Cover image for J.K. Lasser's homeowner's tax breaks : your complete guide to finding hidden gold in your home
J.K. Lasser's homeowner's tax breaks : your complete guide to finding hidden gold in your home
Robinson, Gerald J.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, [2004]

Physical Description:
xvi, 240 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Deductions in year you buy your home -- Recurring deductions every year you own your home -- Special situation deductions for homeowners.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF6385.Z9 R63 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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There's Tax Money Hidden in Your Home, and This Book Will Show You Where to Find It! Legitimate tax strategies any homeowner can use to save on taxes Written by a down-to-earth tax expert-so you can easily understand the tax tips presented

Beyond the garden-variety deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes, J.K. Lasser's™ Homeowner's Tax Breaks reveals a treasure chest of tax breaks that any homeowner can use. These include such little-known breaks as getting tax-free rent from a short-term home rental, using the generous $250,000/$500,000 home sale exclusion to shelter gain from the sale of other real estate, and pocketing tax-free mortgage proceeds when trading up to a more expensive home.

J.K. Lasser's™ Homeowner's Tax Breaks provides a lively, concise, and plain-English explanation of tax rules for homeowners and a discussion of how these rules can be turned to your tax advantage and financial benefit.

Critical coverage will show you how to:

Make your credit card and car loan interest deductible Boost the amount of your casualty loss deductions Get deductions for household expenses when you have a home office Write off home office equipment such as computers and printers Make commuting costs from home deductible Create tax-free income from renovating your home and selling it at a profit Make your home a retirement nest egg that generates tax-free income from trading down or a reverse mortgage

J.K. Lasser-Practical Guides for All Your Financial Needs

Author Notes

Gerald J. Robinson, Esq., tax counsel to the New York City law firm of Carb, Luria, Cook & Kufeld, is a member of the New York and Maryland bars. He received his BA degree from Cornell University, an LLB from the University of Maryland, and an LLM in Taxation from New York University. Prior to entering private practice, he served in the Office of Chief Counsel, Internal Revenue Service. He is the author of the treatise, Federal Income Taxation of Real Estate , now in its sixth edition, and wrote the monthly newsletter, "Real Estate Tax Ideas," both published by Warren, Gorham & Lamont. He is also a frequent lecturer and contributor to various professional journals.
He hates to pay taxes.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xv
Part I Sheltering Your Income with Home Deductions
1 Deductions in Year You Buy Your Homep. 3
1.1 Overviewp. 3
1.2 Real Estate Taxes in the Year You Buy: Get Your Proper Sharep. 4
1.3 Mortgage Points: How to Assure Deductionp. 7
1.4 Moving Expenses: Does Your Move Qualify for Deduction?p. 11
1.5 How Should Married Couples Take Title to Their Home?p. 12
1.6 Purchase Expenses: The Importance of Recordsp. 12
1.7 Purchaser's Tax-Planning Checklistp. 14
2 Recurring Deductions Every Year You Own Your Homep. 16
2.1 Overviewp. 16
2.2 Planning to Maximize Deductionsp. 17
2.3 Deduct All Your Real Estate Taxesp. 17
2.4 Tax Magic of Home Mortgages: Your Interest Deductionsp. 19
2.5 Refinanced Home Mortgage--Watch Out for Interest Deduction and Pointsp. 20
2.6 Home Damaged? Let the IRS Help Pay!p. 22
2.7 How to Boost Your Damage Loss Deductionp. 26
2.8 When Your Damage Is from a Presidentially Declared Disasterp. 28
2.9 How to Deduct Your Home Office Expensesp. 30
2.10 Eligibility of Employeesp. 30
2.11 Eligibility of Business Ownersp. 33
2.12 Figuring the Deductionp. 34
2.13 If You Work outside Your Home: How to Get Home Office Deductionsp. 43
2.14 How Home Office Makes Commuting Costs Deductiblep. 45
2.15 Deduct Your Home Office Equipment Cost--Up Frontp. 47
3 Special-Situation Deductions for Homeownersp. 48
3.1 Overviewp. 48
3.2 How to Get Tax-Free Income from Short-Term Rentalp. 48
3.3 How to Make Your Credit Card and Car Loan Interest Deductiblep. 50
3.4 How to Deduct Cost of Medical Home Improvementsp. 54
3.5 Deductible Home Improvements for the Disabledp. 57
3.6 How an Employee Gets a Tax Break for a "Sideline" Businessp. 58
3.7 Deduction of Fees for Home Tax Advicep. 61
3.8 Tax-Wise Borrowing against Your Home for Businessp. 62
3.9 Renting a Part of Your Homep. 64
3.10 Your Home as a Retirement Nest Eggp. 65
Part II Tax Shelter When You Sell Your Home
4 How to Sell Your Home with No Tax on Gainp. 69
4.1 Overviewp. 69
4.2 How to Plan for the Salep. 70
4.3 Exclusion of Up to $250,000 or More of Gainp. 71
4.4 How to Qualify for the Exclusionp. 72
4.5 Exceptions to the Two-Year Rule: Job Change, Health Problems, or Unforeseen Circumstancesp. 75
4.6 Married Couples: How to Get the $500,000 Exclusionp. 79
4.7 Is Your Home Your "Principal Residence"?p. 83
4.8 Your Home Office: Does It Qualify?p. 85
4.9 Vacant Land Can Qualifyp. 85
4.10 Snowbirds: How to Deal with the Southern Home Trapp. 86
4.11 Gain in Excess of the Exclusionp. 88
4.12 How to Cope with a Depressed Market by Rental before Salep. 90
4.13 How to Avoid Reporting to the IRSp. 91
4.14 Seller's Tax-Planning Checklistp. 95
5 The High-Priced Home: How to Avoid Tax When Gain Will Exceed the $250,000 or $500,000 Ceilingp. 96
5.1 Overviewp. 96
5.2 Upper-Middle-Class Victimsp. 97
5.3 Tax Time Bombp. 98
5.4 Tax Idea 1: Deferred Sale Approachp. 99
5.5 Tax Idea 2: The Leasehold Carve-Outp. 100
5.6 Tax Idea 3: The Installment Salep. 103
5.7 Tax Idea 4: Conversion to Rental and Exchangep. 107
5.8 Summing Upp. 108
6 When Spouses Splitp. 116
6.1 Overviewp. 116
6.2 Don't Lose the Exclusion on Principal Residence Sale!p. 116
6.3 Transfer of Home to Spousep. 117
6.4 Is It Smart to Sell Prior to Divorce?p. 118
6.5 How to Avoid Gain on a Vacation Homep. 119
6.6 Splitting Up Marital Property: Beware the Tax Trapp. 120
Part III Tax Shelter from Homeowner Loopholes and Vacation Homes
7 Little-Known Loopholes Can Provide Big Savingsp. 125
7.1 Overviewp. 125
7.2 The Super Loophole: How to Use Home Sale Exclusion to Shield Gain on Other Real Estate from Taxp. 125
7.3 How to Buy Vacation Home with Tax-Free Dollars from Sale of Rental Propertyp. 128
7.4 Avoiding Tax When Your Land Includes Both House and Investment Propertyp. 132
7.5 Your Appreciated Residence Is a Tax-Treasure: How to Trade Up and Get Tax-Free Cashp. 134
7.6 Home Improvements: Handyman's Special Tax Shelterp. 135
7.7 Home Improvement Business: Tax-Free Income for Renovatorsp. 137
7.8 When a House Is Not a Home: How to Deduct Loss on Sale of Homep. 138
7.9 How to Get a Charitable Deduction for Your Home--And Still Live in Itp. 140
7.10 Every Home Owner's Hidden Loophole: Nontaxable "Imputed" Incomep. 144
8 Your Vacation Home Is a Tax Shelterp. 147
8.1 Overviewp. 147
8.2 Scenario 1: Use of Vacation Home Exclusively as Vacation Homep. 148
8.3 Scenario 2: Use for Vacation and Rent for 14 Days or Lessp. 149
8.4 Scenario 3: Use for Vacation and Rent for More Than 14 Daysp. 150
8.5 Tax Loss from Rental Not Allowedp. 150
8.6 Figuring the Amount Deductiblep. 153
8.7 Scenario 4: Rent to Others for the Entire Yearp. 157
8.8 Need for Profit Motivep. 157
8.9 Figuring Amount of Tax Shelterp. 158
8.10 Hidden Nugget: A Little Personal Usep. 160
8.11 Depreciation: The Deduction without Cash Outlayp. 160
8.12 Tax Shelter Rulesp. 164
Part IV Retirement Benefits and Estate Planning
9 How to Get Tax-Free Dollars in Retirement from Your Homep. 169
9.1 Overviewp. 169
9.2 Tax-Free Trading Downp. 170
9.3 How Trading Down Increases Cash Flowp. 170
9.4 How Much Cash from Trading Down?p. 171
9.5 The Tax Benefitp. 172
9.6 Tax-Free Reverse Mortgagesp. 173
9.7 What Is a Reverse Mortgage, Anyway?p. 173
9.8 The Tax Benefitp. 174
9.9 How Much Cash Flow Can You Get?p. 175
9.10 What Type of Reverse Mortgage Is Best for You?p. 176
10 Reducing Estate Tax on Homep. 178
10.1 Overviewp. 178
10.2 Should Spouses Own Home Jointly?p. 179
10.3 Do You Need Estate Tax Planning?p. 180
10.4 Larger Estates: How Not to Lose the Second Exemptionp. 182
10.5 How Parent Can Cut Taxes on Vacation Homep. 184
10.6 Estate Planning for a Parent's Home: Using Sale-Leaseback to Shift Appreciation in Valuep. 187
10.7 How Parents Can Escape Estate Tax on Their Homes: The Qualified Personal Residence Trustp. 191
Epiloguep. 195
Appendix A Instructions for Form 8829p. 197
Appendix B IRS Publication 521: Moving Expensesp. 202
Appendix C IRS Publication 530: Tax Information for First-Time Homeownersp. 222
Indexp. 235