Homeowners associations -- people either love them or hate them. The lovers feel protected from a neighbor painting her home purple and yellow. The haters feel constrained from painting her own home purple and yellow. Regardless, when you move into a neighborhood, you either have a Homeowners Association (HOA) or you don't. They aren't just for condominiums.
HOAs Require Dues
Dues for Homeowners Associations are standard. They may range from a minimum of $50 a month for small, older neighborhoods to more than $1,000 for condominium complexes that offer many services. If you do not pay the dues, you can get a nasty surprise at closing when you go to sell your lovely property: a lien will have been placed on it, and you won't be able to close the sale. Not fun!
What Homeowners Association Dues Cover
Homeowners Association dues usually pay for routine maintenance of common areas for such things as landscaping, sidewalk maintenance, and snow removal. Some associations handle security services, such as policing the neighborhood, and street lighting, utility access, and the upkeep of community amenities such as club houses, pools, tennis courts or walking trails.
HOA Dues Are Not Tax Deductible
Unfortunately, Homeowners Association dues are not tax deductible. According to the IRS's Publication 529, "Miscellaneous Deductions, for Use in Preparing 2009 Returns," while your yearly property taxes and some other home expenses are deductible, HOA dues are not.
Other Home Expenses That Are Not Deductible
Other nondeductible home expenses include any additional principal payments you make, depreciation of your home, and general closing costs and local assessments to increase the value of your neighborhood, such as construction of new sidewalks or utility connections. But forget about all of this and just keep smiling as you cheerfully deduct those property taxes.
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