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Q&A: Can my son claim a deduction on my house?

Ralph Barash, 77, poses for a portrait in

Ralph Barash, 77, poses for a portrait in front of his home in Plainview. His neighborhood of The Hamlet saw a recent increase in school district taxes by about 24%. Credit: Photo by Danny Ghitis

Q: My son and his family live in my house with me, and he pays the mortgage and all of the household expenses. Is there any way he can claim the deduction for the interest payments and real estate taxes on his federal income taxes? I am the only one on deed to the home.

A: In order to deduct interest payments and real estate taxes on a home, generally, a person must be the owner of the home. He or she can be a part owner -- even of a small part -- but he or she must own some part of the home. If your son does not own any part of the home and he does not have the legal obligation to pay the mortgage on the home, he probably is not eligible to deduct the mortgage interest and real estate taxes on his income tax return.

Your son can give you the money to make those payments, and you might be entitled to take the deduction on your federal income tax forms. Depending on the amounts he is paying and your federal income tax situation, your son may be able to claim you as a dependent as a result of the payments. There may be other benefits he can claim as well.

You should talk to an accountant in your area to see if there is anything specific to your circumstances that may entitle your son to deduct those payments or obtain any other tax benefits. The accountant may have other recommendations for you depending on your specific issues.

Ilyce R. Glink's latest book is "Buy, Close, Move In!" Distributed by Tribune Media Services

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