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As a result of the recent changes to the tax code, the number of tax files who are eligible for mortgage interest deductions is estimated to drop from 32 million in 2017 to an estimated 14 million in 2018. Americans’ total savings from the mortgage interest deduction is also expected to fall from $60 billion for 2017 to $25 billion for 2018, according to Congress’s Joint Committee on Taxation.

The two changes that affect mortgage interest deductions and property taxes most heavily are the near-doubling of the standard deduction for mortgage interest payments, which has risen to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers, and the $10,000 cap on state and local income or sales and property tax deduction per tax return. The second change has hit married couples especially hard, as it makes it more difficult for them to list deductions on Schedule A.

For homeowners with a shrinking or vanishing interest deduction, here’s the key question: Is the after-tax return on an ultra-low-risk investment lower than your after-tax mortgage rate? If it is, consider paying down the mortgage if you can.

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