Housing Assistance: An Inventory of Fiscal Year 2010 Programs, Tax Expenditures, and Other Activities

U.S. Government Accountability Office

Mortgage interest deduction

Administering Agency/Entity Internal Revenue Service
Short Description Allows taxpayers who itemize to deduct mortgage interest paid on primary and secondary residences. The deduction is subject to certain limits: (1) the aggregate amount treated as acquisition debt cannot exceed $1 million (or $500,000 in the case of married taxpayer filing separately); and (2) the aggregate amount treated as home equity debt cannot exceed $100,000 (or $50,000 for married taxpayer filing separately), and it cannot exceed the difference between the home’s fair market value and the acquisition debt. For tax years 2008 and 2009, certain itemized deductions (including mortgage interest and property taxes) were limited if a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income exceeded $159,950 ($79,975 if married filing separately) in 2008 and $166,800 ($83,400 if married filing separately) in 2009. These limits on itemized deductions were not in effect for tax year 2010.
Primary Purpose Assistance for homeowners
Type of Housing Supported Homeownership
Type of Assistance Tax exclusion, exemption, or deduction
Estimated Revenue Loss1 $79,150,000,000

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