think in some instances the lobbying that Realtors did for some of the issues proved to be successful. I don’t think we got everything that we asked for, but we certainly got a number of concessions.
Mack: Let’s talk about mortgage interest deduction and what that looks like moving forward for the coming tax year.
Jo Ann: Okay. First, you have to realize that the standard deductions have just about doubled over what they were in the past. So, for a number of people, they probably will not itemize on their return.
Tax Reform for Homeowners – 2017 Tax Reform Bill increased Standard Deductions to $12,000 for Individuals and $24,000 for Joint Returns
Mack: So, unless you have itemized deductions of 24,000 or more for married filing jointly, it’s not gonna make sense to itemize. Is that what you’re saying?
Jo Ann: I’m saying that some people may not want to go to that trouble.
Mack: So, we talked about mortgage interest. So, let’s discuss what’s next, real estate taxes and how is the new reform bill going to impact real estate taxes. What are my limitations now?
Jo Ann: Well, $10,000 is all they’re going to allow for property taxes as we would call. That would be local and/or state.
Mack: We also talked about the capital gains. Yes, capital gains and— Tell us how that changed.
Jo Ann: Well, actually, it didn’t and I think this is one area where the realtors made an impact in that here the capital gains will still be in effect where it’s same as before. You have to live in a property 2 of the last 5 years. And they were considering 5 of the last 8 years, which would have really hurt our relocation people, our military people who move on a more frequent basis than that, but that is one area where I think our lobbying did help along with mortgage interest and property taxes. Those were all concessions that we received as a result of their realtor movement to get to our members of Congress. And if nothing else, this is the first step. Now, I don’t think this is the end result. I think it’s something that we will work toward refining. And I think that the members of Congress have been very good about listening to our reasoning and our rationale. I think they do honestly believe that homeownership is the backbone of our country. We don’t wanna become a country of renters.
Mack: So, in closing, is there anything else that maybe we didn’t cover that might have changed in the current tax reform bill that maybe you could share with us?
National Association of Realtors Lobby Helps to Preserve Interest Deduction for Second Homes
Jo Ann: Two things. We were able to preserve interest deduction on second homes because that was something that was about to be totally done away with. We also have seen a change that home equity interest will no longer be deductible. So, that is [0:04:10][Inaudible] unless— Now, I say that— I understand that if the funds are being used to significantly improve the property, then it’s a different situation.
Mack: Anything else that you feel like moving forward from here? Maybe share with this the timing associated with this new bill and when people can, I guess, begin to see the changes on their tax returns.
Jo Ann: Well, it will take effect— Well, it’s already taken effect January 1st. However, you really won’t see the difference in filing now for April. There you won’t see any changes. The changes will come this time next year when we’re preparing for the 2018 return.
Mack: So, in summary, it looks like we’ve tried to or we’ve simplified the tax return. We’ve put some caps on some of the itemized deductions specific to real estate taxes, not necessarily to mortgage interest deductions. You can still take the mortgage interest deductions for whatever the amount you’ve paid if you decide to— Is there a cap on that? Do you recall what the cap is?
Jo Ann: I have to look at that and refresh my memory, but I do believe there is a cap.
Mack: I’ll look also too. I will just put a link.
Jo Ann: I do believe that what it is, if you purchased the property after December 15 of 17, 750,000 loan amount was the max. Anybody prior to that, they would be grandfathered in and they could deduct up to the million dollars.
Mack: In closing, anything else you might like to add?
Jo Ann: Just that 2018 has already started off as a year of change and I think it’s very early. So, there’s more to come.
Mack: I appreciate your time today.
Jo Ann: My pleasure as always. Thank you.
Mack: Good to see you. Have a good day.
**The final bill repealed deductions for interest paid on equity debt through 12/31/2025. Interest is still deductible on home equity loans or second mortgages if the proceeds are used to substantially improve the residence.
***As of this publication mortgage insurance is not deductible in 2017, but a Bill has been introduced in the House to make mortgage insurance permanently deductible: H.R. 109