Q: If I pay a relative’s mortgage payments and taxes for them can they take the tax deductions?
The funds would be coming out of my personal bank account as an automatic payment each month. Would it be considered a gift and limited to $15,000 a year?
A: You'll want to consult with a CPA or tax attorney about the particulars, but my thought is that the mortgage tax deduction would still go to the person or persons who are obligated to pay under the terms of the mortgage (e.g. your relative); it doesn't matter who actually pays it. And yes, you would be making a gift, unless you structure your assistance as a loan. As a gift, if you pay more than $15,000 to any one person in a given year, you would need to file a gift tax return.
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