Articles Posted in Mortgage Tax Debt Relief

Did you buy a new home in Los Angeles, Whittier, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, Downey, Pico Rivera, Montebello, Hacienda Heights, La Habra Heights, West Covina, La Habra, Brea, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Cerritos, La Mirada, Lakewood, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Long Beach, Compton, Torrance, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and throughout Los Angeles County, Orange County, Corona, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, the Inland Empire, the San Fernando Valley and the San Gabriel Valley.

If you’re a homeowner, Uncle Sam has thrown you a tax shelter that’s beyond compare. You may deduct the mortgage interest paid on your annual tax return and deduct the property taxes on your Schedule A. If you don’t currently own a home, this tax benefit is significant enough to make you look seriously at home ownership.

Get professional tax preparation help. Our firm prepares, plan and represents taxpayers regarding all tax matters..

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Mortgage debt relief extension, tax relief for community banks, and crackdown on some executive compensation in the 2008 Economic Stabilization Act

I am writing to provide details regarding three tax provisions in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008: which was enacted Oct. 3, 2008. Those provisions are: (1) an extension for home mortgage debt forgiveness relief, (2) tax relief for community banks that invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred stock, and (3) a tax crackdown on compensation and severance pay for certain financial executives. Here are the key details regarding those provisions.

Two-year extension of home mortgage debt forgiveness relief provision. The new law provides assistance to homeowners who have been caught in the current mortgage crisis and are trying to save their homes. Under 2007 tax legislation, taxpayers are generally allowed to exclude up to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness on their principal residence. However, this relief provision was scheduled to expire at the end of 2008. Under the new law, this debt relief provision is extended through 2012. To understand the importance of this relief provision, one needs to know that for income tax purposes, a discharge of indebtedness–that is, a forgiveness of debt–is generally treated as giving rise to income that’s includible in gross income. Under pre-2007 tax law, there were no special rules applicable to discharges of acquisition debt on the taxpayer’s principal residence. For example, assume a taxpayer who wasn’t in bankruptcy and wasn’t insolvent owned a principal residence subject to a $200,000 mortgage debt for which the taxpayer had personal liability. The creditor foreclosed and the home was sold for $180,000 in satisfaction of the debt. Under pre-2007 tax law, the debtor had $20,000 of debt discharge income. The result was the same if the creditor restructured the loan and reduced the principal amount to $180,000. In 2007 the tax laws were temporarily changed to allow taxpayers to exclude up to $2 million of mortgage debt forgiveness on their principal residence. For example, assume the same facts as in the foregoing example except that the discharge occurs in 2008. In that case the debtor has no debt discharge income when the creditor (1) restructures the loan and reduces the principal amount to $180,000 or (2) forecloses with the result that the $200,000 debt is satisfied for $180,000. However, this debt relief provision was scheduled to expire at the end of 2009. The new legislation extends the provision through 2012. The relief is not extended to home equity loans.

Beneficial owners can deduct home mortgage interest and taxes The Tax Court held that taxpayers were entitled to deduct mortgage interest and real estate taxes they paid on property owned by their son, because they were the beneficial owners of the property.

The taxpayers resided at the property for all of 2003. During that time, title to the property was in the name of their son, as was the mortgage on the property. Their son had obtained a mortgage loan and took title to the house to procure it for the taxpayers who were unable to secure a loan because of financial difficulties. The son did not live on the property, and the taxpayers paid for all maintenance of, and taxes on, the property. Mortgage payments from 2001 until the time of the trial were made through Camrock General Engineering, Co. Camrock was the taxpayers’ company; one taxpayer was its registered agent and the other its president. After the taxpayers moved from the residence, they served as landlords; they rented the property to a tenant and performed all services related to that tenancy

The taxpayers claimed on their 2003 federal income tax return deductions for home mortgage interest and real estate taxes of $3,522 and $3,194, respectively, on the residence property. The IRS contended that because the taxpayers had no legal obligation to make the mortgage payments and did not hold title to the property, they were not entitled to deduct the mortgage payments. The Service further argued that the taxpayers did not make the mortgage payments; the payments were made by Camrock.

Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008 S

enate passes housing stimulus bill

Mike Habib, EA

On Apr. 10, the Senate by a vote of 84 to 12 approved H.R. 3221, the “Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2008,” the Senate housing stimulus bill. Before final passage of the bill, the Senate approved an amendment offered by Senator John Ensign (R-NV) that would extend various clean energy production incentives.

Did you know that forgiven credit card debt triggered taxable income

Mike Habib, EA

A new Tax Court case illustrates how a taxpayer generally has taxable income when a credit card company agrees to accept a reduced payment in settlement of his or her account.

Investors suffered theft loss in connection with company that issued sub-prime loans

Mike Habib, EA

A Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) has concluded that a theft occurred in connection with investors’ losses on loans to a company engaged in writing sub-prime loans. However, it determined that whether and when a theft occurred for any particular investor, and what losses resulted from the theft, was a question of fact since the company had been engaged in legitimate business for many years before the theft occurred.

Mortgage Tax Debt Relief, AMT Relief – why you need professional tax advice

AMT relief. In general terms, to find out if you owe alternative minimum tax (AMT), you start with regular taxable income, modify it with various adjustments and preferences (such as add-backs for property and income tax deductions and dependency exemptions), and then subtract an exemption amount (which phases out at higher levels of income). The result is multiplied by an AMT tax rate of 26% or 28% to arrive at the tentative minimum tax. You pay the AMT only if the tentative minimum tax exceeds your regular tax bill..

Although it was originally enacted to make sure that wealthy individuals did not escape paying taxes, the AMT has wound up ensnaring many middle-income taxpayers. One reason is that many of the tax figures (such as the tax brackets, standard deductions, and personal exemptions) used to arrive at your regular tax bill are adjusted for inflation, but the tax figures used to arrive at the AMT are not.

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