Tax Answers

March 01, 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: If you have a mortgage that is held by a private individual rather than a financial institution, can you still deduct the interest? What kind of documentation do you need?

A: Yes, you can deduct mortgage interest paid to a private individual. Report it on line 9b of Schedule A and write in the recipient's name and address on the dotted lines next to line 9b. If the interest was paid to a seller who financed your mortgage, also list the individual's Social Security number. The individual holding the loan must have a lien on the property in order for the interest to qualify as mortgage interest.

Q: I provide a home for my son who is not a dependent, unmarried and 30 years old. Can I claim head of household filing status?

A: Yes. If you are unmarried, and paid over half the cost of keeping up the home for your unmarried child, head of household status could be claimed even if the child did not qualify as a dependent. In this situation, the child's name should be reported on line 4 of the Form 1040.

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 The Sun's Business News Department at (410) 783-2517. Callers are encouraged, but not required, to leave their names and phone numbers should questions need to be clarified. Names will not be published. Questions will not be answered by phone.

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