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Old 01-27-2009, 01:00 PM
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Who gets to itemize real estate items?

My divorce was final in August of 2008. Our income was joint until August and I lived in the house until then. She was awarded the house as part of the divorce. Do I have the right to itemize any of the property taxes or mortgage interest paid in 2008? What about charitable contributions?

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Old 01-28-2009, 12:03 PM
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I think you need to have an agreement with your spouse as to who should claim the mortgage interest and property tax deduction, assuming the amount of mortgage payment is coming out of a joint bank account!

However, even though your ex-spouse was awarded the house, if you are making the mortgage payment and property tax payment then you are entitled to claim the mortgage interest deduction for 2008 along with the property tax deduction.

The charitable contribution comes into play as part of the itemized deduction. Here the tax law also states that this deduction can only be claimed by the party that actually paid these contribution. It is worth remembering that claiming the charitable contribution alone without being able to claim mortgage interest deduction and property tax deduction may not be beneficial to you. This is because the standard deduction may provide a greater tax benefit to you than claiming the itemized deduction.

But, the final decision is based on the divorce decree and what was decided on that agreement. Ultimately, both you and your ex-spouse must decide amongst yourself who benefits the most and perhaps you can share the tax benefits between both of you.

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Ask TaxGuru Please refer to the legal disclaimer.

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