Congress passed a federal budget bill in early February that revived dozens of expired tax breaks for the 2017 tax year. They include a deduction for education expenses as well as several tax breaks for homeowners.
If you have not yet filed your 2017 tax return, please be aware these late changes are retroactive to the beginning of 2017. Check out this list of the most useful tax breaks to see if they apply to your situation:
- Tuition and fees deduction. If you paid qualified tuition and related higher education expenses, you may be able to deduct as much as $4,000 of those costs. This can be done on a regular return (without itemizing). The deduction is capped at $4,000 for single filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of $65,000 or less ($130,000 joint) and at $2,000 for single filers with AGI of $80,000 or less ($160,000 joint).
- Mortgage insurance deduction. If you paid mortgage insurance premiums, you can now once again deduct those amounts as an itemized deduction. This deduction begins to phase out for taxpayers with AGI of $100,000 or more.
- Mortgage debt forgiveness exclusion. If qualifying mortgage debt on your primary residence was discharged or forgiven, you can exclude that amount from your income.
- Energy-efficient home improvement credit. Energy-efficient home improvements (such as upgrades to windows, or heating and cooling systems), may be eligible for a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the amount paid, up to $500.
If you think any of these apply to you, bring all the related documentation to your tax filing appointment. If you have already filed, you may need to file an amended tax return to capture these very late law changes.