Tax day may seem far away but if you want to cash in on the real estate-related tax perks of buying this year, you'll need to be sure you've got these five documents in hand:
Mortgage Interest Statement IRS Form 1098 The meatiest real estate tax deduction on the books today allows you to deduct 100% of the mortgage interest you paid during the tax year. To get this deduction, keep any eye on your mail for Form 1098 from your mortgage lender. This reports how much of that interest you paid. Check your lender's on-line account management service (likely where you make payments on-line). Many post 1098s digitally before they send paper copies.
Uniform Settlement Statement (HUD-1) If you purchased recently, right after closing you should have received your HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The data on this form is invaluable during tax time. It details prepaid interest, prorated property taxes, and other potentially deductible fees. The HUD-1 is usually printed on legal-sized paper and shows the credits and debits for buyers or sellers. Your broker may have a copy if you can't put your hands on your file!
Moving expense receipts Moving expenses are tax deductible if your move is closely related to the start of a new job. The rule of thumb: if you moved more than 50 miles to be closer to your new workplace, you could be eligible. Consult your tax pro for details on this credit and be sure to bring your moving receipts.
Receipts from energy efficient home appliances and improvements Under the Non-business Energy Tax Credit, homeowners who make qualifying energy efficient upgrades can claim tax credits. If you've recently installed energy efficient improvements such as insulation, new windows or other energy savers, you may be able to deduct 10% of their cost.
Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Homeowners who've purchased in the last few years using a Mortgage Credit Certificate may be entitled to a pretty hefty tax credit. MCCs apply as long as you live in the home and pay a mortgage on it. But, they only apply to defray taxes you actually owe--you can't use them to get a refund. If you have one, the MCC is a must-have as you start your tax prep.
Compiled by Betsy Kessler; portions reprinted from Trulia, 1/13