Other Tax Questions
Questions and comments on other topics covered in Fairmark.com, such as UTMA accounts, and any tax questions that don't fit our other categories.
Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Steve_XL, April 7, 2017 04:37PM
Hi,

Was hoping someone could tell me if any of the following items can be written off on my schedule A as itemized deductions:


Bought a second home:
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a) The home inspection we had done before purchasing the house

b) Escrow charges, Recording Fee, County Taxes, Title charges including Owners policy, Wire transfer fee to Escrow service, County Air quality management fee, home owners policy

c) I added about $200 of solar lights to this house; I installed them myself

My plan is once I fix up the house I want to rent it out.

Thanks,
Steve

Thanks

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Art, April 7, 2017 06:03PM
I assume this house was not used in a trade or business or as rental property; it is personal-use property only.

There might be an energy credit available for you if the solar lights were added later, not part of the original purchase.

The only deductions, available on Form 1040 Schedule A, would be mortgage interest and, if applicable, mortgage interest premiums. And property tax you or your escrow agent paid to the taxing authority (perhaps your county) for a period of time you owned the house, is probably deductible.

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Steve_XL, April 10, 2017 06:06PM
Hi,

Yes, in 2016 the house was used only for personal use.

Regarding the solar lights; all were purchased and added in 2016 AFTER the home was purchased and closed, so is the energy credit applicable in this case for just solar lights ~ $200 worth?
Most of the documentation I read about were for Solar and wind "systems" so I am not clear if lights are applicable in this case.

Thanks,
Steve

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Steve_XL, April 10, 2017 06:06PM
Hi,

Yes, in 2016 the house was used only for personal use.

Regarding the solar lights; all were purchased and added in 2016 AFTER the home was purchased and closed, so is the energy credit applicable in this case for just solar lights ~ $200 worth?
Most of the documentation I read about were for Solar and wind "systems" so I am not clear if lights are applicable in this case.

Thanks,
Steve

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: triad, April 11, 2017 07:49PM
The energy credit is for upgrades to an existing home. A second home would not qualify.


Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Steve_XL, April 11, 2017 11:00PM
@triad

What exactly do you mean by existing?

If I am not the original owner of the home, and the home I now own is not new construction, then how are you differentiating an upgrade to an existing home to what I now own as a second home that I am making upgrades to?

Thanks

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: motax, April 17, 2017 02:40AM
I believe the energy credit is only available for your principal residence, not a second or vacation home.

Re: Miscellaneous items deductions for second home
Posted by: Steve_XL, April 18, 2017 03:26PM
Yeah that is what TurboTax told me too when I checked the help for renewable energy credits. Oh well worth looking into. Thanks



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