Can you Deduct Home Repairs or Home Improvements on Taxes? - (2023)

Can you Deduct Home Repairs or Home Improvements on Taxes? - (1)

Any area that you can save on your taxes is a good thing. And when it comes to your home, that goes double. Your house is one of (if not the) biggest investments that you’ll ever make. So it makes sense that if there is any way to apply associated costs to your tax bill then you’d want to go for it, especially for things like home repairs, which can be a costly surprise during the year. But can you deduct home repairs on taxes?

There is some good news in this area, but also some bad news. First, the bad news: if you use your home as your personal residence you can’t deduct home repairs on taxes. If your furnace goes bust and you need to call in a pricey repair service, you’re not going to have any recourse come tax time. The good news, though? You can deduct home improvements. Confused? It helps to start by looking at the difference between home repairs and home improvements, and in particular what they help you achieve.

Home Repairs vs. Home Improvements

They sound similar (and are sometimes used interchangeably), but there is actually a pretty stark difference between repairs that you make to your home and improvements.

Home repairs are things that you do to your home to keep it in good condition. For example, fixing a broken window, re-grouting an old bathtub, and dealing with that aforementioned busted furnace. The goal with home repairs is to return your home to its ideal—not to make a substantial improvement on what was already there.

(Video) Are home improvement expenses tax deductible?

Home improvements, on the other hand, are things that you do to your home to increase its value. Think additions, swimming pools, and energy efficient upgrades. The goal with home improvements it to increase the market value of your property through changes that make it better than it was before.

Of course, sometimes there is overlap, such as when your repair solution is a complete replacement. So if you repair old and cracked windows by replacing them with a completely new set, that’s an improvement. If you repair old and cracked windows by replacing some panes, that’s a repair.

Deducting Home Improvements From Taxes

Alright, so you can’t deduct home repairs on taxes, but you can deduct home improvements. But how?

Unfortunately, deducting home improvements isn’t quite as simple as itemizing them on your Schedule A tax form. That’s because, while they can absolutely serve to lower your taxes, that benefit kicks in when you sell your home—not on a year to year basis.

It works like this: home improvements are considered capital improvements. This means that the money you spend on them qualifies as something that increases the value of your home, in turn increasing the capital gain you’ll make on it when you sell.

(Video) Are Home Improvements Tax Deductible

When you make a capital improvement, you add the amount of added value to your tax basis, which is the amount deducted from the sale price of your home that determines your profit on it. This is non-taxable equity, meaning that any money you spend on capital improvements and make back in profit is money that goes into your pockets—and not to the IRS. So while it’s not a deduction, it is a big tax savings later on.

One (good) caveat to this rule is when you make improvements in your home’s energy efficiency. The nonbusiness energy property credit provides homeowners with a 30% tax credit for the cost and installation of certain energy upgrades, including solar panels for home electricity, solar-powered water heaters, and geothermal heat pumps. If you do make any of these improvements, be sure to keep careful accounting of your expenditures.

Tax Deductible Home Improvements

When it comes to which home improvements are tax deductible, it’s less about specific improvements and more about what brings the most added value to your property. We’ve covered this before, but just in case you missed it, here’s an overview of the six biggest home value drivers:

1. Upscale garage door replacement
2. Manufactured stone veneer on home exterior
3. Wood deck addition
4. Kitchen upgrades (minor and major)
5. Siding and window replacements
6. Bathroom remodels

As you’ve probably noticed, a majority of the most valuable home improvements are centered on the exterior of your property. What makes these improvements such value drivers is that they have the biggest returns—meaning you recoup the most amount of money in direct comparison to what you spend.

(Video) Rental Property Tax Deductions (What Can You Deduct Now vs Depreciate Over Time?)

But for tax purposes, plenty of other upgrades will serve to increase your capital improvements, including upgraded appliances and home additions. You might not get quite as big of a return, but you will add to the pool of profit that the IRS can’t touch.

What About Other Home Related Deductions?

By now we’ve covered the basics, such as the fact that you unfortunately can’t usually deduct home repairs on taxes and the what and how of deducting any home improvements that you make. These aren’t the only home-based expenses related to your taxes, though. There are two other major areas related to your home that can have a big effect on what you owe to the feds—including when and if you make repairs on them.

The home office deduction. If you work from home, then you’re hopefully already familiar with the home office deduction. This deduction allows you to deduct the expense of the portion of your home that you use for conducting business, provided that it is your principal place of business, and not just somewhere that you occasionally go to do some work.

If you make repairs to a qualifying home office—for example, if you fix the wiring on a burned out light fixture—that repair is deductible as a business expense. As it stands, you can deduct 100% of the money you spend on making repairs to your home office, though again, to do so you must meet the standard qualifications for the home office deduction.

The home rental deduction. If you rent out a portion of your home then you are able to take advantage of all of the tax deductions available to landlords, and this includes home repair deductions. This is true even if the repairs you make are for the benefit of your entire home, and not just the part of your home that you rent out.

(Video) 5. Rental Property Improvements And Taxes

These deductions can get a little bit tricky, since it’s important that any repairs you make don’t actually qualify as home improvements. Here’s a good explainer on maximizing your repair deductions as a landlord, which includes tips like making sure to repair and not replace, and to only repair items to their previous condition.

Making Sure You Get Your Tax Break

Whether it’s a capital improvement or a home office or rental based tax deduction, you want to make sure you do things right in order to get your money back. And the best way to do that is to make sure that you safely store all receipts related to associated expenditures, and that you keep them organized so you can easily pull them out when you need them. This is especially true for capital improvement gains, since it may be many years before you get the tax benefit. The better records you keep, the easier time you’ll have when it comes to qualifying your deductions with the IRS.

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What kind of home improvements are tax deductible? ›

In general, home improvements aren't tax-deductible, but there are three main exceptions: capital improvements, energy-efficient improvements, and improvements related to medical care.

Can I deduct house repairs on my taxes? ›

When you make a home improvement, such as installing central air conditioning or replacing the roof, you can't deduct the cost in the year you spend the money. But, if you keep track of those expenses, they may help you reduce your taxes in the year you sell your house.

What are eligible moving expenses? ›

Eligible moving expenses
  • Transportation and storage costs (such as packing, hauling, movers, in-transit storage, and insurance) for household items, including boats and trailers.
  • Travel expenses, including vehicle expenses, meals, and accommodation, to move you and your household members to your new home.
Jan 24, 2023

What counts as moving expenses for taxes? ›

You can deduct the expenses of moving your household goods and personal effects, including expenses for hauling a trailer, packing, crating, in-transit storage, and insurance. You can't deduct expenses for moving furniture or other goods you bought on the way from your old home to your new home.

Can you write off new windows on your taxes? ›

How much can I claim for new windows, doors and/or skylights on my tax return? You could be eligible for an energy-efficient home improvement tax credit of up to 10% of the cost (not including installation), up to $500 for doors and skylights. There is a $200 cap on windows.

Is a kitchen remodel tax deductible? ›

Yes, kitchen upgrades are generally considered to be capital improvements under the IRS's guidelines. In fact, new kitchens, new kitchen appliances and new flooring can all qualify.

What does not qualify as a moving expense? ›

money spent fixing up your old home before putting it up for sale. any losses from the sale of your home. the cost of default mortgage insurance. costs incurred in the sale of your old home if you delayed selling for investment purposes or until the real estate market improved.

What moving expenses are not deductible? ›

Beginning in 2018. Beginning in 2018, moving expenses are no longer eligible for a tax deduction on your federal tax return however, some states such as California continue to provide a deduction on your state tax return if you qualify.

What are non qualified moving expenses? ›

Nonqualified expenses are expenses related to moving that the IRS deems to be subject to tax withholding and reporting. Therefore, the reimbursement of such expenses is deemed to be treated as taxable wages.

Why are moving expenses no longer deductible? ›

Since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was passed in 2017 by President Trump, many people are no longer able to deduct moving expenses on their federal taxes. TCJA makes it simple – If you moved after 2018 and are not an active member of the Military or Armed Forces, you cannot deduct moving expenses.

Is it worth claiming moving expenses? ›

Absolutely. The moving expenses deduction can be valuable in reducing your taxable income. You are eligible if you move to take a new job, to study full-time at a post-secondary institution, or are self-employed.

How do I write off home repairs? ›

As far as taxes are concerned, repairs to a personal residence are meaningless. The only way you can deduct all or part of the cost of home repairs for your residence is if you qualify for the home office deduction or rent out part of the home.

What is the federal home renovation tax credit? ›

Home Renovation Tax Credit [Active]

Eligible expenses include the cost of labour and professional services, building materials, fixtures, equipment rentals, and permits. Additionally, the $2,100 is split between the two years, meaning a maximum of $1,155 for 2021 and $945 for 2022.

What is the 2023 home improvement tax credit? ›

Beginning January 1, 2023, the credit becomes equal to the lesser of 30% of the sum of amounts paid for qualifying home improvements or the annual $1,200 credit limit. In addition the the aggregate $1,200 limit, annual dollar credit limits apply to specific items including: Home energy audits: $150.

Is a new hot water heater tax deductible 2023? ›

Energy Efficiency Tax Credits for 2023

Beginning in 2023, the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Credit will be worth 30% of the total cost of eligible projects up to $1,200 per year (or $2,000 per year for heat pump water heaters and heat pump space heaters).

Is a bathroom remodel tax-deductible? ›

But with that, you might be wondering: Is a bath remodel tax deductible? The short answer is no, as most remodeling projects completed at your personal residence can't be written off.

Can I write off remodeling expenses? ›

No, you cannot deduct the expense of home improvement using a home renovation tax credit. However, home improvement tax deductions are available for making your home more energy efficient or making use of renewable energy resources such as solar panels.

What qualifies as home improvement for cost basis? ›

As a rule of thumb, an improvement is anything attached to the house that would be left behind in a sale. The IRS and the tax code specify that an improvement is an item that adds to the value of your home, prolongs its useful life or adapts it to new uses.

What is the IRS 50 mile relocation rule? ›

The distance test is met when the new official station is at least 50 miles further from the employee's current residence than the old official station is from the same residence.

Can you claim furniture for moving expenses? ›

Assuming you qualify, you can claim reasonable moving expenses that you paid for moving yourself, your family, as well as your household items.

Is buying new furniture a relocation expense? ›

If you buy furniture on the way to your new home, you cannot deduct the price of moving it. You also can't deduct the cost of the furniture -- no matter how good of a deal you get. Detours or sightseeing on the way to your new home. You're on your own if you deviate from the most direct route to your new place.

What does the IRS consider home improvements? ›

The IRS says improvements that qualify to be added to your basis are ones that "add to the value of your home, prolong its useful life, or adapt it to new uses," including interior and exterior modifications, heating and plumbing systems, landscaping, and insulation.

What repairs are allowable deductions? ›

Repairs fall into this category if they:
  • Fix a defect that existed before you bought the property.
  • Fix a defect that happened while the property was being made or built.
  • Enlarge or expand the property so that it has more capacity.
  • Increase the property's quality, strength, efficiency, or productivity.
Nov 29, 2022

What happens if you don't have receipts for capital improvements? ›

What should I do? ANSWER: If you are audited by the IRS on the sale of your principal residence but you can't produce the receipts for capital improvements, the IRS auditor is authorized to accept reasonable cost estimates. Of course, the receipts are your best evidence of your renovation expenses.

Is carpet replacement a repair or improvement? ›

It's well settled that replacing an entire carpet in a rental property is an improvement, not a repair. In contrast, mending a hole in a carpet is a currently deductible repair. Unless one of the exceptions described below applies, you'll have to depreciate the cost of the carpet over the property's useful life.

Is a new water heater tax deductible? ›

Beginning 2023, the expanded version of 25C, now called the Energy Efficient Home Improvement Tax Credit (under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022) will provide up to $2,000 in tax credits for qualifying high efficiency water heaters as well as credits for electrical upgrades.

What is the difference between repairs and improvements? ›

Here's a rule of thumb: An improvement is work that prolongs the life of the property, enhances its value or adapts it to a different use. On the other hand, a repair merely keeps property in efficient operating condition.

Is painting a repair or capital improvement? ›

By itself, the cost of painting the exterior of a building is generally a currently deductible repair expense because merely painting isn't an improvement under the capitalization rules.

Is door replacement a capital expense? ›

For example, if you replaced a steel door with a wooden door because steel doors were not available, you could classify the expense as a repair rather than a capital improvement. You must capitalize and depreciate expenses related to adapting a UOP to a new or different use.

Does the IRS require receipts for home improvements? ›

Proving Your Property's Tax Basis to the IRS

Improvements should be documented with purchase orders, receipts, cancelled checks, and any other documentation you receive. The records homeowners most often lose are those for improvements, so take special care to keep track of these.

What triggers an IRS audit? ›

Failing to report all your income is one of the easiest ways to increase your odds of getting audited. The IRS receives a copy of the tax forms you receive, including Forms 1099, W-2, K-1, and others and compares those amounts with the amounts you include on your tax return.

Does the IRS look at your bank account during an audit? ›

The Short Answer: Yes. The IRS probably already knows about many of your financial accounts, and the IRS can get information on how much is there. But, in reality, the IRS rarely digs deeper into your bank and financial accounts unless you're being audited or the IRS is collecting back taxes from you.

Is a new roof tax deductible in 2023? ›

Can I deduct the cost of a new roof? Unfortunately, you cannot deduct the cost of a new roof. Installing a new roof is considered a home improvement and home improvement costs are not deductible.

Is a bathroom remodel tax deductible? ›

But with that, you might be wondering: Is a bath remodel tax deductible? The short answer is no, as most remodeling projects completed at your personal residence can't be written off.

What windows qualify for tax credit? ›

Windows, Doors, and Skylights - If you replaced any windows, doors, or skylights—or installed new ones that have earned the ENERGY STAR label—you may be eligible for a tax credit of 10 percent of the cost (not including installation) on up to $200 for windows and skylights and up to $500 for doors.


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