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Are Mortgage Points Tax Deductible?

Are Mortgage Points Tax Deductible?


Homeownership is a significant milestone for many individuals and families. However, it often comes with substantial financial commitments, including the upfront costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. One of these costs is mortgage points, which can significantly impact your financial picture. But are mortgage points tax deductible in 2023? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the ins and outs of mortgage points and their tax deductibility.

What Are Mortgage Points?

Mortgage points, also known simply as "points," are upfront fees paid to a lender at the time of closing to lower the interest rate on your mortgage loan. Each point typically costs 1% of your loan amount, so for a $300,000 mortgage, one point would cost $3,000. The primary purpose of paying points is to reduce the interest rate over the life of your loan, thereby lowering your monthly mortgage payments.

There are two types of mortgage points:

  • Discount Points: These points lower the interest rate on your loan and are tax-deductible under certain conditions. Each discount point paid typically reduces your interest rate by 0.25%, but the exact reduction may vary depending on your lender and the prevailing market conditions.

  • Origination Points: These points are fees charged by the lender for processing and underwriting your mortgage application. Unlike discount points, origination points are not tax-deductible.

Tax Deductibility of Mortgage Points

To determine whether mortgage points are tax deductible, you need to consider several factors, including the purpose of the loan, your use of the property, and the number of points paid. Let's break down the tax rules for mortgage points:

Home Purchase Loans: If you paid points to obtain a mortgage for the purchase of your primary residence, those points may be deductible in the year you paid them. To qualify, you must meet certain criteria:

  • Your primary residence must secure the loan.

  • The points you pay must be customary and charged in your area.

  • The amount you paid in points must not exceed the prevailing market rate in your area.

Refinancing Loans: When you refinance your mortgage, any points paid for the new loan are generally not fully deductible in the year you paid them. Instead, you can deduct a portion of the points over the life of the loan. The deductible amount is spread evenly over the loan's term. However, there are exceptions:

  • If you use the refinanced loan to make substantial improvements to your primary residence, you may be able to deduct the points in the year paid.

  • If the refinanced loan is used to purchase or improve a second home or investment property, you can deduct the points over the life of the loan.

Points on Second Homes or Investment Properties: If you obtained a mortgage for a second home or investment property, you can typically deduct the points over the life of the loan. However, you must allocate the points over the loan's term rather than deducting them all in the year of payment.

Limitations on Deductibility: The IRS imposes limitations on the deductibility of mortgage points. The total amount of deductible points cannot exceed the standard range for points in your area. Additionally, you must itemize your deductions on your tax return to benefit from this deduction.

Reporting Requirements: To claim the deduction, you should receive a Form 1098 from your lender, which reports the amount of mortgage interest and points paid. Keep this form for your records, as it will be necessary when filing your tax return.

Special Situations: If you inherit a mortgage or receive a mortgage as a gift, the deductibility of points may differ. It's advisable to consult a tax professional to navigate such scenarios.

Points Deductibility in 2023

As of 2023, the tax deductibility rules for mortgage points remain largely consistent with previous years. However, it's crucial to stay updated on any changes in tax laws and regulations, as they can impact your ability to claim deductions.

Should You Pay Mortgage Points?

Deciding whether to pay mortgage points depends on your financial goals and how long you plan to stay in your home. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Length of Stay: If you plan to stay in your home for many years, paying points to lower your interest rate can result in significant long-term savings. The reduced monthly payments can outweigh the upfront cost of points.

  • Short-Term Ownership: If you anticipate selling your home within a few years, paying points may not be cost-effective. It takes time to recoup the upfront cost through lower monthly payments.

  • Cash Flow: Consider your current financial situation. If you have the funds to pay points without causing financial strain, it may make sense to do so. However, if you're tight on cash, it's essential to weigh the immediate cost against the long-term benefits.

  • Mortgage Rates: Compare the interest rates offered by lenders with and without points. Sometimes, paying points may not yield significant interest rate reductions, making them less appealing.

  • Tax Implications: If you qualify for a deduction and can benefit from the tax savings, paying points becomes more attractive. Be sure to consult with a tax professional to understand the specific impact on your tax situation.


Mortgage points can be a valuable tool for reducing the long-term cost of homeownership by lowering your mortgage interest rate. Whether or not mortgage points are tax deductible in 2023 depends on various factors, including the purpose of the loan and the property's use. While the rules for deducting mortgage points have remained relatively stable, it's essential to stay informed about any changes in tax laws and regulations that may affect your ability to claim this deduction.

Ultimately, the decision to pay mortgage points should align with your financial goals, the length of time you plan to stay in your home, and your current financial situation. Consulting with a financial advisor or tax professional can help you make an informed choice and navigate the complexities of mortgage points and their tax implications.



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