Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Deducting Points

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Deducting Points

Article excerpt

The Internal Revenue Service and taxpayers have been engaged in a running battle over points--deductions for amounts paid in connection with loans secured by a principal residence.

Revenue procedure 92-12 establlshes a safe harbor leaving no question on when a taxpayer may deduct points. The safe harbor lists four requirements:

1. The settlement statement prepared at the closing must identify clearly the point amounts paid in connection with the indebtedness. Designations such as "loan origination fees," "loan discount," "discount points" or "points" are acceptable.

Amounts called points that are really disguised payments for other amounts paid at closing (appraisal fees, inspection fees, title fees, attorney fees, property taxes or mortgage insurance premiums) are not deductible as points.

2. The amounts must be based on a percentage of the principal amount of the loan.

3. The amounts must conform to the established business practice for charging points and must not exceed the amounts generally charged for points in the geographic location of the home.

4. The amounts must be paid directly by the taxpayer. The funds used to pay the points cannot be deducted by the bank from the loan proceeds. …

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