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<I am first time Home buyer and am interested in knowing whether I can deduct the interest portion of my January 2001 mortgage Payment (due 2/1/01)if I pay it in Decemeber 2000.>


I agree with you about the deductions. One point that always seems to get ignored by those who ALWAYS wait to the last minute to do their "tax planning" is timing. If one really wants to get the extra deduction by paying the Jan mortgage payment in December, they need to be sure that it is CREDITED in the month of December. Mailing out the check on 12/29 does not create the extra deduction. If the payment is credited after Jan 1, it will not show up on your 1098.

I know others have argued about postmarks on envelopes and other factors. They may be technically right, but it is not a good argument. If you really want to avoid potential hassles don't wait to the last minute.

Along the same lines if one itemizes you can make your Jan State estimated tax payment in December and include it in your deductions. You can also do this with your quarterly property tax payments or your charitable contributions. To pull things into this year or to push them out into 2001 is an individual choice with no one right answer.


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