What does it mean if something is tax deductible?

Something is tax deductible when you can deduct the items from your taxable income, which reduces the taxes you would have to pay. Tax deductions are a good thing! They can save you hundreds and sometimes thousands off your tax bill. Who doesn't want to save on the taxes they owe? So let's get into some more information on what is and is not tax deductible when it comes to making home improvements.

Will improving my home before selling it lower my taxes?

When you make a home repair, such as installing a new central heating system or putting a new roof on your home, you are making Capital Improvements. You can't deduct these in the year you spend the money on these improvements, but if you keep track of the expenses when it comes time to sell the home, you can help reduce your taxes during tax season of the year you sell. Making home improvements before selling may not always lower your taxes, but it can increase the value of your home! When you add value to your home or rental property, you are adding to the home's worth, which means when it comes time to sell, you can make a larger profit!

What are some Home Improvements that are tax deductible?

When it comes to taxes and the money you are spending on your home, we can break this down into two categories. The first category is the cost of improvements, and the second category is the cost of repairs. Three things are deductible when we look at home improvements: capital improvements, energy-efficient improvements, and medical care-related improvements. These three home improvements can be tax deductible, so keep track of what you are spending when making these kinds of improvements. The cost of repairs refers to the cost of repairs done on the home, such as painting the walls, fixing a gutter, etc. Again, they are not considered to be tax deductible, but it is always important to be on top of maintenance as this keeps your home value high!

What are Capital Improvements, and which ones are deductible? 

Capital improvements add value to the home, prolongs its life, or adapt it to new uses. There are a couple of examples of capital improvements that you can make to your home to be deductible on your taxes and increase the home's value. A strong example of a Capital Improvement is making a permanent structural change to the home to increase longevity and overall stability. For example, having a new septic system installed is considered deductible. If you have a brand new front porch put in, this is also considered deductible and adds great charm and overall value to the home. Let's say there is flooding damage to your home and you replace what has been damaged structurally: this home repair is also a capital improvement and will lead to capital gains. Adding an addition to the home, like a new room, is also considered a capital improvement, as installing a new air conditioning unit and putting in a swimming pool! Make sure to keep track of the expense of these improvements, as they can affect your owed taxes later on! Even if you need to take out a home improvement loan, these improvements are a great way to add value and become tax deductible down the road!

What are Medical improvements, and are they deductible?

Medical Home Improvements are improvements made to the home to make it more accessible to those with medical conditions and needs. Many people need to make a home more accessible for a family member or someone residing in the home who has medical needs. Some of these improvements are for those who need wheelchair accessibility. They may need entrance and exit ramps to enter the home. Other helpful modifications include:

  • Lowering and modifying countertops in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Widening door frames and hallways.
  • Installing railings or support bars.
  • Installing lifts on the porch or in the home.
  • Modifying hardware on doors.
  • Modifying alarm systems on homes such as smoke detectors.

All of these things and more can be considered medical improvements on the home and are considered deductible. Be sure to keep track of the expenses and modifications made to the home.

Why aren't home improvements always tax deductible? 

Home improvements are not always considered deductible, and this is because they are non-deductible personal expenses. Remodeling, for example, is not tax-deductible, as it does not improve the home's structural stability or longevity. So installing new flooring will not be tax deductible (but it will increase value) as it is considered home improvement. Likewise, replacing window sills is not going to be considered deductible, and neither is replacing a rain gutter. Making home renovation projects are fun and exciting but can not always be written off. A fresh coat of paint won't count either, unfortunately. It is true though that making things look fresh and new may increase the value of your home when it comes time to sell, so keep in mind that you could be gaining more from your home by making minor and major improvements, as well as keeping up with basic maintenance on the home.

Can you always write off home repairs on your taxes?

The answer here is no, unfortunately. Not all improvements on the home will be considered deductible or write-offs. Making home repairs and most of what is classified as home improvement does not count as tax deductible. For example, there are criteria for Capital Improvements, medical improvements, as well as energy improvements, but fixing a leak in the house or installing new lighting fixtures would not count as write-offs and will be done at your own expense.

How do home improvements affect the value of your home and your taxable income?

Making home improvements can affect the value of your home, but it varies on what you are doing to the home, which affects the value and how much it increases. For example, adding new countertops and refurbishing your home increases the value of resale, but it does not get you tax deductions. When you put money into the home for remodeling, you are increasing the value of your home, which will affect the payback you receive when selling your home. They do not get you any tax deductions, which means that these will not be considered write-offs. 

How do tax deductions for home improvements work?

Back in the day, homeowners used to save every receipt when it came to home improvements; every dollar spent on it was a dollar less that the Internal Revenue Service could tax you on. Now, it is not this way, and you do not need to count every dollar going toward your home. However, since we know that Capital improvements are where the tax deduction is, it is important to keep track of these as you can get them deducted from the taxes you owe. Assuming you have made Capital improvements on the home, you take the cost of Capital Improvements made on the home and add it to the home's cost basis. 

What counts as a tax credit?

A tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in your actual tax bill. For example, if you owe the IRS 500 dollars and have 500 dollars in tax credit, your net liability drops to zero. Some credits are "refundable" and can increase a refund. Examples of federal tax credit include Residential Energy Credit, American Opportunity Tax Credit, or Child Care Tax Credit. As far as your home goes, when it comes to making home improvements, Energy Improvements can qualify for the tax credit. If you install solar panels or solar-powered water heaters, these types of improvements may qualify for Tax Credits. In addition, installed wind turbines that generate up to 100 Kilowatts of electricity for the home can qualify for Tax Credits. So if you want to go green and make some home improvements, there may be some federal tax credit options for you! It is a great incentive to look for renewable energy sources when making improvements to your home!

How can I ensure that renovation will deduct my taxes?

You can't guarantee that all home improvements will count as tax deductions, so researching is critical when considering which ones can be deducted from your taxable income. When improving your home, Capital improvements are going to be the portion that is deductible. There really isn't a surefire way to ensure that renovation will deduct your taxes, but doing research and finding out what does and does not count is the best way to go!

Does the IRS require receipts for tax deductions?

When it comes to filing your taxes and getting tax deductions, the Internal Revenue Service does require proof. There are many forms of acceptable proof when it comes to filling an IRS form—such as receipts, bank statements, credit card statements, canceled checks, bills, or invoices. As it is always better to be safe than sorry, you would want to make sure you have some form of acceptable proof to provide for the IRS. Without the proper proof or documentation, they can not give you the tax deductions you may be looking for. So it may be a good idea to keep an itemized deduction running: some kind of record of your expenses on each tax-deductible home improvement project. 

How do you calculate your taxes?

Estimating or calculating your taxes essentially starts with estimating your taxable income. To get this, we take the gross income and subtract the tax deductions; what's left over is taxable income. Then they apply the appropriate tax bracket based on your income and filing status to calculate tax liability. You can do this online with a tax calculator, seek help from a tax professional, or even call the IRS. Finally, you can go to an establishment that will help you keep track and calculate your taxes as well. There are a few ways to calculate your taxes, so be sure to research what way would work best for you!

How can Modern Aspect help me?

Here at Modern Aspect, we understand that first impressions are everything! As well as increasing the value and charm of your home, that is why we started Modern Aspect to help add character, charm, and overall curb appeal to your home! Your home is an investment, so why not invest in things that will increase the look, feel, and value of your home? At Modern Aspect, we offer many curb appeal products to help elevate the look of the exterior of your home. One of the ways to do this is to upgrade the address plaque or numbers to your home. This can add a fresh new touch and really modernize the look of your home. Sometimes the address numbers are hidden and can not be seen well from the front of your home, or they are often dated, but with our products, we can help bring in a fresh look to the home. We offer a variety of products in our online shop. We offer address plaques, yard signs, planters, and so much more! You can also select color choices on the website to get the look you are going for. You can get creative with your home address and spruce it up a bit with varying mailboxes and address numbers options! Maybe you have a green thumb, and the address planter speaks to you! Or you might enjoy having your mail box right by your front door for easy access! Either way, we are here to help you elevate your home's curb appeal and provide you with an exciting uplift to the exterior of your home!