Income Tax
Federal tax deduction for mortgage insurance premiums expires

Though its demise drew little attention because of the partisan year-end brawl over the payroll tax cut extension in Congress, a key mortgage financing benefit disappeared at the end of December: the ability of large numbers of home buyers and owners to write off the premiums they pay for mortgage insurance. The loss of that tax deduction — plus mandatory new fees imposed by Congress on all new conventional and FHA loans — could effectively increase the costs of homeownership this year. The expiration of mortgage insurance deductibility will hit many low-down-payment conventional loans originated since 2007, plus virtually all new mortgages closed this year whose down payment...