Paying PMI? Deduct It From Your Taxes

What you need to know about private mortgage insurance.

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Buyers who can't put a 20 percent down payment on their home loan usually get stuck paying costly private mortgage insurance (PMI), which protects lenders if the buyer can't repay the loan.

But if you got a home loan after December 31, 2006, you're eligible to deduct your PMI premium from your taxes. According to the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006, any PMI payments -- often $100 dollars or more per month -- can be deducted as mortgage interest when filling out Schedule A on the federal tax return.  

In order to qualify for the full credit, your adjusted gross income (AGI) cannot exceed $100,000 ($50,000 dollars if married filing separately). The deduction is reduced by 10 percent for every $1,000 dollars of AGI you make over the limit, and disappears altogether at $109,000 ($54,500 if married filing separately). If you are paying a premium for mortgage insurance provided by the Veteran's Administration, Federal Housing Administration or the Rural Housing Administration, it is also deductible.

If you paid PMI premiums in a lump sum when you got your mortgage, you can deduct the portion of the sum you use each year on your tax return. You cannot deduct the entire amount in the first year of your loan.

Unless it is extended, the deduction is available for any mortgages that are originated before January 11, 2011.

Always consult your tax adviser. For more information about deducting mortgage insurance premiums, go to the IRS Web site.

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