Smart son reaps real estate tax benefits of parents’ home

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DEAR BOB: I live in my parent's house. Instead of paying them rent, they suggest I pay a portion of their mortgage directly to the mortgage company each month. If I pay $500 each month, can I use the $6,000 annual total payments as an income-tax deduction each year even though my name isn't on the mortgage or the title? – Roger K. DEAR ROGER: Congratulations on choosing very smart parents who are looking out for your best interests. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, to be entitled to deduct on your income-tax returns any mortgage interest and/or property taxes you pay, you must be legally obligated to make those payments. That means your name must be on the home's title. Your parents can add you to the title by signing and recording a quit claim deed. It really doesn't matter what percentage interest they gift to you or how you hold title. If you are their only heir, they might want to add you as a joint tenant with right of survivorship to avoid probate when they ...