With Taxes Due in April, Now is a Great Time to Show Some Interest; Real Estate Expert Mark Steward, of DT&CO, Offers Money Saving Tips

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Many homeowners fail to use the interest on their home mortgage to their advantage when tax time rolls around. This can be a money saving tool that requires very little effort to implement and gives a great financial benefit, says Steward.

Real Estate Executive and Travel Entrepreneur

Failing to itemize personal deductions is the single biggest mistake people make when they do their taxes.

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There are many ways to save on what you owe in taxes and even though you may already be paying on items of tax saving value, you are missing the benefits.

According to The Tax Foundation, in all but one state, fewer than 50 percent of tax returns itemize, therefore, you may be paying taxes that you do not owe! (Most Americans Don't Itemize on Their Tax Returns, The Tax Foundation, July 23, 2007)

"One of the largest deductions is Mortgage Interest and many people do not think to take it; however, here are some of the details:

Home mortgage interest for a loan or loans totaling $1 million is deductible as an itemized deduction. Interest on a home equity loan on a second home of up to $100,000 is also deductible. Thus, you can deduct the interest on a total of $1.1 million in home loans each year," says Mark Steward, Raleigh, NC based realty expert.

You must choose whether to itemize or take the standard deduction each year. The IRS won’t tell you what’s in your best interest—it doesn’t care if you make the wrong choice and overpay your taxes. You (or your tax preparer) must decide. Obviously, you should itemize if it will give you a larger total deduction than the standard deduction for that year (Should You Itemize or Take The Standard Deduction This Year?, NOLO.com).

Unfortunately, many people get it wrong. Failing to itemize personal deductions is the single biggest mistake people make when they do their taxes. According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, as many as 2.2 million taxpayers overpay their taxes by an average of $610 per year because they fail to itemize their deductions.

So if you want your part of the $1 Billion tax over-payment, itemize!

Professional real estate veteran, Mark Steward, of DT and Company Real Estate suggests that if you are not enjoying home ownership at this time, it would be a wise to purchase quickly as interest rates are still at record lows, however, prices will see an uptrend in 2014. He went on to state, “Locally, we are seeing an absence of inventory in the marketplace and that is fueling the increase in prices and since we are seeing this now, it is only likely to continue as more buyers will show up as we enter the traditionally high sales period of the spring and summer.” (Home Sales to Hold Steady in 2014, but Prices will Continue to Rise, Realtor.com, November 8, 2013)

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Robin Nolan

Robin Nolan
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