Does buying a house change my income tax return?
Updated: Oct 25
That depends on whether you're married or sharing the house expenses or buying alone.
If you bought the house alone, and the local property taxes are relatively high, and you paid mortgage interest and maybe mortgage insurance, then buying your first house will reduce you federal tax liability only.
If you're single but bought the house with a friend or you're married, then the expenses for buying a new house likely won't be enough to affect your federal tax liability.
Before the 2017 tax cuts and jobs act, paying local property taxes and mortgage interest would have increased your itemized deductions and decreased your federal income tax liability. After 2017, expenses related to buying a new house must be relatively high (think $7,000 for property tax, $10,000 for mortgage interest) and/or those expenses must be combined with relatively high charitable donations (like another $5,000).
On the other hand, if you're single, self-employed, and working out of your new house, then buying your first home may help reduce taxes more than renting because you're paying more to own the house than to rent your previous living quarters. You would report the expenses associated with owning a home when figuring the home-office deduction against your self-employment income.
If you're married and not claiming the home-office deduction, then it is unlikely that buying home will affect your income taxes unless you have bought significant energy efficient products eligible for tax credits.