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I was divorced in 2010 but my name is still on the mortgage for the house my ex lives in. The home is owned jointly, but she makes all the payments. I want my name off the mortgage but there have been numerous delays on her part. There's a divorce decree and it states that she is awarded the residence, but does not state that she must make the mortgage and property tax payments. There was an order of the court that stated she was responsible for the mortgage, insurance, property tax and utilities. That order was 14 months prior to the divorce being final, while we separated. Again, the decree does not address who is responsible for the payments. I was hoping to claim the deductions since my name is still on the mortgage. Can I claim 50% of the property tax as a deduction on my 2010 and 2011 returns?


Expert Linda Burroughs's Answer:

The deduction is not an allowable on your tax return due to the following:


1.  You did not pay it

2.  You no longer technically own the house since your 50% was awarded to her.

3.  The divorce decree did not supercede the order that made her wholly responsible for the payment. 


Internal Revenue Service will not allow a deduction for payments not made by you even if you were still responsible for the mortgage.



Linda Burroughs, CPA


25 yrs experience

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