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So is it legal in Texas for them to do these. Or is my sister lying to me so she can claim the 66% and get a larger return.

I'll not speculate on their motives, but their tax law knowledge is nil. To deduct mortgage interest or real estate taxes you must have both been liable for and paid them. Your b-i-l wasn't liable for these payments, so even if he wrote all the checks he couldn't legally take a deduction.

Deduct what you're entitled to and don't worry about what your sister does.

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