Tax-Deductible Home Repairs: What You Need to Know

When it comes to home repairs, it's important to know what is and isn't tax-deductible. Home repairs that benefit your entire home are deductible based on the percentage of home office usage. For example, if you use 20% of your home as an office, you can deduct 20% of the cost of repairing your home's heating and cooling system. However, if you use your home solely as your personal residence, you can't deduct the cost of home improvements.

These costs are non-deductible personal expenses. A good warning to this rule is when you make improvements to the energy efficiency of your home. The Non-Commercial Energy Ownership Credit provides homeowners with a 30% tax credit for the cost and installation of certain energy improvements, including solar panels for home electricity, solar-powered water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps. If you make any of these improvements, be sure to keep a careful account of your expenses. If you do repairs in a qualifying home office, for example, if you fix the wiring for a burnt out lamp, that repair is deductible as a business expense. As it stands, you can deduct 100% of the money you spend on doing repairs in your home office, however, to do so, you must meet the standard requirements for the home office deduction. Common improvements to be made include upgrading kitchen cabinets, adding bedrooms or bathrooms, and replacing doors and windows.

According to TaxAct, “for a mid-range kitchen remodel, it will recover about 57 percent of the cost. For a mid-range bathroom remodel, you will recoup about 70 percent of the cost. A real estate agent will know which improvements will bring you the most profit when it comes time to sell your home. They can advise you where your money will be best spent. There are several types of home improvement projects that may be eligible for a tax cancellation, but ultimately it depends on the type of remodel you are completing and whether it is classified as a repair or an improvement. While most home improvements aren't tax-deductible, they could generate tax benefits when you're selling your home.

Home office improvements are deductible over time with depreciation, and repairs are deductible within the tax year in which they are completed, as they are deemed necessary for the maintenance of your business. This is true even if the repairs you make are for the benefit of your entire home, and not just the part of your home you rent. However, if the repair adds value to your property (such as a roof replacement), it could be considered a home improvement. If you qualify for this deduction, you can deduct 100% of the cost of repairs you do only in your home office. A repair is something that keeps your home in good working order, such as fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a broken window. The good news is that if you qualify for this tax exemption, both repairs and improvements may be eligible, as long as they are only in the parts of your home that are used for business. Mark Steber, director of tax information at tax preparation company Jackson Hewitt, told The Balance in an email that home repairs, such as fixing gutters or painting a room, are considered general maintenance rather than capital improvements.

Even if you don't plan to sell your home next year, it's important to thoroughly document any tax-deductible home improvements you make along the way so you can get the most out of your updates when the time comes. They sound similar (and are sometimes used interchangeably), but in reality there is quite a stark difference between the repairs you make to your home and improvements. The two basic requirements that qualify for home office improvements for a tax deduction are regular and exclusive use, and that your home is the primary place of your business. Although home improvements may not qualify for a tax deduction, Steber recommended keeping detailed records of your expenses related to any home improvement. These deductions can be a little tricky, as it's important that any repair you make doesn't really qualify as home improvement. There are two other important areas related to your home that can have a big effect on what you owe the feds: when and if you make repairs to them.

Wyatt Warpool
Wyatt Warpool

Passionate zombie nerd. Lifelong music trailblazer. Hipster-friendly zombie ninja. Hardcore tv practitioner. Lifelong music lover. Unapologetic web ninja.

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