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Published: Sunday, 3/11/2012

Don't forget tax breaks for homeowners

LOS ANGELES TIMES

If you own a home, it pays to know the tax breaks that could be available to you. Here are five deductions from the Zillow real estate blog:

Mortgage interest. You're generally entitled to reduce your taxable income by the amount of mortgage interest you pay, as long as you itemize deductions on your tax return.

Private mortgage insurance. If you're paying PMI, the amount is likely to be fully deductible as long as your adjusted gross income is $100,000 or less ($50,000 for married taxpayers filing separately). Borrowers with higher incomes above $100,000 may qualify for a partial deduction.

Energy-efficient home improvements. If you installed windows, doors, or skylights that met the requirements of the federal Energy Star program in 2011, you could get a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the product's costs.

Points. The charges you paid in points to get a mortgage are generally deductible if it was a first mortgage on the property. In the case of a refinance of a loan, all or some of the charges might be deductible.

Property taxes. The amount you pay in property taxes is deductible as long as it is based on the assessed value of your property (which is usually the case).



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