Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The Obameter

Create a mortgage interest tax credit for non-itemizers


Create a refundable tax credit equal to 10 percent of mortgage interest for nonitemizers, up to a maximum credit of $800.


Updates

Still no mechanism for non-itemizers

The tax deduction for mortgage interest has long been popular for homeowners, but it's been limited to taxpayers to who itemize their deductions. In the 2008 campaign, Barack Obama promised to broaden the eligibility so non-itemizers could take advantage, too. Obama said he would pass a "universal mortgage credit" equal to 10 percent of mortgage interest for non-itemizers, up to a maximum credit of $800.

But four years later, it hasn't happened.

"I have not seen anything to suggest that that's been accomplished,” said G. Barry Wilkinson, a longtime CPA and tax attorney in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The latest IRS literature on deducting mortgage interest, dated December 2011, spells out that only itemizers qualify. The IRS web page devoted to this topic has a headline for "Recent Developments,” but there is a blank space underneath.

The Obama campaign couldn't provide us with any evidence this was fulfilled, but said Obama has pushed fairness principles in his 2013 budget.

But still, there's no mortgage interest credit for non-itemizers.

We rate this Promise Broken.

Sources:

Interview with G. Barry Wilkinson, April 25, 2012

Email interview with Kara Carscaden, Obama campaign, April 25, 2012

IRS.gov, Publication 936, December 2011

Create a mortgage interest tax credit for non-itemizers

We scoured President Barack Obama's tax proposals thus far, as well as the tax measures in the economic stimulus package, but we came up empty when looking for a new mortgage interest tax credit for non-itemizers.

In fact, the latest tax guidance from the Internal Revenue Service states that tax filers still must itemize to get a deduction for home mortgage interest.

We should add there are a number of tax issues Obama and Congress will likely address in 2010, and this may yet get proposed. But right now, we can't find any action on this promise, so we rate it Stalled.

Sources:

Internal Revenue Service, Home Mortgage Interest Deduction , Dec. 17, 200

Thomas, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , accessed Dec. 21, 2009