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Wendy Reed
Wendy Reed, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
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Experience:  15+ years tax preparation and tax advice.
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My inlaws are retired, my father in law receives retirement ...

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My inlaws are retired, my father in law receives retirement from two previous employers, my mother in law just draws social security at age 63. They are buying a house from the owner and paying greater than 500$ per month in interest. Have been for the past 10 years yet when they file their taxes H&R Block says they cannot claim this interest. Is this correct??? I thought you can claim all your interest when buying a house.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Wendy Reed replied 8 years ago.

Hello there,

I think that the message that you are getting from your in-laws that they got from HR Block has gotten somewhat convoluted.

Yes, they are allowed to deduct their mortgage interest. However, If your father-in-law is 65 or over, their standard deduction as a married couple is 11750 dollars. If their itemized deductions are less than this amount, then they do not get a benefit from deduction their mortgage interest. Itemized deductions include medical expenses in excess of 7.5% of gross income, mortgage interest, property tax, charitable contributions, real estate tax and state and local income or sales tax. If these itemized deductions are lower than the standard (which they usually are for seniors, even those who pay some mortg. interest), then the best tax choice is to use the standard deduction.


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