Hello and thank you for your question.
The IRS instructions give rules and examples for non-cummunity
property states like Ohio. According to the IRS:
IF you paid ... property tax ... AND you ...paid the tax on property
held as tenants by the entirety ... THEN you can deduct on your
separate federal return ... the property tax you alone paid.
IF you paid ... mortgage interest ... AND you ... paid the interest
on a qualified home held as tenants by the entirety ... THEN you can
deduct on your separate federal return ... the mortgage interest you
The IRS could have found a lot clearer way to put this, and limiting
the rule to people who own property as 'tenants by the entirety' makes
you wonder what the rule is for other types of ownership.
Here's the real answer:
1. If only one of you owns your home, that's who needs to pay and
deduct the real estate tax. And if only one of you is liable on the
mortgage, again that's who needs to pay and deduct the real estate
2. Chances are you both own your home, either as tenants-in-common,
joint tenants or tenants by the entireties. In all three cases,
you're both liable for the real estate tax, and you both signed the
mortgage. That means each of you are legally obligated to pay the
taxes and interest. But according to the IRS rule above, the person
who signed the check is the only person, technically, who can take
Here's the way another commentator puts it:
"You have to meet two criteria to claim a deduction for
mortgage interest (and real estate taxes). One, is that you
are liable for the payment, and two, is that you actually
MAKE the payment.
"So, to the extent that YOU paid the mortgage, you claim the
interest deduction. To the extent that he paid it, he can
claim the deduction. If he paid none if it, that's how much
of the deduction he can claim."
Barry Picker, CPA/PFS, CFP
Since if one of you itemizes you both must itemize, it's hard to
imagine the IRS caring if you allocate deductions in a different way
(especially if you allocate them 50:50), but that's the rule, and it's
not impossible that the IRS would want to see the cancelled check in
the course of an audit.
Your Ohio state income tax return will follow the federal
Search terms used:
"filing separately" deduction site:irs.gov
ohio income tax
Thanks again for bringing us your question.
Google Answers Researcher