IRS Shares Its Views on Home Mortgage Interest Deduction When Mortgage Paid By Co-Owners.

In this Advice from the Chief Counsel's Office, the IRS discussed three sets of facts involving claiming the home mortgage interest deduction when there is more than a single owner of the mortgage home that is paying on the mortgage.  The first scenario involved a married couple that are jointly and severally liable on a mortgage.  One spouse died during the tax year and the bank issued a Form 1098 under the decedent's Social Security number.  The surviving spouse filed a separate return and payments on the account were made either from a joint account or from separate funds of the couple.  The IRS determined that if the decedent paid on the mortgage before death, the decedent's return should reflect one-half of the interest paid from the joint account before death.  After death, the surviving spouse can claim the deduction for interest.  The second scenario involved an unmarried couple that were jointly and severally liable on the mortgage.  The bank issues a Form 1098 under either one Social Security number or under both numbers.  One or both of the owners claims the mortgage interest deduction on their individual returns.  The IRS determined that both parties are entitled to the mortgage interest deduction to the extent of the interest that each taxpayer pays.  If the mortgage interest is paid from separate funds, each taxpayer can claim the mortgage interest deduction paid from each taxpayer's separate funds.  If the interest is paid from a joint account in which each party has a equal interest IRS presumes that each owner has paid an equal amount unless there is evidence to the contrary.  In the third situation, related persons co-owned a house and were liable on a mortgage.  The bank may issue a Form 1098 either under one or both of the parties names, and payment on the mortgage might be made from a joint account or from separate funds of the owners.  Again, IRS stated that each owner is entitled to a mortgage interest deduction attributable to the amount that owner actually pays.  Of course, IRS reiterated that that overall limitations on deducting mortgage interest under I.R.C. Sec. 163(h) apply in all of the scenarios.  C.C.A. 201451027 (Oct. 1, 2014).

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