Paying mortgage doesn’t guarantee tax break

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DEAR BOB: For the last six years, I have lived in my mother's house to take care of her, as she is very senile. I have been making the mortgage payments and paying the property taxes. However, when I had my income taxes prepared last year, I was told I am not entitled to these deductions because my name is not on the title and my mother's name and Social Security number are on the mortgage. Is this true? --Michele M. DEAR MICHELE: Yes. The reason you are not entitled to claim those itemized deductions on your personal income tax return is you have no legal obligation to make those payments. You may have a moral obligation to help your mother, but that doesn't count with the IRS. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. However, this problem is easily solved. If your mother is capable of signing a quitclaim deed, she can add your name to her title, perhaps by holding title in joint tenancy with right of survivorship. Her name still remains on the title but now you will be legally obligated...