Mortgage Interest Tax Credit

What is a mortgage interest tax credit?

A mortgage interest tax credit allows you to reduce your federal income tax liability based on the amount of mortgage interest you pay. The credit is applied dollar-for-dollar to reduce your income tax liability.

These credit programs are available only for the purchase of a primary residence, and you must be a first time homebuyer (not owned a home in the last 3 years) to qualify. The programs typically target low and moderate income homebuyers with limits on family income (adjusted for family size) and home purchase price.

The remainder of this page describes the Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program offered by the Texas State Affordable Housing Corp.

Who is eligible to receive the credit?

The program is open to those individuals and families who:

Income limits vary by county and are based on a percentage of the county's median family income. The limits also vary by household size. Click here to view the limits. In this table, if your household size is 1 or 2 persons, use the 100% AMFI column. If your household size is 3 or more persons, use the 115% AMFI column. Your income is your current, gross, annual income. If you need help calculating your annual income, give us a call.

For certain Targeted and Disaster Areas, the first time homebuyer requirement is waived and increased income and home price limits apply. Targeted Areas are census tract in which 70% or more of the families have incomes that are 80% or less of the statewide median income or areas of chronic economic distress.

Veterans who served in active duty, were honorably discharged as evidenced by Form DD-214, and have not previously had a mortgage financed through a mortgage revenue bond program are exempt from the first time homebuyer requirement.

What types of properties qualify?

New and existing single family homes, townhouses, condominiums and manufactured housing (with certain restrictions) are eligible for the credit. Purchase price limits apply based on the county in which the property is located. You must occupy the property as your primary residence for the length of the credit.

How much tax credit can I receive?

The tax credit is 20% of the annual interest paid on your mortgage loan. The credit cannot be larger than your federal income tax liability. Credits in excess of the current year's tax liability may be carried forward for use in the subsequent three years.

The following shows the savings for the first year of a $200,000 mortgage (30-year fixed rate):

Mortgage amount:$200,000
Interest rate:7.0%
Total interest paid:$13,447.90
Tax credit:$2,689.58

During the first year, you would be entitled to a tax credit of $2,685, and importantly, we can consider that credit as additional income to help you qualify.

Additionally, if you itemize deductions on your income tax returns, you may be able to take a deduction for the mortgage interest paid each year, less the amount of the tax credit. (In the above example, the mortgage interest deduction would be $13,448 less $2,690, or $10,758.)

How long does the credit last?

The tax credit is valid for the life of the loan as long as you occupy the property as your primary residence. Each year, the mortgage tax credit is 20% of the mortgage interest paid that year.

What happens if I move before 10 years?

If you sell your home within nine years, you may be required to pay back a portion of the credit. This is called a "recapture tax." To be subject to the tax, you must: