Benjamin Franklin said, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
Netter Real Estate helps thousands to live the good life on the South Shore with its miles of beaches, parks with spectacular water and woodsy views and fitness classes in unique settings like Seatuck Environmental Center making it exciting to live a long and healthy life. Now Netter Real Estate would like to help you get through tax season as painlessly as possible…and maybe even with a few extra bucks in your pocket.
Kendra Stryska is one of Netter Real Estate’s Licensed Real Estate Salespeople. Her kind eyes and warm smile reveal much about how she treats her clients and customers; Kendra cares deeply for each and every one and is relentless in her pursuit of the perfect real estate solution on their behalf, whether buying, selling or renting. What you might not know about Kendra is that she also has a background in tax preparation. True to her helpful nature, Kendra offers these timely tax tips for you:
The deadline to file 2011 tax returns (unless you have applied for an extension) is midnight on April 17, 2012.
Review your W-4
You might need to adjust your paycheck withholdings to make sure you do not come up short on taxes when you file your 2012 tax return. You should review your paycheck stub to see if you need to make any adjustments. You can use Form W-4 to make changes to your withholding amounts. This form is provided by your employer.
If you went GREEN at home in 2011, you might see GREEN in your tax return
During 2011, if you installed approved water heaters, windows, roofing or heating and cooling systems that reduces energy consumption, you might be eligible for the tax credit in 2012. The credit is 30% of the cost of the energy saving home improvements!
Tax Relief for Taxpayers Who Lose Their Homes Due to Foreclosure Expires in 2013
Beginning in 2013, the cancelled debt incurred to people who lost their primary home to foreclosure or short sale will be considered taxable income (unless they are in bankruptcy or insolvent). Insolvency means your debts exceed the value of all of your assets. They will receive a 1099-C form that will show the amount of debt forgiven and the fair market value of property that was foreclosed. For tax years 2011 and 2012 the cancelled debt will not be considered taxable income if all of the required criteria is met.
Make Sure to Take Advantage of Owning a Home and Claim the Following Homeowner Deductions
- Mortgage Interest* – this is a big one since in a 30-year mortgage, your monthly payments for the first 20 years is mostly interest. Your lender should send you a 1098 form with your mortgage statement in January or February. If you didn’t get yours, many lenders have the form available to you online.
*Currently there is legislation being proposed to eliminate this deduction. If you benefit from this tax deduction, please tell your Congressman and Senators to vote to keep it. The National Association of REALTORS® (including several Netter Real Estate professionals at the forefront) is currently lobbying on your behalf to keep this important tax deduction in place. It’s important that you tell Congress, too. Your voice matters!
- Points you paid if you purchased your home in 2011 – not only did paying points at the time of your purchase keep your interest rate lower for the life of your mortgage, you can enjoy an immediate tax deduction on your return this year
- Closing Costs if you purchased your home in 2011 – remember when you were at the closing table in 2011 and you paid those closing costs? Many are tax deductible. Make sure you have your statement handy while preparing your taxes.
- Real Estate Taxes – if you pay your own real estate taxes instead of having them escrowed by your lender, make sure to take this sizable deduction.
- Private Mortgage Insurance Premiums (PMI) – if you put less than 20% down when you purchased your home, chances are you needed Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Those premiums are tax deductible.
- Energy Credits for any Energy Saving Home Improvements you made during 2011 – it pays to go GREEN in more ways than one. Not only are you helping to save our planet by saving energy but you are saving money each month in energy costs AND you might be able to take a tax deduction on the energy saving improvements you made in 2011.
We hope that you found these tips to be helpful. If you are wondering what to do with your tax refund, Warren Buffet, the Wall Street Journal, Suze Orman and numerous other trusted financial pundits agree that you will see a larger, faster return on your long term investment in real estate than any other type. Plus, you’ll be able to take advantage of numerous tax deductions on your purchase on next year’s tax return. Prices are reasonable and interest rates are at historic lows. Make the most of your money. Let Kendra Stryska or any of Netter Real Estate’s professionals help you make a great investment in your future today.
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