Real Estate – Taxes, Mortgages on a Second Home – Deductible?

Michael Lodge

by Michael Lodge

We get clients in our office at tax time that always ask the question on their second home, what is a second home, and can they deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes.  The IRS has rules on how long your are in the home, if you are leasing it out, and other rules.  Lets review them below.

Question: Is the mortgage interest and property tax on a second residence deductible?


The mortgage interest on a second home, which you do not rent out during the taxable year, is generally deductible if the interest satisfies the same requirements as interest deductible on a primary residence. If you rent out the residence, you must use it for more than 14 days or more than 10% of the number of days you rent it out, whichever is longer.

  • The combined limitation for mortgage interest on your primary and secondary residence for a married couple filing a joint return, or an unmarried taxpayer is $1,000,000 for acquisition indebtedness and $100,000 for home equity indebtedness.
  • Real estate taxes paid on your primary and second residence are generally deductible.
  • Deductible real estate taxes include any state, local, or foreign taxes based on the value of the real property levied for the general public welfare.
  • Deductible real estate taxes do not include taxes charged for local benefits and improvements that increase the value of the property, such as assessments for sidewalks, water mains, sewer lines, parking lots, and similar improvements.
  • An itemized charge for services to specific property or people is not a tax, even if the charge is paid to the taxing authority. You cannot deduct the charge as a real estate tax if it is a unit fee for the delivery of a service (such as a $5 fee charged for every 1,000 gallons of water you use), a periodic charge for a residential service (such as a $20 per month or $240 annual fee charged for trash collection), or a flat fee charged for a single service provided by your local government (such as a $30 charge for mowing your lawn because it had grown higher than permitted under a local ordinance).

For tax questions call 877.778.1770