Mortgage Curiosity and Restrict in TurboTax, H&R Block, FreeTaxUSA


Many householders refinanced to a sub-3% mortgage when rates of interest had been low a few years in the past. The mortgage curiosity most individuals pay isn’t massive sufficient to make them itemize their deductions. They only take the usual deduction. Those that can nonetheless deduct their mortgage curiosity are likely to have a big mortgage.

Restrict on Deduction

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 diminished the restrict on the mortgage stability on which you’ll deduct the mortgage curiosity from $1 million to $750,000. The decrease restrict applies to properties acquired after December 15, 2017. The big improve in residence costs in recent times makes not too long ago purchased properties in high-price areas extra prone to exceed the $750,000 restrict.

Nonetheless, lenders nonetheless report 100% of the mortgage curiosity paid on the 1098 type with out adjusting for both the previous $1 million restrict or the brand new $750,000 restrict. In case your mortgage stability is over the restrict, deducting the mortgage curiosity is extra sophisticated than simply utilizing the quantity from the 1098 type.

It isn’t merely multiplying $750,000 by your rate of interest both when your mortgage stability began above $750,000 and ended beneath $750,000 or whenever you took out the mortgage in the course of the yr.

Common Mortgage Stability

A key idea is your common mortgage stability throughout the yr. When your common mortgage stability exceeds the restrict, your deductible mortgage curiosity is:

Mortgage Restrict / Common Mortgage Stability * Precise Mortage Curiosity Paid

If you happen to paid $30,000 in mortgage curiosity on a median mortgage stability of $1,000,000 and also you’re topic to the $750,000 restrict, your deductible mortgage curiosity is pro-rated to:

$750,000 / $1,000,000 * $30,000 = $22,500

IRS Publication 936 provides a number of methods to calculate your common mortgage stability:

  • Common of first and final stability methodology
  • Curiosity paid divided by rate of interest methodology
  • Mortgage statements methodology

The primary methodology is easier and it provides you a barely bigger deduction however you need to use it provided that you didn’t prepay a couple of month’s principal throughout the yr.

Right here’s the way it works in TurboTax, H&R Block, and FreeTaxUSA tax software program.


The screenshots beneath are taken from TurboTax Deluxe downloaded software program. The TurboTax downloaded software program is each inexpensive and extra highly effective than TurboTax on-line software program. If you happen to haven’t paid in your TurboTax on-line submitting but, you should buy TurboTax obtain from Amazon, Costco, Walmart, and lots of different locations and swap from TurboTax on-line to TurboTax obtain (see directions for the way to make the swap from TurboTax).

Discover the mortgage curiosity subject within the Your Dwelling part beneath Federal Taxes -> Deduction & Credit.

Kind 1098

When it asks you to enter info out of your 1098 type, enter the numbers as they seem in your type. If Field 2 is clean in your 1098, enter the mortgage stability on the starting of the yr (or your starting mortgage stability when you took out the mortgage throughout the yr).

You get to this abstract after you reply a number of extra questions. Click on on Finished however you’re not completed but.

Buy Date and Ending Stability

The acquisition date of the house determines whether or not you may have a $1 million restrict or a $750,000 restrict for the mortgage curiosity deduction. If this mortgage was from a refinance, you continue to enter the date whenever you initially purchased the house.

TurboTax asks for the stability as of January 1 of the next yr as a result of it makes use of the “common of first and final stability methodology” to calculate your common mortgage stability for the yr. This works whenever you didn’t make further principal funds throughout the yr.

TurboTax calculates a deduction utilizing the “common of first and final stability methodology” however you possibly can’t legally use that methodology when you pay as you go a couple of month’s principal throughout the yr. You should calculate your common mortgage stability differently and provides the pro-rated deductible mortgage curiosity to TurboTax.

If You Pay as you go Principal

If you happen to had the mortgage for all 12 months and your rate of interest didn’t change throughout the yr, which is the case for most individuals with a fixed-rate mortgage, you need to use the “curiosity paid divided by rate of interest methodology” to calculate your common mortgage stability. Suppose you paid $30,000 in mortgage curiosity and your fee is 2.875%, your common mortgage stability is:

$30,000 / 0.02875 = $1,043,478

Your deductible mortgage curiosity is:

$750,000 / $1,043,478 * $30,000 = $21,562

In case your curiosity modified throughout the yr, you’re higher off utilizing the “mortgage statements methodology.” Obtain the month-to-month statements out of your lender. Add up your stability from January to December and divide by 12. That’s your common mortgage stability throughout the yr. Use that quantity to calculate your pro-rated deductible mortgage curiosity and provides it to TurboTax:

Mortgage Restrict / Common Mortgage Stability * Precise Mortage Curiosity Paid

Confirm on Schedule A

To substantiate how a lot mortgage curiosity deduction you’re getting, click on on Varieties on the highest proper and discover Schedule A within the listing of types within the left panel.

Scroll right down to the center and discover Line 8. You’ll see the mortgage curiosity deduction.

H&R Block

Mortgage curiosity deduction works in a different way within the H&R Block software program.

Discover “Dwelling Mortgage Curiosity (Kind 1098)” beneath Federal -> Deductions.

1098 Entries

H&R Block provides a Dwelling Mortgage Assistant. Click on on that.

After saying we have now a 1098 type and getting into the title of the lender, we come to this way to enter the numbers on the 1098 type.


After answering some extra questions on factors and mortgage insurance coverage premiums, which we don’t have, H&R Block says we are able to deduct 100% of the mortgage curiosity paid.

This will’t be proper. We entered a starting stability above $1 million on the 1098 type. H&R Block didn’t ask for the house buy date to see whether or not the restrict is $1 million or $750,000. It didn’t ask for the ending stability or the rate of interest to calculate the typical mortgage stability. H&R Block simply makes use of the curiosity paid quantity from the 1098 type as if the mortgage restrict doesn’t exist.

Calculate It Your self

We return to the 1098 entries to see if we missed something. See there’s a Be taught Extra hyperlink subsequent to Field 2? What’s that?

There’s our reply. It says on the finish:

If a restrict applies to you, go to and see Publication 936 Dwelling Mortgage Curiosity Deduction. You’ll want to make use of the Worksheet To Determine Your Certified Mortgage Restrict and Deductible Dwelling Mortgage Curiosity for the Present Yr to calculate your deductible curiosity and restrict your entry to that quantity.

Translation: You’re by yourself when your mortgage is over $750,000. Calculate it your self and put the end result right here.

Granted that TurboTax doesn’t cowl all conditions however a minimum of it makes an try to cowl the most typical situation (solely common funds with out further principal funds). H&R Block simply washes its fingers and places all of it on you when your mortgage is above the restrict. That’s lazy. Though solely a small proportion of individuals deduct their mortgage curiosity now, amongst those that can nonetheless deduct, many have a mortgage above the restrict.

It’s dangerous sufficient that the software program doesn’t do the mandatory work that can assist you calculate, nevertheless it’s inexcusable that it doesn’t warn you extra conspicuously you’re by yourself. Many individuals received’t discover the knowledge hidden behind a delicate Be taught Extra hyperlink.

So what do you do when you’re utilizing the H&R Block software program? Do what TurboTax does. First, calculate your common mortgage stability:

  • If you happen to didn’t prepay a couple of month’s principal, get the start stability and the ending stability. Take a median.
  • If you happen to made further principal funds and your rate of interest didn’t change, divide the curiosity paid by your rate of interest.

Then, calculate your deductible mortgage curiosity:

Mortgage Restrict / Common Mortgage Stability * Precise Mortage Curiosity Paid


I additionally checked how the net tax software program FreeTaxUSA does it.

Just like H&R Block, FreeTaxUSA places a small query mark hyperlink subsequent to the mortgage curiosity entry. Clicking on the query mark opens a pop-up window, which says towards the tip:

In case your debt is increased than the bounds, use Publication 936 to determine your deductible residence mortgage curiosity quantity and cut back the mortgage curiosity you enter accordingly.

You’re additionally by yourself whenever you use FreeTaxUSA. It additionally doesn’t let you know clearly that it’s essential to do some further work.


H&R Block tax software program is inexpensive than TurboTax however this isn’t the one case the place it punts and asks you to learn the IRS directions and are available again with the reply your self. See one other instance in Find out how to Enter 2022 Overseas Tax Credit score Kind 1116 in H&R Block. You actually should know the place it cuts corners whenever you use H&R Block software program. It really works nicely solely when these reduce corners don’t have an effect on you. The identical additionally applies to FreeTaxUSA.

Say No To Administration Charges

In case you are paying an advisor a proportion of your belongings, you’re paying 5-10x an excessive amount of. Discover ways to discover an unbiased advisor, pay for recommendation, and solely the recommendation.

Discover Recommendation-Solely


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here