Tax Answers

February 17, 1994

Here are answers from members of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants to readers' tax questions. The Sun will publish answers through April 15.

Q: Last year I purchased some land to build a house in Howard County. The construction loan was made in 1993 but I won't get residency of the house until this year. Can I write off the interest that I've paid on the construction loan for this residence even though it's not my official residence right now?

A: Even though the house is not yet your principal residence, you may still be able to deduct the construction loan interest paid in 1993 as home mortgage interest.

Property under construction will qualify as a residence for up to 24 months, if upon completion the house becomes either your principal residence or second residence.

As long as the construction loan is secured by the property, and it qualified as a residence, you will be able to deduct the construction loan interest paid in 1993.

Q: How about the luxury tax? Can I deduct the amount I paid on my tax return?

A: Sorry, but luxury tax is not deductible as an itemized deduction; but, if you have business assets subject to the luxury tax, you can add the tax you paid to the basis of the asset.

The above advice is for general purposes only and is not intended as legal, accounting or tax advice. Specific situations may vary. Consult with a tax adviser for specific advice.

Readers may submit questions by phone, mail or fax. Selected questions will be answered in The Sun and The Evening Sun.

To ask a tax question by phone, call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service, at (410) 783-1800. In Anne Arundel County call 268-7736, in Harford County 836-5028, and in Carroll County 848-0338. Using a touch-tone phone, enter 6120 after the greeting.

Written queries may be sent to TAX QUESTIONS, The Baltimore Sun, Business News Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278. Fax questions to (410) 783-2517. Callers are encouraged to leave their names and phone numbers should questions need to be clarified. Names and numbers will not be published.

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