The following items are not deductible as real estate taxes.
Charges for services. An itemized charge for services to specific property or people is not a tax, even if the charge is paid to the taxing authority. You cannot deduct the charge as a real estate tax if it is:
A unit fee for the delivery of a service (such as a $5 fee charged for every 1,000 gallons of water you use),
A periodic charge for a residential service (such as a $20 per month or $240 annual fee charged for trash collection), or
A flat fee charged for a single service provided by your local government (such as a $30 charge for mowing your lawn because it had grown higher than permitted under a local ordinance).
You must look at your real estate tax bill to decide if any nondeductible itemized charges, such as those listed above, are included in the bill. If your taxing authority (or lender) does not furnish you a copy of your real estate tax bill, ask for it. Contact the taxing authority if you need additional information about a specific charge on your real estate tax bill.
Assessments for local benefits. You cannot deduct amounts you pay for local benefits that tend to increase the value of your property. Local benefits include the construction of streets, sidewalks, or water and sewer systems. You must add these amounts to the basis of your property.
You can, however, deduct assessments (or taxes) for local benefits if they are for maintenance, repair, or interest charges related to those benefits. An example is a charge to repair an existing sidewalk and any interest included in that charge.
If only a part of the assessment is for maintenance, repair, or interest charges, you must be able to show the amount of that part to claim the deduction. If you cannot show what part of the assessment is for maintenance, repair, or interest charges, you cannot deduct any of it.
An assessment for a local benefit may be listed as an item in your real estate tax bill. If so, use the rules in this section to find how much of it, if any, you can deduct.
Transfer taxes (or stamp taxes). You cannot deduct transfer taxes and similar taxes and charges on the sale of a personal home. If you are the buyer and you pay them, include them in the cost basis of the property. If you are the seller and you pay them, they are expenses of the sale and reduce the amount realized on the sale.
Al Grant Realty Group – Re/Max Allegiance
Office Phone: 202-580-6607 – Cell Phone: 202-256-8592
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