DEFINITION of 'Mortgage Interest Deduction'

A common itemized deduction that allows homeowners to deduct the interest they pay on any loan used to build, purchase or make improvements upon their residence. The mortgage interest deduction can also be taken on loans for second homes and vacation residences with certain limitations. The amount of deductible mortgage interest is reported each year by the mortgage company on Form 1098. This deduction is offered as an incentive for homeowners.

BREAKING DOWN 'Mortgage Interest Deduction'

Home Mortgage Interest is reported on Schedule A of the 1040. Mortgage interest paid on rental properties is also deductible, but this is reported on Schedule E. Home Mortgage Interest is quite often the single itemized deduction that allows many taxpayers to itemize; without this deduction, the remaining itemized deductions would not exceed the standard deduction. Interest from Home Equity loans also qualifies as Home Mortgages Interest.

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