The software will create the correct forms needed to deduct your points based on your inputs. Follow the online interview to itemize your deductions. See PUB 936 for additional information.
You generally can't deduct the full amount of points in the year paid. Because they are prepaid interest, you generally deduct them ratably over the life (term) of the mortgage. See Deduction Allowed Ratably next. If the loan is a home equity, line of credit, or credit card loan and the proceeds from the loan are not used to buy, build, or substantially improve the home, the points are not deductible.
Deduction Allowed Ratably
If you don't meet the tests listed under Deduction Allowed in Year Paid, later, the loan isn't a home improvement loan, or you choose not to deduct your points in full in the year paid, you can deduct the points ratably (equally) over the life of the loan if you meet all of the following tests.
1. You use the cash method of accounting. This means you report income in the year you receive it and deduct expenses in the year you pay them. Most individuals use this method.
2. Your loan is secured by a home. (The home doesn't need to be your main home.)
3. Your loan period isn't more than 30 years.
4. If your loan period is more than 10 years, the terms of your loan are the same as other loans offered in your area for the same or longer period.
5. Either your loan amount is $250,000 or less, or the number of points isn't more than: a. 4, if your loan period is 15 years or less; or b. 6, if your loan period is more than 15 years.
Example. You use the cash method of accounting. In 2020, you took out a $100,000 home mortgage loan payable over 20 years. The terms of the loan are the same as for other 20-year loans offered in your area. You paid $4,800 in points. You made 3 monthly payments on the loan in 2020. You can deduct $60 [($4,800 ÷ 240 months) x 3 payments] in 2020. In 2021, if you make all twelve payments, you will be able to deduct $240 ($20 x 12).
Deduction Allowed in Year Paid
You can fully deduct points in the year paid if you meet all the following tests. (You can use Figure B as a quick guide to see whether your points are fully deductible in the year paid.)
1. Your loan is secured by your main home. (Your main home is the one you ordinarily live in most of the time.)
2. Paying points is an established business practice in the area where the loan was made.
3. The points paid weren't more than the points generally charged in that area.
4. You use the cash method of accounting. This means you report income in the year you receive it and deduct expenses in the year you pay them. Most individuals use this method.
5. The points weren't paid in place of amounts that ordinarily are stated separately on the settlement statement, such as appraisal fees, inspection fees, title fees, attorney fees, and property taxes.
6. The funds you provided at or before closing, plus any points the seller paid, were at least as much as the points charged. The funds you provided aren't required to have been applied to the points. They can include a down payment, an escrow deposit, earnest money, and other funds you paid at or before closing for any purpose. You can't have borrowed these funds from your lender or mortgage broker.
7. You use your loan to buy or build your main home.
8. The points were figured as a percentage of the principal amount of the mortgage.
9. The amount is clearly shown on the settlement statement (such as the Settlement Statement, Form HUD-1) as points charged for the mortgage. The points may be shown as paid from either your funds or the seller's.
Note. If you meet all of these tests, you can choose to either fully deduct the points in the year paid, or deduct them over the life of the loan.
Home improvement loan. You can also fully deduct in the year paid points paid on a loan to substantially improve your main home if tests (1) through (6) are met.