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I'm sure some people carry it farther than that, but if I had enough spare cash to pay several months of the mortgage early I'd invest it elsewhere...

...which is wise, because you couldn't use payments 14...n to a tax advantage.

The reason you can deduct the interest from that 13th payment is that your January payment covers December's interest. Thus, since the interest accrued and was paid in December you can deduct it. Anything beyond that would be a prepayment of interest, which has to wait until it accrues.

Same thing goes for property taxes.

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