Housing

Home Sweet Homeowner: 3 Tax Credits to Take Advantage Of

homeowner tax

Hooray for taxes! Bet you can’t wait to grab your W-2 and dig into that paperwork!

Not so much?

That’s understandable. Unless you’re a professional accountant, doing your taxes can feel like you’re wandering through a massive corn maze. Except instead of corn, there are a bunch of numbered forms. And it’s not fun.

But, that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money. In fact, if you’re a homeowner, there are a number of credits you can take advantage of this year. Here are few to consider once you work up the courage to start your 2012 return:

Note: Taxes are complicated, and eligibility for these credits can vary depending on location and income. It’s always best to check with a qualified professional if you have any uncertainties.

The Energy Property Tax Credit

This credit has been around in various forms for the past few years, and while it was set to expire this year, it ended up being reinstated (rock on, green tax credits).

If you made energy efficient upgrades to your home last year – such as purchasing an energy star appliance or installing insulation in your attic – you can receive a credit for 10 percent of the building materials!

The maximum amount you can get from this credit is $500. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Mortgage Insurance Deduction

This deduction was on the bench in 2011, but it’s back in action this year.

If you pay mortgage insurance, you can take advantage of this deduction by itemizing your federal taxes.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to deduct up to 25 percent of what you paid for mortgage insurance in 2012.

The New Homeowner Credit

The extremely popular tax credit, which began in 2008 and continued in various forms through 2010, is no longer available (however, if you purchased a new home between 2009 and 2010 and never took advantage of the credit, you should still have time to amend your return!).

If you purchased your first home in 2012, you may still qualify for a tax credit of 20 percent of the mortgage interest you pay back each year, for the next thirty years.

Just note that this credit is only offered by certain lenders, and only certain income brackets are eligible.

BrightNest is a free site that provides tools and tips to homeowners to help them save money, get organized and keep their home in great shape.