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Tax Tip: Reaping the Tax Benefits of Homeownership

iStock/ThinkstockYou may view your home as a money pit that's always in need of fixing but when it comes to filing your taxes, you can rejoice.

New York tax accountant Janice Hayman says there's a lot to write off.

"We still have, thankfully, our mortgage interest deduction and that's a tremendous saving as well as the deduction for real estate taxes," she says.

You can also save by making your home more energy efficient. The Internal Revenue Service allows big deductions of up to 30 percent off expenditures on things like solar panels and wind energy. There are deductions for insulation, as well.

When it comes to foreclosure, tax law sees debt forgiveness as a financial benefit. But Hayman says there's a silver lining for those who have been forced by the bank to give up their home.

"If you had to have a foreclosure on your primary residence, the amount of that debt won't have to be considered income to you as long as that was a foreclosure on your main home," she notes.   

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