Mortgage Related Tax Deductions
Dolores Kong

If you refinanced this year and closed mid-month,
make sure you check your settlement papers for any
interest you may have paid in the interim. This
interest may not show up on your year-end mortgage
interest statement and is an easily missed
deduction. And if you're a serial "refinancer", and
you paid off a previously refinanced mortgage that
you had paid points on, make sure you deduct the
balance of the points this year. Unlike with a
mortgage to purchase a house, points paid on a
refinance are not fully deductible the year you get
the loan. They need to be amortized (or spread out)
over the life of the loan, but can be fully deducted
the year you get out of that loan. Finally, if
you've got some spare cash despite holiday bills and
gift buying, consider paying your January 2004
mortgage payment a couple weeks early so you can
write off the interest this year rather than waiting
until next.