Your property taxes could go down if you make certain improvements to your home. While it's true that home is where the heart is, that doesn't necessarily mean it's where the biggest tax breaks are. Capital improvements, improvements that are energy-efficient, and improvements that are related to medical care are the three main exceptions to the rule that home improvements are not tax-deductible. In general, home improvements are not tax-deductible. If you have recently made improvements to your home, you may be eligible for certain tax deductions or credits; the following information will walk you through the process.
- With a few notable exceptions, the majority of home repairs and renovations are not tax-deductible.
- The cost basis of your home could go up if you make improvements to it, which would result in a lower tax bill for you in the event that you made a profit when you sold it.
- Improvements to your home's energy efficiency may entitle you to a tax credit from the federal government; in addition, depending on the state in which you reside, they may reduce the amount of state or local taxes you owe.
- Home improvements made for medical reasons qualify as a tax deduction in the same way that other medical expenses do.
Capital Improvements and TaxesThe addition of something to a home's value, the extension of its useful life, or the modification of a home so that it can be put to a different purpose are all examples of capital improvements. These enhancements have the potential to reduce the amount of tax that must be paid on the profit made from the sale of a home in certain circumstances. To begin, however, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the categories of improvements that can be counted as capital improvements. The following types of projects are considered to be examples of capital improvements, as outlined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Systems: Heating, central air conditioning, furnace, ductwork, central humidifier, central vacuum, air and water filtration, wiring, security, and sprinkler systems are some of the systems that can be installed. Additions: Rooms include a bathroom, deck, porch, patio, and garage. The grass and the grounds: The swimming pool, along with the landscaping, the driveway, the walkway, the fence, and the retaining wall. Exterior: Storm windows and doors, a new roof or siding, and a satellite dish are all exterior features. Insulation: Attic, walls, floors, pipes, and ducts should all be insulated. Plumbing: Septic system, water heater, soft water system, and filtration system are all components of plumbing systems. In the interior, there are built-in appliances, a modernised kitchen, updated flooring and wall-to-wall carpet, and a fireplace. Because they increase the value of your home, capital improvements can help you reduce the amount of money you have to pay in taxes when you make a profit from the sale of your home. This is accomplished by increasing the basis of your property. The basis of a property is the amount of initial capital investment that was made in the purchase of that property. When you sell your home and bring in more money than you expected, you will have realised a capital gain that is equal to the amount of money you made from the sale. As a general rule, you won't be required to report a capital gain on the sale of your home during the tax season if you satisfy certain primary residence requirements, you've owned the home for at least five years, and the profit is less than $250,000 (or $500,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly). This applies to both single taxpayers and married taxpayers filing jointly. NOTE: If you are subject to taxes, you can reduce the amount of tax on your capital gains by deducting the basis (capital investment) from the revenue from the sale of the asset.
Capital Improvements vs. RepairsEven though the owner of a property who invests their time and money into making repairs might consider those improvements to be capital improvements, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is not required to recognise them as such. In an email to The Balance, Mark Steber, chief tax information officer at the tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt, stated that home repairs such as fixing gutters or painting a room are considered general maintenance rather than capital improvements. However, if the repairs were performed as part of a larger project, such as a comprehensive renovation or restoration endeavour, then they could be considered capital improvements. One common example of a repair is the installation of a new pane of glass in a window that has been broken. If, on the other hand, you are replacing a windowpane as part of a much larger project that involves replacing all of the windows in your home, then it is possible for this to count as an improvement.
Credit for Taxes Payable on Energy-Efficient Home ImprovementsYou might be eligible for the residential energy-efficient property credit if the energy-saving upgrades you've made to your house meet the requirements outlined in the credit's guidelines. Homeowners are eligible to receive a tax credit that is equal to a certain percentage of the cost of "qualified property" thanks to the existence of this tax credit. In this context, the term "qualified property" refers to the following categories of energy-efficient appliances:
- Solar electric
- Solar water heaters and boilers
- Heat pumps that use geothermal energy
- Windmills on a smaller scale
- The use of fuel cells is restricted to a maximum of $500 for every half kilowatt of capacity.
|If the Property Was Placed in Service||Percentage of Cost That Qualifies|
|After December 31, 2016, and before January 1, 2020||30%|
|After December 31, 2019, and before January 1, 2023||26%|
|After December 31, 2022, and before January 1, 2024||22%|
Home improvements made for medical reasons are eligible for a tax deductionThere are some home enhancements that can be deducted from your taxes because they are considered medical expenses. If the primary objective of a home improvement project is to facilitate the provision of medical care for you, a dependent of yours, or your spouse, you may be able to deduct the cost of the project from your taxable income as a medical expense. If a permanent improvement you make to your property results in an increase in the property's value, you might be able to count that improvement as a capital improvement. NOTE: A tax credit is not the same thing as an itemised tax deduction. When you claim a deduction, the amount of the deduction is subtracted from your income before you figure out how much tax you owe; when you claim a tax credit, the amount of the credit is subtracted from the tax that you owe. To accomplish this, you will deduct the rise in the value of your home from the amount that it cost you to make the improvement. The difference that is still owed can be added to the patient's medical bills. In the event that the improvement does not result in an increase in the value of your property, you are able to deduct the total cost of the home improvement as a medical expense.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the following types of home improvements qualify as examples of medical expenses:
- Installing Ramps at Entrances and Exits
- Increasing the width of the doorways at the entrances and exits of the building, as well as modifying the hallways and doorways inside the building
- Putting up guardrails or support bars in public restrooms
- Bringing kitchen cabinets down to a lower level makes them easier to reach.
- Making adjustments to the fire alarms and smoke detectors
- Adding handrails or grab bars
- Modifying stairways