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Cash-Out Refinance: Tax Implications in 2023

16 min.

If you want to make capital improvements to your house and use your home equity to your advantage, you may be curious about the tax consequences of a cash-out refinance loan. Many homeowners turn to this refinance for significant expenses like a new pool or HVAC system or to consolidate debt.

Cash-Out Refinance: Tax Implications in 2023

If you are thinking about getting a cash-out to refinance, look through this article on cash-out refinancing first, and then keep reading to learn more about the tax implications of getting one.

What is cash-out refinance?

A "cash-out refinance" is a mortgage loan in which your current mortgage is replaced with a larger one, and the proceeds are given to you in cash. At closing, a portion of the higher loan amount goes toward paying off your current mortgage. However, you will also be given a sum of money directly proportional to your home's value.

By refinancing your mortgage, you can lower your monthly payments, negotiate a lower interest rate, change the loan terms, remove or add borrowers, and, in the case of a cash-out refinance, get cash from the equity in your home. Other potential benefits of refinancing a mortgage include the following:

  • The money you receive is determined by the value of the equity you have accrued in your house.
  • The funds might be put toward nearly any objective, including the renovation of a home, the consolidation of high-interest debt, or any other monetary requirement.

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Is a cash-out refinance taxable?

Refinancing your mortgage for cash does not result in taxable income. You are refinancing your property to get some money out amounts to taking out a loan against the equity you've built up in your house. The proceeds of a home equity line of credit, home equity loan, cash-out refinance, or any other loan is not taxable.

As a general rule, the Internal Revenue Service does not count loans, including loans for home refinancing, as income because it is assumed that you will pay back the money. Due to this fact, you are exempt from having to record it when you file your cash-out refinance taxes. Yet, if the loan is canceled or forgiven, the whole amount may be taxed. Even though you won't have to pay income taxes on the cash-out refinance, you should still be aware that there are tax ramifications associated with cash-out refinancing.

How cash-out refinance can create tax deductions

Cash-out refinancing can help you avoid paying income taxes, and the interest you pay may even be tax deductible. The Tax Reform and Job Creation Act of 2017 significantly increased the standard deduction. Most taxpayers no longer need to itemize to deduct mortgage interest. However, if you're itemizing your premises, there are restrictions on how you can spend the money from the loan and still get the deduction for mortgage interest. When requesting a refinance with cash out, you can deduct the following mortgage interest or mortgage points.

Mortgage interest

The interest you pay on your mortgage, whether a new loan or a refinance, is typically the single most significant tax write-off. Most of the time, you can take mortgage interest payments out of your taxable income if you meet one of the conditions:

  • It's for your primary dwelling or a second home you don't rent out.
  • Your home backs the loan. In case of nonpayment, the lender may proceed with a foreclosure sale.
  • When filing taxes, you "itemize" deductions by itemizing your expenditures, totaling them, and deducting the sum from your taxable income. Instead of itemizing, you can claim a basic tax deduction.

To deduct the mortgage interest you paid on the money you got from a cash-out refinance, you must use the funds to buy or build a capital improvement that raises the home's market value. In other words, it won't count as a tax-deductible donation if you use the money to pay off your credit card debt, take a vacation, or pay for other personal expenses.

Mortgage points

Paying mortgage points (sometimes called discount points) at closing will result in a lower interest rate.

Points on a traditional mortgage can be deducted from your taxes because they pay the interest on the loan ahead of time. The tax deduction for points earned through a cash-out refinance is spread out over the life of the loan instead of being completely available in the year you paid the points. If you use the money to fix up your house and meet specific requirements, you may get a tax break on some of the money right away.

Suppose the cash-out proceeds are utilized for "capital improvements" to the property, and the borrower satisfies other IRS conditions (such as living in the property for which the loan is being taken out and paying points as is customary in the area). In that case, the borrower may qualify for a tax exemption and the mortgage points you've already spent will be refunded.

How to claim cash-out refinance tax deductions

The first step in minimizing the tax hit from a cash-out refinance is to file your taxes using the itemized method. To rephrase, you need to file your taxes using either Form 1040 or 1040-SR, and if you're eligible for itemized deductions, use Schedule A. You cannot deduct any mortgage interest payments using the standard deduction.

Your mortgage lender will send you a copy of Form 1098, which details the amount you paid in mortgage points and interest on your mortgage. Give this form to the person who prepares your taxes. Be careful to keep your receipts if you ever need to show the Internal Revenue Service documentation of what you spent on a capital improvement project to take advantage of its tax deductions.

How to use a cash-out refinance so the interest is tax-deductible

You can use the money from your cash-out refinancing to make repairs or upgrades to your house and still qualify for the mortgage-interest tax deduction.

Cash-out refinancing mortgages have their own set of tax regulations that differ slightly from those of standard mortgages. Deductions for home repairs, remodels, and mortgage points must adhere to strict IRS regulations. Some instances concern capital home improvement, workplaces at home, and renovations of rental property.

Capital home improvements

Most homeowners who take out a cash-out refinance do so to finance renovations. The only way to get the mortgage interest deduction is if the IRS agrees that the upgrades are capital expenditures. The goal of any capital expenditure should be to enhance the property in question, not only keep it in working order. Common types of capital expenditures include:

  • Incorporating a spa, jacuzzi, or swimming pool into your garden;
  • Building a wall to separate two areas or for decorative purposes;
  • Adding an extra room to your house or constructing an extension;
  • Strengthening your roof through repair.

Any purchase, no matter how small, might be considered a capital improvement. Some minor adjustments are as follows:

  • Changing out a heating and cooling system that serves the whole house;
  • Putting in new storm windows or energy-efficient ones instead of the old ones;
  • Setting up a home security system in your place.

Creating a workspace at home

Putting up a home office qualifies as an improvement, so the interest you pay on your cash-out refinance can be written off as a business expense. Working from home can have significant tax advantages for those who are self-employed or run a small business.

When you shop in your own house, you might save money on your annual federal tax return by claiming the "home office" deduction. Using a home office, you can write off a portion of your home loan as a tax write-off. You can use either the simplified or standard deduction when determining your tax burden. It would be best if you met the following criteria before taking advantage of a home office tax deduction.

  • Principal place of business. The location you choose should be where most of your business is done.
  • Regular and exclusive use. You can only claim a deduction for the portion of your home explicitly utilized for business purposes, and you must use that space regularly.

Renovate rental property

Renovating a rental property with cash from a cash-out refinance may allow you to write off some of the costs of the work as a tax deduction. It is because landlords see the cost of making improvements to a rental property as a reasonable business expense. Investing in real estate can provide numerous financial advantages, including tax breaks.

Limits to the mortgage interest deduction with a cash-out refinance

In addition to its other modifications, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) imposed a lower dollar limit on mortgages that are eligible for the home mortgage interest deduction beginning with the tax year 2018 and continuing through the tax year 2026.

This limitation will be in force. At this time, taxpayers can only deduct interest on eligible mortgages or home equity loans up to a maximum of $750,000. The ceiling is $375,000 for married taxpayers who file their returns separately. Before the act, the limits were $1 million, or $500,000, for a married couple filing separately for tax purposes.

The interest you pay on the new mortgage is tax deductible if you use the money for extensive renovations. It pays for big purchases like paying off credit card debt or putting a significant down payment on a car. You can pay only the interest accrued on the mortgage principal.

If you have substantial high-interest debt, a cash-out refinance is the best alternative. Since the epidemic began, mortgage interest rates have hovered around 3% while credit card interest rates have reached double digits.


What are the disadvantages of a cash-out refinance?

There is a delay in receiving funds. You should only rely on something other than a refinance if you need the funds quickly. The closing, processing, and approval phases could take several weeks. There may be adjustments to the loan terms.

Can you write off cash-out refinance?

A cash-out refinance only qualifies for a simplified deduction if the funds are used for major renovations such as home improvements. Other than that, you can only deduct the interest you paid as a proportion of the principal.

Can you avoid capital gains tax by refinancing?

Investors now have a good option in the form of cash-out refinances, which allow them to turn their available equity into cash and avoid paying capital gains taxes.

What happens during cash-out refinance?

When a homeowner refinances their existing mortgage into a new mortgage, usually at a cheaper interest rate, they may take out more cash in the form of a "cash-out" refinance. The first mortgage is paid off at closing, and the remaining money is given to the homeowner in one lump sum.

Do I have to pay taxes on refinancing a cash-out?

You won't owe any taxes when you take cash out of your house through a refinance. The Internal Revenue Service counts the money as a loan you have to pay back, not as income you have to pay taxes on. Depending on the funds used, there may be tax advantages.

Is a cash-out refinance tax deductible?

The funds from a cash-out could be used to repair and upgrade rental properties you manage. The federal government allows for these costs to be deducted.

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