Advice
Posted in: Homeowner tips, Buying a home, Selling a home

Tax prep documents for 2021 buyers and sellers

Income tax form

Key insights:

  • Homebuyers and sellers need to fill out specific forms for their taxes.
  • When in doubt, don’t throw it out! Keep a file of receipts from your home transaction.
  • Your REALTOR® can help guide you in the right direction regarding tax documents.

Buying or selling a home is likely one of the largest financial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime. While it’s easy to get swept up in the emotions and excitement of a move, you’ll also want to consider the logistical components of your move. The paperwork you sign will become especially important around tax time.

If you bought or sold a home last year, you’ll need specific documents for tax preparation. Here, we’ll dive into the details of each of these home-related tax documents:

  • Form 1098
  • Form 1040
  • Form 1099-S
  • Closing disclosure

What tax documents do homebuyers need?

If you’re a new homebuyer, look out for Form 1098. This document, also called the Mortgage Interest Statement, will be sent to you if you’ve paid mortgage interest totaling $600 or more in the last tax year.

This form helps new homeowners identify the total amount of interest they’ve paid over the course of the year, which can then be used to calculate potential mortgage interest deductions. Keep in mind, there are requirements in order to qualify for mortgage interest deductions on your annual tax return. The general eligibility requirements for the deduction include:

  • You’ve paid mortgage interest totaling $600 or more in the last year.
  • You are the primary borrower on the home loan.
  • You are actively contributing payments to the loan.

If, however, you’ve contributed less than $600 to home mortgage interest taxes, you will not get Form 1098 in the mail from your lender. Instead, you might opt to itemize deductions on Form 1040. To do so, you’ll need to fill out the optional Schedule A attachment accompanying Form 1040.

What tax documents do home sellers need?

If you’ve sold a piece of real estate that netted a significant profit, you’ll need to complete Form 1099-S, also known as the Proceeds from Real Estate Transactions form. This document indicates that you’ve sold a home and that you need to pay capital gains tax.

The 1099-S document will be provided to you at closing, if you’re required to report your sale. As a general guideline, capital gains tax is required for an individual capital gain exceeding $250,000, or $500,000 for a couple filing jointly.

If I sell my house, do I pay capital gains tax?

Everyone should save these papers for taxes

Around the time of closing, buyers and sellers will each receive a Closing Disclosure form, which documents the closing costs associated with the home transaction. It’s important to keep track of this form in the event that you can deduct itemized closing costs from your taxes. Here is an example of what the form will look like and include.

In general, whether you’re buying or selling a home, it’s best to save all documents related to your homeownership. These will come in handy should you need them for tax purposes, or if you ever happen to be audited.

Here are some papers you’ll want to keep track of:

  • Records from your home sale
  • Any mortgage or insurance documents
  • Documents proving your home is your primary residence (voter registration, tax returns, bank statements, utility bills, etc.)
  • Receipts from home improvement projects

Moving forward with your taxes

Taxes can feel daunting, especially the year after you’ve bought or sold a home. While you may want to hire someone to prep your taxes this year, you can also reach out to your agent for assistance on obtaining some of the above documents.

And for more information on tax documents, or to download these forms, check out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) webpage.

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Status Definitions

For sale: Properties which are available for showings and purchase

Active contingent: Properties which are available for showing but are under contract with another buyer

Pending: Properties which are under contract with a buyer and are no longer available for showings

Sold: Properties on which the sale has closed.

Coming soon: Properties which will be on the market soon and are not available for showings.

Contingent and Pending statuses may not be available for all listings