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Does anyone know if I can deduct 13 months of mortgage interest if I make 13 pyms in a year? For example, can I pay my mtg as follows

1/1/01 pym due paid 1/5/01(instead of 12/25/00)
2/1/01 pym due paid 1/31/01
3/1/01 pym through 1/01/02 pym all paid before 12/31/01. Total 13 pyms in 2001. Can I deduct 13 pym in 2002?

Thanks in advance for the help.
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You don't deduct mortgage payments, you deduct the interest paid.
If you made 13 payments in a year, paying January 2000 in January and January 2001 on Dec 29, then you have paid 13 months of interest in 2000 and the statement you get from your mortgage company should reflect this.
Best wishes, Chris
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1/1/01 pym due paid 1/5/01(instead of 12/25/00)
2/1/01 pym due paid 1/31/01
3/1/01 pym through 1/01/02 pym all paid before 12/31/01. Total 13 pyms in 2001. Can I deduct 13 pym in 2002?


A little tax nomenclature first, here. You're talking about interest payments in 2001, so we're talking about 2001 taxes. We generally refer to them that way, regardless of when you'll be preparing the return for that year. It helps keep things straight.

You pay interest on a mortgage in arrears, i.e., the payment in January 2001 is for interest that accrued in December 2000. Thus, if you make 13 payments in 2001, you'll have 13 months of interest to deduct on your 2001 Schedule A. You need to get the January 2002 payment, which you plan to make in December 2001, to the mortgagee in December and clearly mark it as the 1/2002 payment if you want a prayer of having the interest included on your 1098.

Also keep in mind that if you revert to a normal payment schedule in 2002, you'll only have 11 months of interest to deduct on that return. This can be a useful strategy if it's not to your advantage to itemize every year. You can also apply the same strategy to estimated payments of state income tax, making the payment due in January the preceding month and deducting it on that year's return.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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You need to get the January 2002 payment, which you plan to make in December 2001, to the mortgagee in December and clearly mark it as the 1/2002 payment if you want a prayer of having the interest included on your 1098.

Does it have to show up on the 1098 to count?

Obviously having the right amount of interest on the form reduces the chance of an audit being triggered by mismatched numbers. But if one pays the January mortgage bill by December 31 and has a registered mail receipt to prove it, isn't that good enough to deduct the interest in the previous year?
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Does it have to show up on the 1098 to count?

No, but as you note (I peeked), it makes life easier.

Obviously having the right amount of interest on the form reduces the chance of an audit being triggered by mismatched numbers. But if one pays the January mortgage bill by December 31 and has a registered mail receipt to prove it, isn't that good enough to deduct the interest in the previous year?

I think so.

TMF ExRO
Phil Marti
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