Vertical Equity and the Home Mortgage Interest Deduction
February 6, 2006
Despite recent attempts by real estate, home building, and mortgage-lending organizations to portray the home mortgage interest deduction as vital to middle-income family budgets, an analysis of data from the Internal Revenue Service tells a different story.
The most recent IRS data show few low- and middle-income taxpayers benefit from the home mortgage interest deduction. Those who filed tax returns with under $30,000 in adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2003 received just 9 percent of deductions for home mortgage interest, despite filing 52 percent of all tax returns. (The median taxpayer’s AGI was approximately $29,000 in 2003.) In contrast, 36 percent of home mortgage interest deductions were claimed by taxpayers with AGIs over $100,000.