The short answer is “yes”, mortgage interest is tax deductible from your total taxable income, but only if the mortgage interest and other itemized deductions go higher than the standard deduction on your federal income tax form. Confused? Let me explain better.
The standard deduction for couples for 2013 on federal forms was 12,200 or 6,100 for single filers. So, for instance if you had no other deductions to add to your itemized deductions form (or forms), you would have to have over 12,200 or 6,100 in mortgage interest to even begin to deduct your mortgage interest from your taxable income. However, many people have other things they can deduct that add to their itemized deductions that will get them higher than the standard deduction. Did you give to charity? Great, you can add that to your itemized deductions list. Property taxes, continuing education credit, job related expenses, and other itemized deductions also might make it worth it to itemize your deductions (including mortgage interest).
If however you have no other itemized deductions and your mortgage interest does not go above 12,200 or 6,100 (whether married or single), then you are not really going to be able to deduct your mortgage interest from your taxable income because taking the standard deduction will be better for you and save you more.
For instance, say you have 5,000 dollars in charitable contributions, 5,000 in mortgage interest, 5,000 in tools required for your job, and 5,000 in continuing education credits. That means you have 20,000 in itemized deductions and it is therefore in your best interest to itemize and use your mortgage interest to get you above the standard deduction (this would be beneficial whether you were married or single in this instance). If for instance you only had 5,000 in mortgage interest, 3,000 in property taxes, and 1,000 in charitable contributions, then that would only give you 9,000 in itemized deductions. This would be beneficial if you were single but not if you were married (12,200 versus 6,100 once again).
It pays to crunch the numbers and see if your mortgage interest and other numbers will put you over the standard deduction.