IRS Publication 936
Home Mortgage Interest
This part explains what you can deduct as home mortgage interest. It includes discussions on points, mortgage insurance premiums, and how to report deductible interest on your tax return.
Generally, home mortgage interest is any interest you pay on a loan secured by your home (main home or a second home). The loan may be a mortgage to buy your home, a second mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan.
You can deduct home mortgage interest if all the following conditions are met.
- You file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040).
- The mortgage is a secured debt on a qualified home in which you have an ownership interest. “Secured debt” and “qualified home” are explained later.
For you to take a home mortgage interest deduction, your debt must be secured by a qualified home. This means your main home or your second home. A home includes a house, condominium, cooperative, mobile home, house trailer, boat, or similar property that has sleeping, cooking, and toilet facilities.
You can deduct your home mortgage interest only if your mortgage is a secured debt. A secured debt is one in which you sign an instrument (such as a mortgage, deed of trust, or land contract) that:
- Makes your ownership in a qualified home security for payment of the debt,
- Provides, in case of default, that your home could satisfy the debt, and
- Is recorded or is otherwise perfected under any state or local law that applies.
In other words, your mortgage is a secured debt if you put your home up as collateral to protect the interests of the lender. If you cannot pay the debt, your home can then serve as payment to the lender to satisfy (pay) the debt. In this publication, mortgage will refer to secured debt.