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Rev. date: 01/01/2011

Home Mortgage Points

Tax Topic 504
The term "points" is used to describe certain charges paid to obtain a home mortgage. Points are prepaid interest, and may be deductible as home mortgage interest, if you itemize deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. If you can deduct all of the interest on your mortgages, you may be able to deduct all of the points paid on the mortgage. If your acquisition debt exceeds $1 million or your home equity debt exceeds $1,000,000, you cannot deduct all the interest on your mortgage and you cannot deduct all your points. See Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction, to figure your deductible points in that case. For more information on deducting interest, refer to Tax Topic 505.
You can deduct the points in full in the year they are paid, if all the following requirements are met:
Points that do not meet these requirements may be deductible over the life of the loan. Points paid for refinancing generally can only be deducted over the life of the new mortgage. However, if you use part of the refinanced mortgage proceeds to improve your main home and the points were paid for the use or forbearance of money and were not a charge for services provided by the lender as part of a loan origination fee and you meet the first six requirements stated previously, you can fully deduct the part of the points related to the improvement in the year you paid them with your own funds. Points charged for specific services, such as preparation costs for a mortgage note, appraisal fees or notary fees are not interest and cannot be deducted. Points paid by the seller of a home cannot be deducted as interest on the seller's return, but they are a selling expense which will reduce the amount of gain realized. Points paid by the seller may be deducted by the buyer provided the buyer subtracts the amount from the basis, or cost, of the residence. Points you pay on loans secured by your second home can be deducted only over the life of the loan.
You may be subject to a limit on some of your itemized deductions, including points; for more information on the adjusted gross income limitations please refer to the Form 1040 Instructions.
For more information on points, refer to Publication 936, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction.