First off even before we begin, let me recommend you to keep aside a file of all the receipts and invoices of payments made by you in relation with home improvements. They do come in real handy when you are filing your taxes. The following is a brief explanation about the home improvement expenses that are considered to be valid tax deductions by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). These tax deductions should not be confused with tax credits and more over, home improvement should also not be confused with tax credit and other tax breaks. A very honest answer to the query, what home improvements are tax deductible, is medical expenditure is the only deductible expenditure (explanation follows). However you can take advantage of your home improvement to claim lawful deductions, in a bit indirect manner.
Tax Deductions and Home Improvements
So what is the exact premise of home improvements in tax deductions. Simple, the IRS, has permitted the income tax filers and tax payers to deduct certain home improvement expenditures as a part of their itemized deductions. Tax breaks such as tax credits and tax exemptions or initial discounts have been covered in the home improvement section, however in the following list the direct deduction has been included.
Direct deduction is the phenomenon where your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), before the amount of tax is levied, drastically decreases. It must be noted that tax slabs of the year are imposed in percentages on the AGI and deductions which are basically all your home improvement expenses can be claimed through certain channels, thereby bringing down the AGI and your liability. Now from the total home improvement expenditures only some are viable deductions. A home improvement is an addition to the value of your house. The repairs on the other hand are rectifications of the already existing property. On the whole when you fill out your Form 1040 for itemized deductions, you will have to make a keen and fine search to see which expenditure is a home improvement and which is a repair.
Now when one asks, what are home improvements are tax deductible, it must be noted that home improvement tax deductions are directly not valid tax deductions, hence you will need to take a differential and indirect deductions. Here are 5 solid paths which you can take…
Topic 502 Medical and Dental Expenses
The above subheading sounds a bit odd does, isn’t it? Home improvement and medical deductions, are two completely different kinds of expenditures, yet if you have taken up home improvement in your house for medical reasons such as specialized medical, facilities, then the entire cost of improvement that escalates the value of your house is taken into consideration as a deduction. The condition is that the home improvement should be permanent in nature and should be taken up for entire the tax filer, his/her spouse or any other dependent who is resident at said place. Lastly as per the IRS, if the value of the home improvement does not increase the value of the house, then the entire expenditure incurred is taken up as a deduction. Modification of stairways, doors, railing installations and other such modifications are connoted to be deductions as per medical and dental expenditure list. It must be noted that these expenditures can be claimed as deductions under the Capital Expenses head of the Medical and Dental Expenses.
Topic 505 Interest Expenditure
The interest rate of a lot of different loans, credits and money lending facilities that tend to have advantageous deductions if you have undertaken home improvements. Loans such as Home Equity Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit (HELOC) or student loans, tied down to the appraised equity of your home, have a fully deductible interest rate. This might not be significant in volume or even at times being, however at a later stage the small annual interest rate would prove to be instrumental in bringing down the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) on your income tax return. The key to claim such a deduction is that the equity of the house increases substantially after home improvement. It is abstract but is also relevant, at least indirectly.
Topic 509 Business Use of Home
Based upon the fact that if home improvement increases your homes equity value, the value of certain related deductions is probable to go up by a couple of dollars. If you are using your house for business purposes then expenditures that are involved in the business use of house are deducted from the AGI. The advantage of the home improvement is that, it increases your homes value and thus this expenditure of business use of house also increases, substantially.
The last deduction that you can claim with the help of home improvement is the depreciation deduction. Like the aforementioned home deductions, the depreciation deduction takes advantage of the increased value of the house. Depreciation is imposed by a percentage value. Value addition in the home’s value, after home improvement, tends to boost up the total amount of depreciation.
Thus, on the whole, home improvement based tax deductions are to be availed using indirect methods. The basic premise is that the home improvement pushes up the value or equity of your home. Thus the monetary value of deductions that you used to claim earlier also increases and your AGI thus, gets reduced. A reduced AGI means a reduced income tax liability.
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