Form 8396

Mortgage Interest Credit

The 8396 form may not be the most familiar tax document to many taxpayers, yet for those who are eligible, it holds significant financial benefits. In this extensive guide, we delve deep into everything you need to know about the 8396 Form, providing you not just the procedure to fill it out but also ways to navigate common mistakes, and the direct implications it has on your tax filings. Whether you're a new homeowner or you've recently refinanced your mortgage, understanding the 8396 form could save you a considerable amount in mortgage interest credits.

What is a 8396 Form?

At its core, the 8396 form, also known as the Mortgage Interest Credit form, is a crucial document for taxpayers who are looking to claim the mortgage interest credit, a beneficial tax incentive for low to moderate-income individuals who have a Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC). This form allows eligible taxpayers to reduce their tax liability, potentially even beyond zero, allowing for a more significant return or a lesser tax bill.

  • Purpose and Significance: The primary goal is to provide financial relief to homeowners by utilizing the interest they pay on their mortgage as a direct credit against their tax owed. It's vital for stimulating homeownership among income groups that might find it challenging to afford a home.

  • Components of the Form: It comprises parts where you input your mortgage interest credit from your MCC, calculate the credit rate, and figure out the current year's credit alongside other detailed financial figures relating to your mortgage.

Who Needs a 8396 Form?

If you're wondering whether you should be paying attention to this form, consider the following criteria:

  • Criteria: Homeowners who received an MCC through their state or local governmental unit or agency under a qualified mortgage credit certificate program are eligible. The certificate specifies how much credit you're allowed to claim.

  • Obligations: Once you have the MCC, it's your obligation to file the 8396 form alongside your tax return to benefit from the mortgage interest credit.

  • Deadlines: As with most tax documents, the 8396 form should be filed during the tax season for the previous financial year. Deadlines typically align with the tax return filing deadline, April 15th.

How to Read and Understand 8396 Form

Understanding the 8396 form is critical to maximizing your benefits:

  • Breakdown of the 8396 Form: The form has sections for identifying information, details of the MCC, the amount of interest paid, and the computation of the credit.

  • Common Terms and Figures: The 'Mortgage Interest Credit' is the focal point, calculated based on the interest paid and the credit rate specified in your MCC. Terms like "certified indebtedness amount," “credit rate,” and "reissued MCC" are also essential to grasp.

How to Get Your 8396 Form

  • Procedures: To file the 8396 Form, first, ensure you've received an MCC from your state or local government. Then, head to the IRS page for Form 8396 to download the form directly.

Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Filing your 8396 form without errors is pivotal in enjoying its full benefits:

  • Common Errors: From mistakenly underreporting the interest paid to incorrectly calculating the credit, errors can delay or reduce your credit.

  • Tips: Double-check all figures against your MCC and mortgage statements. Engaging a tax professional for the first filing could serve as a valuable learning experience.

8396 Form and Tax Filing

The 8396 form directly affects the way you file your taxes:

  • Impact on Tax Filing: By reducing your tax liability, the mortgage interest credit can significantly alter your tax owed or increase your refund.

  • Role in Tax Returns: For many, it directly influences the decision to itemize deductions as it presents a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax.

FAQ Section

Q1: Can I claim the mortgage interest credit without an MCC?
A: No, an MCC is mandatory to file Form 8396.

Q2: Is there a limit on how much credit I can claim?
A: Yes, the credit amount is determined by the credit rate on your MCC, but it cannot exceed your annual tax liability.

Q3: Can I claim the mortgage interest deduction and the credit on the same interest payments?
A: Yes, but not for the same portion of interest. The part used for the credit must be subtracted from the total interest paid before calculating the mortgage interest deduction.

Q4: What happens if I refinance my mortgage?
A: You might receive a reissued MCC. You should consult your local government or a tax professional for specifics.

Q5: How does the credit affect my tax refund?
A: It reduces your tax liability. If the credit exceeds your liability, it won't generate a refund but can reduce the amount you owe to $0.


The 8396 Form stands as a vital instrument for homeowners to alleviate some of their financial burdens through the mortgage interest credit. It exemplifies the tax code's flexibility and support for homeownership. However, its complexities necessitate a thorough understanding and careful preparation. While this guide serves as a comprehensive primer, consulting with a tax professional, especially in complex situations or for specific advice, remains invaluable.

For further reading and to download the form directly, explore the following resources:

Always refer to the IRS website or a tax professional for the most accurate and up-to-date information. provides general information and software tools for tax preparation; however, it does not offer personalized tax, legal, or professional advice. It's recommended to consult with a qualified professional for specific advice related to your financial situation.