Options to Reform the Deduction for Home Mortgage Interest

Research Report

Options to Reform the Deduction for Home Mortgage Interest

Abstract

Taxpayers can currently deduct interest on up to $1 million in acquisition debt used to buy, build, or improve their personal residences and interest on up to another $100,000 of home equity loans. This brief estimates the effects on revenue and the distribution of the tax burden of proposals that would replace the current mortgage interest deduction with a non-refundable interest credit of either 15 or 20 percent of interest and reduce the ceiling on the amount of all eligible mortgage debt to $500,000. We also estimate the revenue effect of phasing in the proposals over five years.

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