Stimulus: $8,000 Tax Credit to First Time Home Buyers
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Stimulus: $8,000 Tax Credit to First Time Home Buyers

There seems to be a great deal of confusion over the $8,000 tax credit for home buyers which President Obama plans to sign into law tomorrow.  Who qualifies for the tax credit?  Is it for anyone or is it limited by income?  Will I be required to repay the tax credit?  When must I buy to get the tax credit?

Here is a chart to help understand the changes with the bill being signed tomorrow by the President:

FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT (As modified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act)

Major modifications shaded and in bold.

FEATURE

CREDIT AS CREATED JULY 2008

APPLIES TO ALL QUALIFIED PURCHASES ON OR AFTER APRIL 9, 2008

REVISED CREDIT –

EFFECTIVE FOR PURCHASES ON OR AFTER JANUARY 1, 2009 AND BEFORE DECEMBER 1, 2009

Amount of Credit

Lesser of 10 percent of cost of home or $7,500

Maximum credit amount increased to $8,000.

Eligible Property

Any single family residence (including condos, co-ops, townhouses) that will be used as a principal residence.

No change.

All principal residences eligible.

Refundable

Yes.  Reduces (or can eliminate) income tax liability for the year of purchase.  Any unused amount of tax credit refunded to purchaser.

No change.

Purchasers will continue to receive refund for unused amount when tax return is filed.

Income Limit

Yes.  Full amount of credit available for individuals with adjusted gross income of no more than $75,000 ($150,000 on a joint return).  Phases out above those caps ($95,000 and $170,000).

No change.

Same income limits continue to apply.

First-time Homebuyer Only

Yes.  Purchaser (and purchaser’s spouse) may not have owned a principal residence in 3 years previous to purchase.

No change.

Still available for first-time purchasers only.  Three-year rule continues to apply.

Revenue Bond Financing

No credit allowed if home financed with state/local bond funding.

Purchasers who utilize revenue bond financing can use credit.

Repayment

Yes.  Portion (6.67% of credit or $500) to be repaid each year for 15 years, starting with 2010 tax filing.

No repayment for purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.

Recapture

If home sold before 15-year repayment period ends, then outstanding balance of repayment amount recaptured on sale.

If home is sold within three years of purchase, entire amount of credit is recaptured on sale.  Applies only to homes purchased in 2009.

Termination

July 1, 2009

(But note program changes for 2009)

December 1, 2009.

Effective Date

Purchases on or after April 9, 2008 and before January 1, 2009.  Repayment to begin for 2010 tax year.

All revisions are effective as of January 1, 2009.

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Comments (1)
joan russman

question---if i purchase a mobile home and later move it from the mobile home community to land i later purchased and set up for it, can i also include the construction of a basement, well , septic system, driveway etc. in the tax credit amount?

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