Advertisement
Tax Breaks

How Can I Deduct Home-Equity Interest Under the New Tax Law?

Still want to tap your home equity and deduct the interest? Options remain.

Note: The editors of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine and the Kiplinger Tax Letter are answering questions about the new tax law from subscribers to our free Kiplinger Today daily email. See other reader Q&As about the new tax law, or submit your own question.

Question: I understand that the new tax law eliminates the deduction of interest on home-equity loans. But, will there be an exception if the loan is used to improve a home, such as remodeling or building an addition?

Advertisement - Article continues below

Answer: Yes. As in the past, home-equity loan proceeds used to substantially improve a home are considered acquisition indebtedness, so the debt falls under the rules that permit interest on up to $750,000 of such debt to be deducted. For debt secured by a first or second home and incurred before December 15, 2017, interest on up to $1 million can be deducted. The $750,000 cap applies to debt incurred after December 14.

Under the old law, interest on home-equity debt that did not qualify as acquisition indebtedness (because it was used for purposes other than to buy, build or improve a first or second home) could be deducted. That’s the write-off Congress abolished, starting in 2018, for both new and old loans.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon
Smart Buying

18 Things You Can't Return to Amazon

Before tossing these items into your virtual shopping cart, be sure to read Amazon's return policy first.
September 17, 2020
Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans
taxes

Election 2020: Joe Biden's Tax Plans

With the economy in trouble, tax policy takes on added importance in the 2020 presidential election. So, let's take a look at what Joe Biden has said …
September 18, 2020
7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic
careers

7 Foreign Countries Luring Americans to Work Abroad During the Pandemic

Work remotely – really remotely – in these appealing destinations offering special visas for American workers.
September 18, 2020

Recommended

Stay on Course With Student Loans
Paying for College

Stay on Course With Student Loans

You may be eligible for deferment if you receive unemployment benefits or are unable to find a full-time job.
August 27, 2020
The Five Top Consumer Complaints
Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.
August 27, 2020
8 Tips and Warnings on PPP Loan Forgiveness
loan forgiveness

8 Tips and Warnings on PPP Loan Forgiveness

Not having to pay back Paycheck Protection Program loans is a huge benefit for small-business owners. But there are a lot of rules that must be follow…
July 21, 2020
How the Fed's Moves Affect You
Economic Forecasts

How the Fed's Moves Affect You

It’s pumping trillions of dollars into the economy and keeping rates near zero. Savers are sunk, but borrowers get a boost.
July 2, 2020