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When it comes to real estate, there are several documents that can save you money on your income taxes.
When you own a home, there are several deductions you can take. Make sure you consult your tax advisor or CPA for help. In Houston, I recommend Gary Cooper.

The first document you want to reference is your Mortgage Interest Statement – IRS Form 1098. This allows you to deduct 100 percent of the mortgage interest you paid in a year – including prepaid interest or points you paid at your closing if you purchased the property this year.

The next document is your Property Tax Statements. In addition to deducting your mortgage interest, if you own a home you are eligible to deduct the property taxes you pay to your local city, county and/or state.

Next, the Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD-1) is important. If you bought or sold a home last year, right after closing you should have received a form called the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. If not, your Realtor can print one for you. The form includes a number of line items, including prepaid interest, the prorated property taxes you paid at closing, and closing costs.

Keep those moving expense receipts! Moving expenses are tax deductible.

If you have a cancellation of debt statement – IRS Form 1099, that can be helpful at tax time. Homeowners who lost a home to foreclosure or did a short sale must claim that forgiven debt as income.

Utility statements for home office can be deducted.

Income and Expense statements from rental properties are another important document for your taxes.

Did you do any home repairs? Contractor receipts from energy efficient home improvements that fall under the Nonbusiness Energy Tax Credit might be eligible to claim tax credits.

Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) – if you own a home you purchased in the last few years using a Mortgage Credit Certificate issued by a local housing authority, that Certificate may entitle you to a tax credit, based on a percentage of the mortgage interest you paid – on top of your mortgage interest deduction. MCCs apply as long as you live in the home and have a mortgage on it, but they only apply to defray taxes you actually owe – you can’t use them to get a refund.

Again, in the Houston area, I recommend Gary Cooper as your CPA. Gary and his team can give you valuable tax advise so you get all of your real estate related tax deductions for 2012.

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