NEW YORK (MainStreet)Generally you can only deduct real estate taxes and home mortgage interest on Schedule A if you are legally responsible to pay the tax or mortgage and actually make the payments.
Often a young married couple just starting out doesn’t have enough income or credit to get a mortgage, so their parents will purchase the house. The deed and mortgage will be recorded in the name of the parents, who live elsewhere. The “kids” will live in the property as their personal residence, maintain it, and pay all the bills, including the property taxes and the monthly mortgage payment.
Even though the “kids” don’t have legal title to the residence, because they have the exclusive “burden and benefit” of the property – they occupy the property exclusively, make the tax and mortgage payments, and maintain the property - they can deduct the real estate taxes and mortgage interest paid as the “equitable and beneficial owner.”