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OK - Here goes - a genuinely foolish question and a life story to boot.

I am in need of a tax deduction as recently graduated wifeypoo has been substitute teaching at mondo many school districts - often for only one day at a given district during a given pay period. You guessed it - no federal income taxes taken out. This has left us far too many hundred dollars to the bad. Foreseeable, but unforeseen.

Scrambling for deductions, the best that I've been able to come up with is interest on a home equity loan. Why am I asking what should be a sans brainer question? Because even though I own half of the house, I am not listed on the home equity loan. I'd better digress.

Earlier this year grandma (pushing the short side of 90) announced that, under the advice of savvy cousin Edna (Edna is a pinochle shark), she was considering not just willing the farm (er, in-town rancher) to her only surviving (and therefor favorite), but adding my name to the deed pre-mortem (she's posessed with planning her death - head stone and all) for what Edna sagely cited as "for tax reasons".

My flattered and confused response was - uh, great, lets talk this over with our attorni. Six weeks later, and not much further conversation except over meatloaf (she makes the world's meanest), I am presented a copy of the new, completed, joint-ownership deed - on which my signature, real or forged, is nowhere to be found (there's a whole 'nother post).

Some six months prior to this act, she had taken out a home equity loan for a used Taurus sedan (yes the old coot is still looking out from behind, er, under the steering wheel) and some miscellaneous home improvements. Imagine her glee when she discovered that NASCAR now features her car!

How the house got in my (our) name without my signature, and without regard to the bank who I'm certain has a lien on the property, escapes me. Needless to say she has no use for the interest deduction.

The short question is - Can I utilize it on my joint tax return?

Still a small 'f',

Husband O'cldfool
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