$8000 HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT explained - 2010, 2011 extension of housing stimulus

Important Update - H.R. 5623 for possible tax credit extension

(updated 30th June 2010) New Bill H.R. 5623 has been introduced in the Congress for extension of the deadline of the Home Buyer Tax Credit to 01 October 2010. This extension bill was passed by the U.S. House of representatives - read House passes Home buyer tax credit extension and will also be passed by the Senate tomorrow.. Visit this blog for latest updates on the tax credit extension. For knowing more about $8000 First time home buyer tax credit and its extension, continue reading the article ....

2010 - 2011 extension of $8000 Housing tax credit

$8000 home buyer tax credit
Topic covered in this article on 8000 housing tax credit.
  1. How does the $8000 housing tax credit work ? - 7 important points which every first time home buyer MUST know.
  2. Details on the 2010 extension of the home buyer tax credit, and 2011 extension for certain group of people (military, foreign service, intelligence).
  3. $6500 tax credit for repeat-home buyers.
  4. Will the $8000 housing tax credit be extended in 2011?
  5. Links to official websites of Federal Housing Tax credit and IRS.

How does $8000 housing tax credit work?

$8000 housing tax creditThe $789 billion economic stimulus package passed by Obama government in 2009, contained a key housing stimulus bill designed to help first time home buyers in order to revive the US housing market. If you are a potential home buyer and moreover if you are a first time home buyer (i.e. if you have not owned or purchased a principal residence in the past 3 years) this housing stimulus can help you provide a refundable tax credit of 8000 USD. This $8000 incentive, earlier meant to help those buying a house in 2009, has now been extended to 2010 as well. This may very well be your last chance to take advantage of this bill, since the chances of its extension in 2011 are very slim (read below).

In order to understand the 8000 housing tax credit details you need to understand the following seven important points.
  1. What is the definition of First time home buyer? -The law defines "First time home buyer" as a home buyer who has not owned a principal residence for the last three years. For married tax payers, both you and your spouse must be 'first time home buyers' in order to qualify for the housing tax credit. For unmarried joint purchases, either of the qualifying partner may be a 'first time home buyer'. In this case the $8000 housing tax credit can be allocated to any of the partners. Read more about $8000 home buyer tax credit for married people. For unmarried joint purchases read my post on $8000 home buyer tax credit for unmarried joint purchases. Note the if you have bought a home 3 years ago and have rented it since then, then it does not count as principal residence and you may still be eligible for the $8000 first time home buyer stimulus. Both rental property and vacation homes do not count as principal residence. Moreover, if the new home you are purchasing is a mobile home or condo, and it is going to be your principal residence, you still qualify for the home buyer tax credit. Even building a home on a land (as opposed to purchasing a ready-made house) qualifies for the $8000 housing tax credit. Even non resident aliens who are not US citizens may qualify for this tax credit. Read my post on Do I qualify for the $8000 Home buyer tax credit?
  2. Dates of home purchase and deadlines - In order to qualify for the home buyer tax credit, the first time home buyer must purchase the house after January 1 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010. However, here is one thing you should remember about the deadline for the housing tax credit - it is enough to enter a binding contract on or before April 30 2010, you then have June 30, 2010 to complete the purchase.
  3. How much tax credit will home buyers get? - Although this tax credit is referred to as $8000 housing tax credit, remember that the total amount of tax credit a home buyer gets is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the new house up to maximum of $8000. Thus in order to get a full tax credit of $8000 your purchased property must be above $80,000 in value.
  4. Income Limits for $8000 home buyer tax credit: First time home buyers with modified gross annual income of $75,000 get full benefit of this housing tax credit. The tax credit is gradually reduced for those with income between $75,000 to $95,000 and finally a home buyer gets no tax credit if his/her modified gross annual income is more than $95,000. For married taxpayers, the home buyer tax credit is gradually reduced to zero for modified gross annual income between $150,000 to $170,000.
  5. This is a Refundable Tax Credit - This 8000 housing tax credit is a tax credit and not a tax deduction. That is qualified first time home buyers deduct $8000 from their total tax owed to the IRS and NOT the total taxable income. Moreover a refundable tax credit means that in case the total taxes you owe to the IRS are less than $8000, you can actually get a refund for the balance amount. Also this tax credit (unlike the $7500 tax credit) does not need to be repaid back to the IRS.
  6. How to claim the $8000 tax credit? (documents needed, procedure) - If you qualify for the tax credit, you can either claim it in your 2009 or 2010 tax return. In order to do this, you will have to fill Form 5405 (new revised version). Also, it is important to note that those who are eligible for the 8000 tax credit will not be able to file their tax returns electronically because of the additional documents required. In addition to the Form 5405, the first time home buyers
    (i) Copy of Form HUD-1 (Settlement Statement) showing all parties signatures and other details like property address, price, date of purchase.
    (ii) If you are purchasing a mobile home, then instead of settlement statement you need a copy of executed retail sales showing similar information.
    (iii) If you have a newly constructed home, where a Settlement statement or Form HUD-1 is not available, you will have to submit a copy of Certificate of Occupancy showing details like Owners name, property address, and date.
  7. You do not qualify for the tax credit in the following cases:
    (i) Homes costing over $800,000 are not eligible for $8000 first time home buyer tax credit.
    (ii) The tax credit cannot be claimed if the property or purchased house was received as a gift or inheritance or if it was acquired from a relative. There is no way you can purchase a house from your parents for example and qualify for this tax credit.
    (iii) You have to continue residing in the new home for three consecutive years after you purchase it. If at any point before 3 years are complete, you sell or rent the house, then you have to repay the tax credit to the IRS.
    (iv) A person below 18 years or a dependent is not eligible for the credit.

2010 and 2011 extension of home buyer tax credit

The deadline for the $8000 housing tax credit, as passed in 2009, was December 1 2009. However this tax credit has been extended in 2010 as well and the new deadline for purchase is April 30, 2010. As explained above, April 30, 2010 is just the deadline to enter a binding contract. The deadline to complete the final purchase is June 30, 2010.

If you are are a member of Military, foreign service or Intelligence community, you get an additional one year extension of the $8000 home buyer tax credit. The deadline for people in this category is April 30, 2011. Please visit Federal housing tax credit 2011 extension for Military, Foreign Service and Intelligence Community to read more on this topic.

$6500 tax credit for repeat home buyers

While the above mentioned tax credit is only for first time home buyers (i.e. those who have not owned a principal residence in past 3 years), there is also a $6500 tax credit for move-up or repeat home buyers. In order to qualify for this $6500 you need to be a repeat-home buyer which by definition means that you must have owned and resided in the same house for at least 5 consecutive years of the last 8 years before date of purchase. Also the deadline for qualifying for this tax credit is the same, April 30 2010. Note that although this tax credit is sometimes called $6500 tax credit for move-up home buyers, it does not necessarily mean that your new house has to be more expensive than the previous one in order to qualify. Please visit $6500 tax credit for repeat home buyers to read additional details.

Why the extension of home buyer tax credit in 2011 is unlikely?

update: June 30, 2010: Although nothing is known about 2011 extension of the Housing stimulus, the reasoning behind the speculation below was indeed proved to be wrong because of further deterioration in the housing market. A new bill, H.R. 5623 has been introduced in the Congress, which if passed will extend 8000 housing tax credit by another 5 months. This bill has already been backed by the House of representatives and will likely be passed by the Senate tomorrow. (bookmark this page for updates).

The part below this was written before the bill was introduced...

Note that even if the tax credit were to be extended in 2011, it will always be announced at the very last moment. However there are strong reasons to believe that there will not be any 2011 extension of this housing tax credit (except for people in Military, Foreign Service and Intelligence community). The recovery made by the housing market in 2009 and in part of 2010, is the strongest argument supporting the idea that this tax credit will not be extended in 2011. Reports from Bloomberg say that there has been about 2.7% surge in new home sales in March 2010, and a 4.3% increase in the median home prices. So 2010 may very well be the final deadline for the housing tax credit.

Further Reading on 8000 home buyer tax credit

This article was designed to solve all questions First Time home buyers may have regarding the $8000 housing tax credit. However if you still need more information, don't forget to visit
  1. IRS First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Answers (Government Website).
  2. Federal Housing Tax Credit (Government website).
  3. Other Tax Credits, Rebates in Economic Stimulus Package.
  4. $6500 tax credit for repeat home buyers.
  5. The 200+ comments to this housing stimulus article (below).

Federal Tax Breaks, IRS Tax Credits, Tax Rebates in 2009 Economic Stimulus Package that maybe of interest to you

  • H.R. 5623 - Extension of Housing Tax credit to October 2010.
  • Cash for Clunkers - Is it Useful?
  • Will there be a Second Stimulus Plan in 2009 or 2010?
  • 2009 Obama Stimulus Package details explained.
  • New Car Purchase Auto Stimulus details explained- Excise and Sales Tax deduction for new purchase of new vehicles.
  • Cars- Cash for Clunkers - Car tax credit when you trade your old fuel inefficient car for a new one and get a rebate of $3500 or $4500.
  • $8000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit details- 2009 Housing Stimulus Bill in Economic Plan proposed by Obama.
  • $800 Making work pay tax credit stimulus- details explained ($400 working tax credit for individuals and $800 tax credit for married taxpayers).
  • $250 Social Security Stimulus Check in 2009 Economic Stimulus Package.
  • 2009 Cobra Stimulus Package 65% Reduction in Cobra Health Insurance Premium for qualifying individuals.
  • 2009 Stimulus Checks? Economic Stimulus Payment
  • $1000 Child Tax Credit, Dependent Tax Credit 2009 extension.

  • FAQ: Can you claim your $8000 first time home buyer tax credit in 2008 tax return itself or do you have to wait till you file 2009 tax return? The law allows any qualified purchases made in 2009 to be treated as if the purchase was made on December 31 2008. You can claim the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit in 2008 tax return itself by filing form 5405 according to the latest IRS ruling. Thus you can get the benefit of $8000 in 2008 tax return itself.

    Income Tax tip for first time home-buyers: If you know you qualify for the $8000 home buyer credit there is no need to wait to file your 2009 tax return in order to get benefit of this housing stimulus. First time home buyers are actually permitted to reduce their income tax withholding by the amount equal to housing credit, i.e. $8000. You can then use this 'extra cash' got by increase in your take home pay for down-payment.

    Quick Answers to common queries:
  • Question: When will the $8000 home buyer tax credit end? Answer: April 30, 2010 for general public and April 30 2011 for Government employees in Military, Foreign Service and Intelligence Community.
  • Question: Can I purchase a house from my parents or relative and still qualify for the tax credit? Answer: No. please read the 7 important points in detail.
  • Question: I am married and filing separately and I have not owned a principal residence in last three years. Do I qualify? Answer: For married people, whether filing jointly or separately, both the partners have to be 'first time home buyers' according to the definition mentioned in 7 important points.



  • Feb 18, 2009

    232 comments:

    Anonymous February 18, 2009 at 6:17 AM  

    Can you cite where in the stimulus bill you found that the tax credit doesn't have to be repaid? The 2008 version did...

    Thanks!

    iinvestor February 18, 2009 at 7:55 AM  

    You can find it on the following site
    http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/glance.php

    Anonymous February 18, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

    Can a 1st time home buyer qualify, (asumming the home is purchased before July 2009), for both the $7500 and $8000 tax credits.

    Anonymous February 19, 2009 at 12:28 AM  

    I just purchased a home, sure am glad I didnt take the $7500 tax credit, but would gladly take both, thats not possible, is it?

    iinvestor February 19, 2009 at 12:50 AM  

    I dont think you can take advantage of both $7500 tax credit and $8000 tax credit for the same home purchase.

    Anonymous February 19, 2009 at 6:35 AM  

    I have question I purchased my house on December 31, 2008. Would qualify for 7500.00 that has to be paid back or would qualify for 8000 tax credit with no repayment.

    iinvestor February 19, 2009 at 8:49 AM  

    According to my understanding (which may be incomplete) you just missed the $8000 home buyers credit by one day. I suggest you talk to some tax professional in this case because of your unique case and see if some loop hole can be exploited in order to qualify for $8000 home buyer credit.

    iinvestor February 20, 2009 at 1:26 AM  

    update on the previous comment about qualifying for home buyer credit :
    Here is one thing to remember - "For the purposes of the tax credit, the purchase date is the date when closing occurs and the title to the property transfers to the home owner." This sentence is quoted from the official site www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/. You may visit the FAQ (link above in the post bottom) on this page for more details on home buyer credit.

    Ralph February 20, 2009 at 2:08 AM  

    My question is if an unmarried couple is purchasing a home and one person is a 1st time homebuyer, but the other was added to the title on a previous home, do they still qualify for the credit?

    iinvestor February 20, 2009 at 2:49 AM  

    @Ralph
    I think you do qualify. Here is the exact quote from http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php
    "However, unmarried joint purchasers may allocate the credit amount to any buyer who qualifies as a first-time buyer"

    I encourage you to visit federalhousingtaxcredit for more such FAQ.

    Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 9:23 AM  

    I am still very confused by this 8000 home credit. I owe very little taxes to IRS usually and hence most of the time end up getting a tax refund. anyway thanks for this post. I think i will bookmark this post for later use when I actually plan to buy a house. Do you think buying home is a good idea right now in order to get this home tax rebate? or should I wait for prices to fall?

    Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 9:26 AM  

    I think this is horrible. The entire economy went down because of the housing bubble. Unregulated banks and housing loans, home loans. Now in order to accept that they are trying to inflate the home bubble even more. Forcing people to buy homes. Our economy is doomed. No stimulus package, no stimulus plan no amount of housing rebates or home tax rebates are going to help prices go down. Only when home prices go down further by about 20-25% should people buy homes. Now just because IRS is offering 800 home buyer credit there is no reason to buy bubbles which are going to burst later.

    jerry February 20, 2009 at 9:28 AM  

    Can you please explain to me what exactly does the statement "$8000 first time home buyer tax credit" is refundable mean? I am thinking of buying a home. I think of this home tax rebate as a good opportunity !

    iinvestor February 20, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

    @jerry, the $8000 home buyer tax rebate, sorry i should say $8000 home buyer tax credit is refundable is useful to you only if the total taxes you owe to IRS or the Federal government are less than $8000. If they are, then whatever the difference you get it back from the IRS as a tax refund.

    Anonymous February 20, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

    Ok, so I bought a mobile home in 1998 that is in a park. I pay space rent to the park monthly and I am paying on the mobile home loan.

    Will/would I qualify for the "first time home-buyer" definition for the new tax credit?

    I think owning a mobile home in park is not considered actually "home" ownership but, I'm not sure.

    Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 4:05 AM  

    This may be greedy, but what if 2 unmarried people buy a home together this year. Is there any way they both get the credit? Assume the price of the home is $300,000.

    Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 4:21 AM  

    in response to this statement:

    @jerry, the $8000 home buyer tax rebate, sorry i should say $8000 home buyer tax credit is refundable is useful to you only if the total taxes you owe to IRS or the Federal government are less than $8000. If they are, then whatever the difference you get it back from the IRS as a tax refund.

    it is still useful, as it would take 8k off what u owe, and if u get a,say, $500 tax refund u would get $8500 if u bought a house in
    09'

    iinvestor February 21, 2009 at 6:03 AM  

    @anon (the comment on greedy homeowner :)

    There is no way both the spouses can claim independent credit for the same home purchases. Either you are a married couple filing for 8000$ home owner credit together or if you are unmarried and the home you bought is a joint purchase, then you either of you (but not both) can claim the home credit. I repeat these words from the FAQ on this page.

    Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

    I am in the process of purchasing a home, I will be paying $65,500, but i see the tax value on the home is $84,400, my question is will i get $6550, or the full $8,000?

    iinvestor February 21, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

    The amount of home tax credit is determined by 10% of the purchase price of your home upto maximum of $8000. So if the purchase price of your home is $65500, then you can only claim a home buyer tax credit of $6550, not the full $8000.

    The source of my understanding is question 3 on this page

    Anonymous February 21, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

    What's the tax impact of keeping the home for 3+ years (thereby not triggering the recapture component) but renting it out for, say, the last 1.5 years? Would the fact that the home is no longer your primary residence have any impact? Thanks!

    beachwi25 February 22, 2009 at 1:30 AM  

    We are currently in the process of building a new home. this home is being built on a lot that i currently am living on in a mobil home. will this credit apply to me, as i will be purchesing the home from the builder?

    iinvestor February 22, 2009 at 3:17 AM  

    if you have owned a house but rented it
    In order to qualify for the 8000 credit you must not have owned a principal residence in the last three years. Thus for e.g. if you have bought a house more than three years ago and rented it for more than three years , then you may still qualify for the 8000 tax credit. However if you have rented it just 1.5 years ago, it means you have owned a principal residence before 1.5 years and so you do not qualify for the 8000 home credit.

    Let me copy paste the exact lines from federalhousingtaxcredit.com
    Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer.

    iinvestor February 22, 2009 at 3:20 AM  

    @beachwi25
    Yes ! you do qualify for the 8000 home buyer tax credit even if you are building a home on a plot that you already own !. However you must satisfy other conditions like income caps and not having owned a principal residence for the past three years.
    Here is the exact quote from federal housing tax credit . com
    Instead of buying a new home from a home builder, I hired a contractor to construct a home on a lot that I already own. Do I still qualify for the tax credit?
    Yes. For the purposes of the home buyer tax credit, a principal residence that is constructed by the home owner is treated by the tax code as having been "purchased" on the date the owner first occupies the house. In this situation, the date of first occupancy must be on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009."

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 7:28 AM  

    I am canidian, working in states by TN visa and renting for over 3 years. My wife sold our house in Canada 2 and half years before and moved to US. If we are buying a house in 2009, do we qulified for this $8000 home buyer tax credit?

    iinvestor February 22, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

    Homebuyer Canada
    the federal home buyer tax credit website says that as a married couple you are eligible for 8000 home buyer tax credit if none of you has owned a principal residence in the past three years. However, although i could not find any conclusive statement, i assume it means principal residence in United States. In any case, since your wife sold the house in canada 2.5 years ago, you can just wait for six more months and then you both will fit the first time home buyer definition and qualify for 8000 housing stimulus credit. -

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

    My fiancee' and I are closing on our house next month. We are both qualify for first time homebuyer status. We will both be on the mortgage. If we wait to get married until next spring could we both file for the tax credit. If we both file individually would we both get the $8000 credit?

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

    I am closing on my home in May of 2009 and qualify for the tax credit.
    I anticipate that in 2009 my wife and I will pay approx. 8000 in federal taxes.
    I understand that this is a refundable credit and I will get the 8000 back, however, with the deductions that come with home ownershitp (property taxes, interest) we would have been getting a few thousand back anyway.
    Will we get the 8000 plus the return that we would have had if the Tax Credit was not offered?

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

    My accountant told me that my wife and I should expect approximately 5000 refund for 2009 w/o the new tax credit. Based on that would we be getting 13,000 back next year regardless of our how much is taken out for federal taxes? Or would we have to have had at least 13,000 taken out during the year?

    I would really appricate an answer, Thank you!

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

    Our canada house is under both me and my wife's name. Even though I rent for over three years in US,does it still means I own a residence in past three years? My point is the definition for first time home buyer, does it means only in states or include other country in past threes the buyer didn't own any residence.
    Another question is if an canadian like my wife only rent and live in US less then three years, does she still eligiable for tax credits

    Anonymous February 22, 2009 at 8:31 PM  

    Must the new home purchase be used as the principal residence or does the purchase of a second residence count?

    iinvestor February 22, 2009 at 10:01 PM  

    comment @8:31AM
    i dont think there is any way you can both get 8000 home buyer tax credit for the same home purchase. Please read this line by line to confirm.

    Dan February 23, 2009 at 1:38 AM  

    I've owned a home for 4+ years; my fiance has never owned a home before. We are planning to purchase a home together within the next two months. Would we qualify for the tax credit?

    john February 23, 2009 at 3:38 AM  

    I put a house in my daughters name my mother was usung it.I put it back in my name because of gift tax issues my daughter did not want to deal with this was just before the simulas package was put in place.She never used it as a residence it was to be hers when I died.So I put it in her name.And then put it back in mine a year later.No moey was ever echange in these transpferrs.And she never lived in the house only my mother lived there is she qualified for the first time home buyers tax credit.Or did I mess it up for her by putting my mothers house in her name.sincerly jjbassett

    john February 23, 2009 at 3:45 AM  

    I put my mother home I bought for her to liver in in my daughters name.She has never lived in it and then put it back in my name.No money was ever given or received in these transactions.I bought the property foe my mother to live in and figured when I died it would go to my daughter anywway.But put it back in my name to sell because my mother wants to move and my daugter did'nt want to deal with any tax issues.Is my daughter still qualified for the 2009 8,000 tax credit if she buys her first home or did I mess it up when I put my mothers house I bought for her in her name.Instead of keeping it in mine.I put it back in my name in 2008.It was in hers for about a year.As I said she never lived in it and lived in another town in a apartment is she still qualified for the first time homeowners tax credit or did I mess it up for her when I put my mothers house which I bought in her name.It was in my name when I first bought it and no money changed hands when I put it in her name.?????thanks for your time

    Joseph February 23, 2009 at 5:39 AM  

    My fiance and I are thinking about buying a house this year. She qualifies as a first time home buyer but I do not. If we purchase a home and then get married before the end of the year, then file our 2009 tax return as 'married filing joint' or 'married filing separately' will she still be able to get the $8000 tax credit since we were not married at the time of closing on the house?

    Anonymous February 23, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

    I am closing on a house feb27th, my parents are giving me $50,000 and I am borrowing 17,000 will i be able to get $6700 or only $1700?
    I was looking at f5405 and it says
    You cannot claim the credit if any of the following apply
    7.You acquired your home by gift or inheritance
    does that apply to the 50k, or do they mean a gift or inheritance as in someone giving u the home or u inheriting it?
    tyvm for your time
    Jason

    Anonymous February 23, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

    Does this $8000 tax credit apply to first-time home builders (vs. buyers) as well?

    jim February 23, 2009 at 11:37 PM  

    If I purchase a home "contract for deed", does that qualify?
    Jim

    Anonymous February 24, 2009 at 12:19 AM  

    I purchased a house the end of January and have already filed for the $7500 tax credit. Now the new $8000 tax credit applies to all house bought in 2009. Can we file an ammended return for the new credit?

    Chris February 24, 2009 at 1:20 AM  

    Here is a question I cannot find in the FAQs... I have owned a home before (just sold it) and my fiance has not. We are buying a home together. It is new construction and will be complete/closing will be in October of this year, 2009. We will get married November of this year (2009). So being joint unmarried purchasers of this house, she qualifies to claim all $8,000. However by time we file our taxes we will be married and have to pick either married filing sep or married filing jointly. (How) Can we claim the credit? Thanks in advance -

    Ange February 24, 2009 at 8:08 AM  

    I have a similar question to one that was asked before but not answered.

    We currently live in a manufactured home which we purchased 2.5 years ago. It shows as an installment loan not a mortgage. We are closing on a "real" house in a few weeks. According to our loan officer and our accountant, we DO qualify for the new tax credit but it seems too good to be true. Does anyone know if our current home (trailer) will hinder our first time buyer status and tax credit?
    Thanks!

    Anonymous February 24, 2009 at 10:10 AM  

    I'm a first time home buyer and I'm considering buying a home. How do I get the home buyer tax, do I get it automatically when I buy the house? Do I have to file for it or does it go straight to the real estate agent?

    Anonymous February 24, 2009 at 10:28 PM  

    I qualify for the $8000 tax credit and I've filed my taxes, however the company who did my taxes said they do not have the forms yet to process this credit. When will these be ready? And where will they be found?

    iinvestor February 24, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

    Let me first apologise to everyone whose comment I have not been able to get back to. there are several comments above fed 8000 tax credit here about various issues and since I am not a tax professional or an expert, I usually have to do quite a bit of searching to do justice to each comment and provide correct. However in the past few days, I have been recieving over 20 comments each day on various posts on this blog. Although I would have loved to get back to all, i would rather not reply than making an inaccurate statement.

    Anonymous February 24, 2009 at 11:21 PM  

    I would suggest that everyone speak with their financial advisor/CPA/tax preparer (whomever they trust to prepare their tax returns) to understand how the tax credit will apply to their individual situation. iivestor cannot counsel each scenario as there are several unknown & missing pieces to the individual's tax return. Once your tax advisor reviews your financials in their entirety, they will be able to answer your specific questions as to how the credit will benefit you (hopefully - at least). Best wishes to all this year!

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 3:02 AM  

    here's a scenerio for you...
    I owned a home.
    In feb of 2006 i moved and rented out my house.
    In October 2006 i sold my home.

    Question is since it was not my primary residence after february 2006, would i qualify for the tax credit now if i was to buy a home or would i have to wait until october of this year to buy and get the credit. October will be 3 years since i sold my old house but it wasnt my primary residence for 8 months prior to selling.

    iinvestor February 25, 2009 at 3:34 AM  

    Yes, you are eligible for the 8000 home credit in feb itself. Even if have owned a house before but have rented it, it means that it was not your principal residence. Read this , it says "Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer".

    Paul February 25, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

    I am closing on a house purchase March 6th, 2009 and I will submit my taxes online to the IRS on March 7th. The online version that I am using is Taxslayer. They have not updated their new home buyer credit of 7500 dollars. Will the IRS make the change when they check my efile and refund me the new approved 8000 new home buyer law, without making me fill out any additional paperwork? I want to know if I will receive the total new amount the first time they issue me my return.

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 8:36 PM  

    Ok, so I bought a mobile home in 1998 that is in a park. I pay space rent to the park monthly and I am paying on the mobile home loan.

    Will/would I qualify for the "first time home-buyer" definition for the new tax credit?

    I think owning a mobile home in park is not considered actually "home" ownership but, I'm not sure.

    I read the FAQ but still have questions/things I want to verify.

    Since my home is not ATTACHED to land, in most instance it is not even considered a "home" and I do not get any of the regular tax benefits of "home ownership".

    I pay "personal property tax" for this mobile and I can't even get a regular loan on it! The lowest interest rate I can get is 10% even though I have immaculate credit.

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 10:07 PM  

    Do I need to own the home for a certain amount of time in order to receive the full credit? I am going to make an offer on an house, but may have to relocate for work in about 2 years. I heard that if I don't own the home for at least 3 years, I may not get the full refund. Is that true?

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

    Great question and similar to one above. I am currently a Homeowner, but my Fiance (to be married 8/8/09) is not and has never been a homeowner. We are planning on purchasing a new home prior to being married. If she buys the home and puts everything in her name, would she be eligible for the $8,000 in 2009 or would the status married filing jointly for 2009 not allow the credit because I owned a home?

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 11:06 PM  

    I am closing on my first house on 2/27/09, i am single and will make approx. $70,000 this year, as long as the oil field keeps kicking. I am still a bit confused; will this be a tax refund of approx. 8,000 for 2009 tax return; or 8,000 off your taxable income, by that blog i understand if i make over 65,000 i might not be able to get the full amount. The house i am purchasing is $160,000

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

    Why put an income limit in the credit. Buying by anyone will help the housing market which seems to be the intended purpose.

    Is there a way to bypass the income limit by purchasing the house for a child or corporation?

    Also is there a minimum time for which one needs to live in the house?

    Anonymous February 25, 2009 at 11:45 PM  

    I currently own a house. My fiance has never owned a house, so he would qualify for the tax credit. We are thinking that if he bought the house from me as a first time home buyer, he would qualify for the tax credit? As long as I sell for less than purchase price I paid, there wouldn't be any capital gain tax...and in the state we live, marital property laws would make the house both of ours after we marry in June...any opinions?

    iinvestor February 26, 2009 at 12:23 AM  

    yes- if you are unmarried, and if your partner qualifies for 8000 first time home buyer credit and you do not, then there is no probelm - your partner can still get benefit of the home credit even if you are staying together (according to my understanding of 8000 federal tax credit)

    I would like to respond to one of the comments above on income cap or having income limits for home buyer credit. The point is, i dont think it is wise enough to artificially pump up the housing market by distributing money to all who are buying house. Housing bubble and high home prices are at the root of the current financial crisis of the US and distributing money for home purchases would simply create another bubble. So from my point of view it does make sense to have income limits for any housing stimulus package, - in that way you help the needy but also do not over do it.

    Erin February 26, 2009 at 6:07 AM  

    My fiance and I are thinking about buying a house in June. I qualify as a first time home buyer but he does not. If we purchase a home and then get married before the end of the year, then file our 2009 tax return as 'married filing joint' or 'married filing separately' will I still be able to get the $8000 tax credit since we were not married at the time of closing on the house?

    Anonymous February 26, 2009 at 8:55 AM  

    Iunderstand the Tip from the colum that I can redue My incoe tax by the $8000.00 if I qualify for it and then use the extra money as a down payment. How do we use t as a down Payment like the Article states because I would imagine that you would have to have already Puchased the home.

    iinvestor February 26, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

    @Erin,
    do both of you qualify for $8000 first time home buyer tax credit? If this is not the case, that if both of you are not first time home buyers then I do not know. But if you both are first time home buyers then obviously it doesn't matter even if you get married - you will qualify for it.

    iinvestor February 26, 2009 at 9:54 AM  

    @anon,
    that is a good point :) sorry , that income tax tip is from federal housing tax credit. I think they have written it so it probably means that if you believe you qualify for the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit and are planning to buy a house then maybe you can talk to your employer and even before the deal is done you can reduce your tax withholding. Ofcourse at the end of the year everything will be checked by IRS when you filed by returns-

    jas February 26, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

    Erin,

    Since you were not married at the time of the purchase, you are eligible for the credit. IRC Sec. 36(a)(1)(C) would apply. The fact that you married the same tax year is irrelevant as this credit specifically is determined by your maritial status at the closing date of purchase only. See below.

    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-09-12.pdf

    (C) Other individuals. If two or more individuals who are not married purchase a principal residence, the amount of the credit allowed under subsection (a) shall be allocated among such individuals in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe, except that the total amount of the credits allowed to all such individuals shall not exceed $7,500.

    Based on statutory language, I the determination of marital status for purposes of defining a first time homebuyer is made at the time of purchase.

    If the statute were written any other way, it would cause all sorts of headaches.

    For example, I buy a home on January 31, 2009, and on the same date, I efile my 2008 return and receive my $7,500 check from the IRS. On May 1, 2009, I get married to a homeowner. Does this mean I have to return the $7,500 check? I don’t think so

    Hope this helps....

    Jason

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 1:11 AM  

    I purchased a home in 2006; at the time I was not married. Since then I have married and my spouse resides with me. I am the only person on this note. With that being said; can he purchase a home by his self and qualify for the $8000 tax credit?

    iinvestor February 27, 2009 at 1:41 AM  

    Unfortunately neither you nor nor your spouse will qualify for the $8000 first time home buyer tax credit if any one of your is not a first time home buyer. read
    http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php#2

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 3:49 AM  

    My Mom was going to be listed on the title with me. She owns a home with her husband. This is going to be my first home purchase and I will be the only one residing. Will I still qualify for the $8000 even though my Mom has owned a home?

    iinvestor February 27, 2009 at 4:11 AM  

    According to my understanding of the housing stimulus bill, you do qualify for the 8000 home buyer stimulus ! As is specifically mentioned in one of the references I mentioned above, unmarried joint purchases may allocate the amount to any buyer who qualifies for the credit. Please check this page to confirm if what I understand is correct.

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 4:40 AM  

    Two part question
    part 1 deals with the definition of first time home buyer. On June 10th 2006, my wife and I closed on a house we purchased. June of 2008 we closed and sold that residence. One definition I saw said you could be defined as a first time home buyer if its been 3 years from date of PURCHASE, the other says a 3 year period of no OWNERSHIP.
    Part two is that we are planning to build and not buy. I saw that it says homebuilders would qualify if a contractor built a home and you move in between jan 1 2009 and dec 1 2009.
    If I was defined as a first time homebuyer then would I qualify if I built the house myself, and if I started before june of 09 (june of 09 making 3 years from the date we purchased the original residence) and moved in before dec 31 09?

    iinvestor February 27, 2009 at 5:09 AM  

    @anon
    According to the definition of first time home buyer on Federal housing tax credit, you are a first time home buyer if you (or your spouse) have now owned a principal residence for 3 years (remember owned, not purchased. So according to my understanding, you do qualify for 8000 USD first time home buyer stimulus for any house purchased after June 09.

    I believe the answer to the second part of your question is also yes. Please check this.

    Anonymous February 27, 2009 at 11:09 AM  

    My son and his fiance want to buy Grandpa's house from his estate. He passed in 07. Is the credit still not applicable to relatives and if so, if his fiance buys the house herself, will she get the whole $8000. They planned on purchasing the house in July and are getting married in Oct. We are unsure if they should buy it together, or just her. I have not read anything in the new plan that says relatives, like the $7500 credit did.
    Thank so much.

    Anonymous February 28, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

    Can anyone tell me if purchasing land to place a mobile home and make it a principal residence qualifies for the home buyer credit? The mobile home was purchased several years ago, only the land is being purchased now. Thank You!

    Anonymous March 1, 2009 at 1:45 AM  

    My wife and I would like to purchase of home, but my job might move me out of state in less than 3 years. If we purchase a home, live in it for a while then move out and rent it out before the 3 years is up, will we have to repay the $8000? Thanks in advance.

    Anonymous March 1, 2009 at 2:16 AM  

    I will be on the title and not the mortgage (parents will hold the mortgage) and still qualify for the 8000 home buyer tax credit?

    Tamara1984 March 1, 2009 at 4:16 AM  

    My husband and I are very close to purchasing our first home. Since we've alreay filed for 2008 would we have to wait to get this credit until we file again in 2009?

    Anonymous March 1, 2009 at 5:41 AM  

    Well it is all good and dandy that Obama signed this bill, but who on Gods green earth is going to buy a FREAKIN house with the Economy jacked up the way it is? Hmmmm... well lets see here does it really matter that lets say 10,000 people can buy a house now just to get this golden opportunity to owe money and have to file bankruptcy as well as have thier new home forclosed on which mean that the economy has not been boosted by this home owner stimulus. Or would it have been better to also include 10,000,000 people who have had their homes for the past 3 and cannot pay the mortgage payment because of job losses and the way mortgage companies lie to individuals telling them that their APR is lets say 6.5% and when you get your first bill from the mortgage company it is actually 7.0% it is a big mistake their are more people that are going to lose their homes now than there will be who buy now.

    Anonymous March 2, 2009 at 5:09 AM  

    I am buying a home with my partner next month. He already owns a home but this will be my first house. Will I still qualify for the 8k tax credit if both of our names are on the title and loan? I will be filing single in 2009.

    Anonymous March 2, 2009 at 7:46 AM  

    I'm buying a home for $180,000. If I am reading this correctly~which I think I am, I qualify for the $8000.- credit. I recently borrowed $8000.- from my parents on a promise note. I would REALLY like to get them paid back right away. My question is~once my loan for the $180,000.00 is funded,will the $8000.00 come with it? If not how long will it be before I receive the $8000.00?...ie' 30, 60, 90 days? I have already filed my 2008 Income Taxes. Thank you in advance for answering my question. Pam.

    jessica March 2, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

    Thanks for explaining so i understand, but i do have a question about the tax credit. My husband and i are in the process of buying a home as we speak, we usually get a significant refund when we file our taxes. If we apply for the tax credit does that mean we will receive our refund plus the $8000?
    Thank you so much for your time.

    Anonymous March 2, 2009 at 8:42 PM  

    We sold our home and went to closing March 31, 2006. We are supposed to close on our new home March 13th, 2009. we have not owned a home in three years. In order to qualify for the $8000 credit, will we have to close April 1st?

    EC March 2, 2009 at 10:13 PM  

    I have read and read a ton of websites and I cant seem to find an answer to what I am looking for,
    and btw thank you for taking the time to answer, here is my scenario
    I am on the process of purchasing a home, (by may i should be done) my spouse and I have a combine income of $90,000 (no prob there), we have already filed our 2008 taxes and got our return, if we file an amendment for 2008, will we get a check for $8k? or our tax liability for 2009 is decreased? thank you.

    Anonymous March 2, 2009 at 10:33 PM  

    If you get married after purchasing your first home, can you still qualify for the entire $8000 tax credit?

    Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 1:20 AM  

    I purchased a home 9-05. We sold in July 2008 and have rented since. Would we qualify for the rebate since we purchased a home greater than three years ago?

    Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 5:29 AM  

    So when I receive this $8000 check I can let it sit in an interest bearing savings account until I use it?

    Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 11:18 PM  

    And if I don't use it I just pay it pack in 2010?

    iinvestor March 3, 2009 at 11:40 PM  

    @anon: March2 7:46am
    if you are not married, then whether or not your parnter qualifies for the $8000 first time home buyer credit or not does not matter. So i guess in your case, you do qualify for the 8000 housing stimulus.

    @anon and @EC:
    Yes, you can claim $8000 tax credit in your 2008 tax return itself. Please read the following from this page

    The law allows taxpayers to choose ("elect") to treat qualified home purchases in 2009 as if the purchase occurred on December 31, 2008. This means that the 2008 income limit (MAGI) applies and the election accelerates when the $8000 first time home buyer credit can be claimed (tax filing for 2008 returns instead of for 2009 returns).

    iinvestor March 3, 2009 at 11:50 PM  

    @anon
    While determining whether you qualify for the $8000 housing tax credit, your marital status on the date of purchase matters.
    Thanks to one of the commentors above, - please refer to the following references in case of further questions.
    http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-09-12.pdf

    iinvestor March 3, 2009 at 11:51 PM  

    @anon.
    yes you do qualify for the 8000 home buyer stimulus even if you have purchased but rented your house.

    Anonymous March 3, 2009 at 11:53 PM  

    I am a senior citizen married and permanently separated with no intention of getting a divorce for medical insurance reasons. We have a Property Settlement Agreement that we did ourselves and neither one of us has owned a home in the last 3 years. I have found a new single partner that owns a home but we want to purchase a new home together and he will rent out his old home until he can sell it. He qualifies for a zero down VA loan as disabled so I don't want to purchase the home in my own name and we want to do it together. Since I qualify for the $8,000 Home Buyer Credit but he does not, if we take title to the new home as JTWROS, can I claim the $8,000 credit? Thanks you. Sharon

    iinvestor March 3, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

    Interesting two Anonymous comments (March 3 5:29AM 11:18PM)

    Can you just 'fake' a home purchase in 2008, get the tax credit and return the tax credit in 2010 or when you file your next income tax return ?
    I really have not thought about this:) I would however guess there are provisions in the housing stimulus bill which will first verify whether you have are a qualified first time home buyer before you get the $8000 cash.

    Sharon March 4, 2009 at 12:04 AM  

    Can you please post the Comments on this Page with the newest question on the top instead of the oldest question on top, or give the user the option of resorting them? Thanks.

    iinvestor March 4, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

    @Sharon

    According to my understanding of the $8000 home buyer stimulus- in case of any joint purchase any of the partners can claim the $8000 home buyer tax credit. In your case you probably do qualify for $8000 tax credit. (Reference).
    However, as far as filing income tax returns is concerned, i guess you are married? In that case the same above reference mentions that you have your spouse have to be qualified first time home buyer. This is a bit confusing for me and I am unable to give a 100% sure answer.

    iinvestor March 4, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

    @sharon,
    i dont see blogger giving me any such option. How to go about doing this?

    Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 1:04 AM  

    I bought and sold a home in 2009. Does the stimulus help me at all

    Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 3:29 AM  

    Damnit. I just purchased what little house I could afford ($56,000) back in November. Now they're just giving money away? %#@^! ...

    Anonymous March 4, 2009 at 4:21 AM  

    According to TurboTax:

    When would I get the money from the credit?

    You get the money only after you claim the credit on your 2008 or 2009 tax return, after escrow closes on the home.

    Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 2:43 AM  

    My husband and I are hoping to purchase a mixed-use building in the next month or so. We plan on making the upstairs floor of the building our permanent residence and renting out the business on the first floor. Wondering if in this type of situation, we would be eligible for the home buyer tax credit. Thanks.

    Anonymous March 5, 2009 at 4:38 AM  

    I currently own a mobile home and pay a monthly space rent to the park where it is located. since my home is not attached to the ground and i am paying a rent to be there, is this considered a principal residence. do i still qualify for the tax credit?

    sidk March 5, 2009 at 9:55 AM  

    According to your definition of a "first-time home buyer" I thought I would qualify. I fear your definition is incorrect.

    According to irs.gov:

    "Taxpayers who owned a main home at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase are not eligible for the credit. This means that first-time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home in the three years prior to a purchase can qualify for the credit."

    iinvestor March 5, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

    @sidk

    my source of information was the website federalhousingtaxcredit.com. The second FAQ on that page specifically mentions that
    "Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer"

    I will have to check with the IRS website. Thanks for your comment though.

    iinvestor March 5, 2009 at 11:29 AM  

    @anon

    please refer Question 10 on http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/faq.php#10 for more information about mobile homes.

    Anonymous March 6, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

    Does this $8,000 tax credit apply to condos also?

    iinvestor March 6, 2009 at 11:33 PM  

    Yes. any house which is used as principal residence including single-family detached homes, attached homes like townhouses and condominiums (or condos), manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) and houseboats are eligible for 8000 home homebuyer tax credit. Read this

    Anonymous March 7, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

    I've already submitted my 2008 tax return and received my refund. My spouse and I bought a home Feb. 26, 2009. Am I able -- and would it be wise -- to amend my return right now to receive the $8,000 credit? Or should I wait till I do my 2009 tax return? Thank you.

    iinvestor March 7, 2009 at 12:34 AM  

    If I were you I would wait for 2009. However the answer depends on your need for cash and weather you are ready to go through the hassle of filing and amendment etc. I apologise it is difficult for me to give a concrete advice.

    Anonymous March 7, 2009 at 10:37 PM  

    If I am a home owner but have not purchased home in past 3 years, can I qualify?

    iinvestor March 8, 2009 at 2:26 AM  

    Just having not purchased or bought a home in the past 3 years is not enough to qualify for $8000 first time home buyer tax credit. You need to be in a position where you have 'not owned' a principal residence in 3 years. If you have rented your home for 3 years or if that is your vacation home then you may qualify for the 8000 housing tax credit.

    shay March 8, 2009 at 3:54 AM  

    I am now in the process of purchasing a home, I am a first time home buyer. I did also file my taxes this year. Is there a way i can take advantage of the 8k help this year or i have to wait til 09 to get it? please help

    Anonymous March 8, 2009 at 7:48 PM  

    So, according to the "Income tax tip" at the bottom of the article, can I take advantage of this credit if I plan on buying a condo/co-op before December 2009 and use this money as a down payment? Or do I have to already be in the proces of buying?

    Anonymous March 9, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

    I bought a house jointly with my fiancee. I am not a 1st time home owner but she is. If we get married after the purchase is she still eligable for the $8000 tax credit?

    iinvestor March 9, 2009 at 8:31 AM  

    Yes. since yours will be an unmarried joint purchase, she can claim the tax credit even if you get married after the purchase. Only the marital status on the date of purchase matters.

    Anonymous March 10, 2009 at 5:29 AM  

    My husband and i are closing on a property on the 23rd of March, how would we "elect" that we bought the house December 31st to get our tax credit on our 2008 tax return?

    Anonymous March 11, 2009 at 7:17 AM  

    If I am not going to close on the house I am buying until April 30, which is after the filing date, I assume I cannot go ahead and claim the credit--or can I? If not, I guess I would have the following choices:
    1) File an extension
    2) File an amended return
    3) Wait till 2009 to claim credit

    DEVEN March 11, 2009 at 11:53 AM  

    In your # 1 you write that the law defines "A FIRST TIME HOME BUYER" as one who hasn't "purchased" a principle home in last 3 years are u sure this is correct because this is alot different than one who hasn't "owned" a principle home in the last 3 years

    iinvestor March 11, 2009 at 10:17 PM  

    @DEVEN,

    thanks for the comment. correction made. It should have been 'owned a home' instead of purchased a home.

    Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 4:46 AM  

    After buying the house, do I need "principal residence" or lived in that house to qualify for tax credit? If a house relinquist from parents or
    sell for a $1000, do recipient qualifies for tax credit also?

    Anonymous March 12, 2009 at 10:43 PM  

    My husband and I both receive Social Security Disability and are in our 60's. I purchased an older (1973)Mobile Home about 10+ years ago. I pay lot rent in this court. This "old" trailer is falling apart and almost unliveable. I expect a small inheritance in a month or two and would like to purchase a better, liveable Mobile Home. Would we qualify for this buyer tax credit 2009 stimulus? Our Social Security is not taxable so how would we apply for and receive a buyer stimulus credit? Say I bought a $25,000 or $30,000 good, liveable Mobile Home and just got rid of this junker trailer (which we live in as no choice until I got news of this small inheritance). We are poor and really need help to aquire a better, liveable home as roof leaks badly, floor in kitchen and by front door is shot, and toilet in bathroom is leaking terribly, only one burner on kitchen stove works, carpet is horrid, and light bulbs keep blowing so electric could be bad, also. My husband is severely handicapped and ?? must take care of him 24/7. I just wonder if this stimulus credit would help poor folk like us or would owning this old junker trailer hurt us?? If so, this would be most cruel and could wreck our chances for getting a decent home in our old age. Can anyone out there HELP us?? We do pay lot space rent here ($300 month) and must carry liability of $26 per month and property tax of nearly $100 a year. Renting this small lot is almost as expensive as renting a small studio. Is there light at the end of the tunnel for us under this stimulus program? The inheritance would be small and no money left over for decent furniture, so a credit would really help us and maybe get decent furniture later, otherwise we stay in this dump for the rest of our elderly years. I only paid $5,500 for this old trailer in 1999, at that time I could still work, but not now. We'd like to get into a 55+ court and I'd just give this old junker away. Can we get any help under this stimulus bill??

    Anonymous March 15, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

    My girlfriend and I are planning to purchase a house. We are not married and are both first-time homebuyers. I make about $90,000 a year and she makes about $60,000. Can she take the entire $8000 credit on her taxes? Or will it be reduced because I make more than $75,000.

    Anonymous March 17, 2009 at 12:31 AM  

    My husband and I are first time home buyers, but we are buying a mobile home and it's owner financed. Our contract states that the last payment will be made in 2014. Does this mean that the home is still owed by the current owner? Or could we qualify for this tax credit? We will be making payments, just not to a bank.
    Thanks, Danielle

    Anonymous March 17, 2009 at 6:47 AM  

    Can anyone explain exactly how in the hell this is designed to stimulate the economy? The people in the most trouble are homeowners, not first time buyers! Hello?! First time buyers have the best buying opportunity in a decade. It's the people in their homes that are under water. I don't get it. Can someone please explain how this is supposed to help the vast majority of the economy?

    Mrs. F March 17, 2009 at 6:55 AM  

    My husband & I had plans to purchase my parents house this summer (as they are downsizing). We currently do not live in the house and receive no financial assistance from them (related to the mortgage), can we still not get the first-time home buyer credit? I just don't understand why it makes a difference. We are still paying for it. Should I have my husband take out the mortgage seperately (or would he still be related). Thanks for your help!

    Anonymous March 17, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

    I dont think its fair that people in 09 get this bigger refund and dont have to pay it back. I just purchased a home in december 2008 and i heard about this and its not fair at all i think obama needs to make a change like he said. I really think it should go both ways.

    Mom March 18, 2009 at 2:09 AM  

    If an engaged couple purchase a house, with one being related to the seller and the other not, both first time home buyers, should the title be put only in non-related person's name for the credit or can it be in both names? If they marry before the year ends and file jointly will she still be eligible? Does it make a difference if the mortgage holder is related to the purchasers?

    Anonymous March 19, 2009 at 10:39 PM  

    My wife and I are building a house that we'll move into 4/1/09. I haven't owned a home in the past three years, but she has (which she moved out of 2 years ago). However, the new house mortgage is in my name only. Is there any way we (I) can qualify for the $8,000.00 credit?

    Anonymous March 20, 2009 at 5:13 AM  

    We have not owned a home for 2 1/2 years, but are renting a house now, can we purchase it in 6 months and still qualify for the tax credit? Thanks...

    Anonymous March 22, 2009 at 8:12 PM  

    Can you recieve the tax credit even if you recieve some sort of down payment help from the government?

    Anonymous March 23, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

    We are retired. In April we are buying a 93K FHA loan home. We have not owned a home since 1997.

    Our only income is pension and Social Security. Our income is so low we have not filed tax forms for several years.

    Are we eligible for the 8K credit? If so how do we file? I've gone to the IRS website and printed form 5404. However it needs to be attached to the 1040 we never file.

    Anonymous March 23, 2009 at 2:58 AM  

    Can i use the $8000.00 first time home buyers refund as a down payment?If so,how do i do this?

    reneesue March 24, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

    I close on my home loan in in 2 weeks. I qualify for the $8000 home buyer tax credit but I've already filed my 2008 return and received my refund. Can I file an amendment to my 2008 taxes and receive an additional refund now or do I have to wait to claim it on my 2009 taxes?
    Thank you!

    Anonymous March 25, 2009 at 12:06 AM  

    I'm buying a house with my daughter and her husband. I have owned a home for many years, but this will be their first home. The loan will be in only my name due to credit problems. If the title has their names on it will they be eligible for the $8000 credit. Neither has ever owned a house before.

    Jason March 25, 2009 at 12:39 AM  

    It actually depends if you are married. If you are married and you buy a house with a family member or friends, etc, you are ineligible because one of the parties on the title is married. The only way you would qualify for the credit is if everyone on the title was either unmarried and will be using the new purchase as their primary home or all on the title did not own a home in the past 3 years. For example (I verified this with the IRS), I bought a house in June 2008 in which my fiance and I were unmarried on closing. I owned a home in the past 3 years, but she did not. Since we were unmarried at closing and both listed on the title, she was fully entitled to the $7500 credit, regardless that we married 2 months later and filed MFJ for 2008.

    Hope this helps..

    Anonymous March 25, 2009 at 12:42 AM  

    In reply to......My wife and I are building a house that we'll move into 4/1/09. I haven't owned a home in the past three years, but she has (which she moved out of 2 years ago). However, the new house mortgage is in my name only. Is there any way we (I) can qualify for the $8,000.00 credit?

    Actually what matters here is the fact that you are married, regardless of who is on the title. The only way you would qualify for the credit is closing towards the end of the year and hope it bypasses the 3 years in which your wife has not owned a home.

    Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 7:54 AM  

    Does a Contract for Deed for a first time homebuyer count towards this tax credit and where do I find proof of this? Thanks

    Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 8:24 AM  

    Can you receive the $8k on a contract for deed? Thanks

    Anonymous March 26, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

    Do I qualify for the 8000 tax credit if I buy a home on a contract for deed from my parents?

    Chris March 27, 2009 at 2:18 AM  

    Two part question here.

    1. I would like to buy a duplex and live in one unit as my primary residence and rent out the other half. Do I qualify for the tax credit?

    2. The price on the duplex is abour $53,000 with around $50,000 in repair costs that would be part of a $103,000 mortgage. Would I be eligible for the full $8,000 or only the amount of the actual property cost not including repairs?

    Thanks!

    Anonymous March 28, 2009 at 5:23 PM  

    I would love to know...if you already filed for 2008 and then have to do a refile or amendment to include the housing credit, how long do you have to wait for payment? Will they process immediatly or will they wait till April 15th has passed to process it?

    Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

    I have been living in a home that my parents own for the last few years and am planning to buy it from them at fair market value this year. I am also planning on buying another home to rent out.

    I plan to continue living in the home I am buying from my parents. I had heard that you cannot claim the credit if you are buying from a relative. Is this true?

    Anonymous March 30, 2009 at 7:28 PM  

    Thanks for writing this. It was informative and helpful.

    Anonymous April 1, 2009 at 7:52 AM  

    I am a pastor and live in a church owned home. I have to provide my own housing upon retirement so am now building that home. I will not live full time in this newly built home but it will be the only home I own. The IRS has issued several rulings which guide our unique tax situation. Can I claim the 8,000 tax credit on the only home I own and will most likely ever own?

    *Meredith* April 1, 2009 at 9:12 AM  

    If a parent that is not a first time home buyer that makes over 95,000 co-purchases a home with his son or daughter who is a first time home owner and makes under 75,000, can the son or daughter qualify for the 8,000 tax credit?

    Thanks!

    Denise April 1, 2009 at 9:34 PM  

    I purchased a home three years ago when my son took a job for the City. He is a firefighter and pharmedic and the City requires them to live in City to work for the City. That property was mortgaged as a rental property, it also had a ARM. My son is the person living in the house and makes the payments. I hold the mortgage. He is now in a better position to purchase and own the home. He wants to do this under FHA but I'm being told that because he is my son I can't sell it to him under FHA. I can quick deed it to him and he can refinance as an FHA but won't get the $8,000 credit. I just don't understand that. I have someone that wants to buy a house from me. Just because he's my son shouldn't be a problem for FHA and the $8,000 credit.

    Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 4:17 AM  

    What if I purchase the property as my primary residence, live it in for 2 1/2 years and then rent it out. Will I have to repay the tax credit? If so, do I have the 15 years to do it?

    Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 1:59 AM  

    Okay, I think my husband and I qualify. But what if you want to buy and then rent this home out do you still qualify for the $8000 tax credit or must you live in the residence to qualify?

    Diane April 3, 2009 at 3:54 AM  

    I own my home by myself. Can I sell my home to my boyfriend and myself and qualify for the $8000 tax credit? He is a first time home buyer.

    Micki April 5, 2009 at 3:13 AM  

    We purchased a home for our son and his wife in June 2007 and in January 2008 sold it to them contract for deed. If they can get a conventional loan to purchase the house from us will they qualify for the 8000.00 tax credit. Thanks for any info.

    Anonymous April 5, 2009 at 7:44 PM  

    You stated that the home has to be worth $80,000 or more. Does that mean that I have to pay $80,000 or more or just that the assessed value needs to be greater than that? Great site, BTW!

    Hari April 5, 2009 at 9:29 PM  

    I already submitted my taxreturns in Feb 09 via taxact. I bought a house on april 1. Can I claim it now. How can I do this?

    Cajun April 7, 2009 at 7:35 PM  

    reguarding your post of "Ownership of a vacation home or rental property not used as a principal residence does not disqualify a buyer as a first-time home buyer."


    I am a first time home buyer and I am buying a duplex. I will be living in one half of the duplex and may or may not rent out the other half or just turn it into one big house. Can I still get the tax credit either way because I am living, minimally, in one half?

    Anonymous April 7, 2009 at 8:08 PM  

    I bought a house in 2005 and lived in it and rented it out. I eventually rented the entire house out but also used the house as my mailing address on my 2006 tax return because I was using the in-law basement as an office during the day but not living there.. Would it cease to be "non-owner occupied" because I was using the address for mailing purposes even though I didnt live there in 2006? I am closing on a condo next week and I don't want to risk being audited, and I certainly don't want to leave 8,000 on the table either.

    answer to 80,000 April 7, 2009 at 8:35 PM  

    In response to:
    Anonymous "You stated that the home has to be worth $80,000 or more. Does that mean that I have to pay $80,000 or more or just that the assessed value needs to be greater than that? Great site, BTW!
    April 5, 2009 7:44 PM"

    Your value is the purchase price. The 80,000 of more refers to being able to receive the FULL amount of 8,000. If you buy a house for 65,000 you are still eligible, just not for the full 8,000. You would receive 10% of the purchase price (10% of 65,000=6,500)

    Cajun April 7, 2009 at 9:15 PM  

    My above comment says " living, minimally, in one half" To clear it up the least i will be doing is living in half, not that I will only live there a little bit, it will be my primary.

    Anonymous April 8, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

    Okay - I'm assuming that I don't qualify in my situation, but hoping against hope that maybe it's unique.

    I was on a mortgage of a house purchased in 2005 with my ex, but moved out in 2006. I never claimed the home on my taxes, and it was refinanced 2 years ago to drop me off the house (the ex took his precious time refinancing and getting me the paperwork to drop my name off it) Basically, I was on the mortgage so that he was able to qualify for the loan - I was secondary. He still lives there and owns it and has always claimed it on his taxes. Since it was refinanced too late, does that mean that I don't qualify even though I moved out prior to the 3 year mark and never claimed the house?

    answer to april 8 anonymous April 10, 2009 at 7:03 PM  

    To the "did the refinance happen too late" person: As long as you havent lived there for 3 years prior, you are in the clear!

    Anonymous April 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM  

    I am looking to buy a home and take advantage of this new tax credit. I live with my daughter now and she claims me as a dependent on her taxes. Do I still qualify?

    Anonymous April 11, 2009 at 6:07 AM  

    I am buying a mobile home on an acre and a quarter of land. I made a $1,000.00 downpayment on Jan 1, 2009, and a payment will be due on the first of each month, last payment due in 2013...since I am buying this on a contract, am I eligible for the Home Buyer Tax Credit or 10% refund. I'm 68, on SS Disability, and am a first time buyer, making payments directly to the seller. Sign me: Old & Confused

    Anonymous April 13, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

    I have a question about when the "three-year" period begins.

    I owned a house, could not sell it, and so moved out of it in July 2006, when I moved to another city.

    Finally sold the house in January of 2007.

    Does the 3 year waiting period before I can be considered a first-time home buyer begin in July of 2006 (which would give me a small window of opportunity to get the credit by purchasing a house between July and November of this year), or does it begin January of 2007, which would leave me out of this program?

    Also, I purchased a new house in the new city (Dec 2006) with the intent of living in it, but I never did, because with the old house not selling, I didn't feel comfortable with the double payments. So I just flipped it for no profit (Apr 2007). Does this count as owning a primary residence?

    Anonymous April 13, 2009 at 10:52 PM  

    If we plan on purchasing a home within the next two months, should we go ahead and pay the federal tax amount we owe at this time,or file an extension? If we file an extension should we pay the almost 4ooo we owe and then just receive the entire 8000 back or should we not send any money and just receive the 4000 back? What about penalties and fees for paying late?

    Anonymous April 14, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

    My inlaws immigrated to this country last year (with green card). They have never owned a house here and they don't have any income. If I use my money to buy a house for them (in cash transcation), can they claim the rebate?

    Anonymous April 15, 2009 at 9:08 AM  

    I just purchased a house in March of 2009 and was wondering if I file for the 7,500 that has to be reapid on my 2008 taxes could I file for the 8,000 on my 2009 taxes?

    Anonymous April 15, 2009 at 11:10 PM  

    I am in Dental School and am going to buy a house. If I have one of my parents co-sign am I still eligible for the 8,000 dollar tax credit?

    Anonymous April 17, 2009 at 5:57 PM  

    The government makes a great show of doing nothing. They will back date laws to ensure you have to regester as a sex offender even if the crime was committed decades before. They will enhance penalties to convicted persons whos crimes where committed years before the law came out. The latest 2009 home buyer credit, which they say enhances the 2008 homebuyer credit,allows a taxpayer who purchased their home between Jan 1, 2009 and Dec 31 to have a credit of as much as $7500.00 with out having to repay it. They can use this credit on their 2008 taxes too, but In true government form, this credit is not availailable to those who purchased in 2008. Those who bought a home in 2008 under the so called first time home owners act, get nothing. Oh sure they are eligible for a tax free loan. big deal. The government is not helping those who purchased just months before this economic crisis and the enactment of a the 2009 homeowners credit. The government will allow those qualified persons who bought a home in 2009 take the credit in 2008 and not pay it back, but they could not bring themselves to amend the original 2008 first time home buyers credit to the $7500.00 credit which does not have to be paid back.

    Thanks for nothing Washington, you continue to re-affirm my opinion of you.

    ashtray09 April 19, 2009 at 5:04 AM  

    What is the definition for first time home buyer?? Does it means only in America or does it include other countries in past three years? I currently own a house outside America and I cannot find a answer if I can apply for the $8000. Thanks

    Anonymous April 20, 2009 at 6:11 PM  

    If u owe 8,000 in back taxes and buy a home will the irs take the tax credit and apply it to your back taxes?

    Anonymous April 22, 2009 at 12:21 AM  

    I orginally purchased my home in August 2008, but due to credit issues, my mom had to purchase the home and get the mortgage in her name. After the loan was finalized we deeded me onto the property. My CPA informed me that I did not qualify for the original tax credit of $7500 due to the fact that I was not on the mortgage. Now that my credit issue is fixed, I refinanced/purchased the home and got a new mortgage in my name only (for the first time ever) in April 2009. Do I qualify for the new tax credit of $8000?

    diana April 22, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

    My situation is unique. I left my home in Jan. 2006, so for three plus years this has not been my primary residence. My x husband maintained residence at the home until he was able to purchase it in Dec 2007. Because this was not my primary residence for three plus years would I be eligable for the 8000 tax credit. I have documentation stating I have been out of the residence since jan 06 and I did not make house payments at any time.

    Anonymous April 24, 2009 at 1:23 AM  

    Diana -

    Yes, you qualify

    Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 10:16 PM  

    Okay here goes... My husband and I have a private mortgage through my husband's parents. We have land and live in a mobile home. We are looking to take the mobile home down and a modular in it's place. I have searched, and read, and searched some more looking for an answer and havne't found one yet... Please make my day and tell me we qualify!

    taco April 30, 2009 at 8:22 AM  

    if you buy a home and take the tax credit do you have to repay it if you re-sell the home two years later (for example)

    err ...

    is there a time frame that says you have to hold the home for a specific amount of time before you can resell without having to repay the tax credit (like 5 years for example)

    Trevor May 1, 2009 at 2:07 AM  

    i am married. neither my wife nor i have owned ever. my father in law bought a house for us and is going to carry the note. if he "sells" it to me using an all inclusive trust deed, and i am the only one on the title (not my wife), do we still qualify for the 8K? we live in CA.

    Anonymous May 1, 2009 at 11:17 PM  

    Is the qualification for this credit based on 2008 AGI or 2009 AGI? I could qualify for it only based on 2009 income, is that ok?

    Tim Randolph May 2, 2009 at 2:49 AM  

    I know that I don't have to pay back the 2009 tax credit. I understand that I can amend my 2008 tax return and get the 8,000 dollars for my 2009 purchase.

    My question is, do I have to pay the amount back like the 2008 tax refund because I am amending my 08 return? This is a question I can't get a straight answer to.

    I want to know so I can be sure to wait if I need to.

    Anonymous May 8, 2009 at 11:24 PM  

    Where would I get the answer on if I am paying on a loan for a mobile home and I pay rent for the lot space in a mobile park, if I sell the mobile home and buy a house will i qualify for the 8000.00 tax credit?

    Anonymous May 9, 2009 at 12:01 AM  

    I purchased a foreclosed home in Jan. 2009 to remodel for my son to purchase from me. I have read that even though this will be his first home purchase, he can not qualify for the tax credit because he is purchasing the home from his parents. Is there a way I can deed this property to someone else, such as his brother or his aunt and let him purchase this property from them and qualify for the tax credit? I could sell it to someone else in my family and they could sell it to him, if this would allow him to receive the credit. As long as they did not sell it for profit, they should not have to pay any capital gains.
    Thanks for any advice.

    Anonymous May 11, 2009 at 6:18 PM  

    does this credit count for land contracts?

    Ryan May 12, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

    I am a first time buyer and buying a duplex but will use it as my primary residence. Do I qualify?

    Anonymous May 14, 2009 at 10:04 PM  

    My ex husband and I divorced in 2004. In the divorce I was given the Mobile home and he got the new house. All I have ever paid is the lot rent. He was required to pay the loan off within 3years. He had taken me off of the loan when this took place. I am closing on my new house in 3 weeks. Am I disqualified from the credit even though I did not pay for the home loan only the rent. Wouldn't that technically be renting it? Please help!

    Thanks,
    D

    Rhonda May 14, 2009 at 10:29 PM  

    My ex and I purchased a home together. We are both on title but he is the only one on the loan. Now that we are splitting I am getting an FHA loan to purchase the house. Will I still qualify for the rebate since I am on title, even though I have never owned before.

    Anonymous May 15, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

    Small Question: My wife and I want to start looking for houses to purchase, can we get the $8000 first, and with that money go and purchase a house?

    martin pogi May 17, 2009 at 10:38 PM  

    Hello. If we are going to purchase a house within the next few months, can we use the $8,000 tax credit as down payment for loan? How can we claim the tax credit before buying a house? Or the $8,000 is only given after tax year when we file next year on April 2010?

    Meghan May 19, 2009 at 12:15 AM  

    I am in the process of re-financing my mobile home for $77K and it's assessed for $100K. Does this qualify me for a First Time Buyer Credit. The mortgage has been in my father's name for 11 years and I've lived there for the entire 11 years. Now I'm putting it into my name.

    Also, when we do purchase a new home in the 2009 tax year, does it have to be in both my spoouse and I's names together? Everything's always in my name only but we're married...

    Thanks So Much! Meghan

    Anonymous May 19, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

    Seems simple to me, but can't find a direct answer.

    A buys home, mortgage, title, all in A's name. A is ineligible for credit.

    B's name is later added to deed only, not mortgage. B is eligible for credit.

    A and B are Not married.

    Can B claim and receive total credit?

    Thank you

    JT May 26, 2009 at 11:25 PM  

    Can you use the “unmarried-joint purchase option” for a Husband and/or Wife to jointly purchase a house with their eldest unmarried daughter? Would she then qualify for the $8000 tax refund?

    George Gulalo May 31, 2009 at 6:16 AM  

    George asks:

    My two sons want to buy a duplex and occupy each unit as their primary residence. Both are first time home buyers. Does the tax credit apply to this kind of purchase?

    Is there a way to organize the purchase to allow the tax credit for both 1st time purchasers living each in one of the duplex units?

    Thanks.

    Amaz'e Wearable Art June 2, 2009 at 1:56 AM  

    Can you use the money on a owner financed deal?

    Remona June 4, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

    I wanted to know if you buy a home and the owner is financing do you still get the $8000.00 tax credit?

    santos June 5, 2009 at 2:54 AM  

    I have lived in a mobile home I
    bought several years ago, and would
    like to purchase a new home. Do I
    qualify for the first time home
    buyer credit?

    Anonymous June 7, 2009 at 1:12 AM  

    I am going to be buying a house this year and occupy before dec 1 09 i know i qualify for the 8000 credit but every year i get a refund anyway will that 8000 be added to what i get back anyway????? please answer

    Anonymous June 13, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

    My son is 23 and wants to buy a house and take advantage of the credit. We have two complications and would like to know if this will still qualify:
    1. His income is steady, but probably not high enough to qualify for a low interest loan. If I co-sign for him on the loan, will he still be eligible for the credit?

    2. Since he is only 23, he's not sure that he wants to be tied down by a house. If he relocates and wants to sell the house, how long must he wait without having to pay back the credit?

    3. If he relocates, instead of selling the house, he might rent it out. HOw soon after buying could he rent it?

    Thanks

    Dani June 27, 2009 at 3:09 AM  

    Do buyers qualify for the tax credit if it is a contract for deed (owner finance deal)?

    Anonymous June 28, 2009 at 10:26 AM  

    what if your not required to file taxes....how do you get the 8000 credit?

    Anonymous June 28, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

    You talk about a married couple and unmarried "partners", but what about single parents, or just single people in genereal. Do they qualify as weel for the $8000 tax credit?

    dman July 5, 2009 at 3:07 PM  

    Can a contract for deed qualify for the 8000.00 while the current owners FHA loan is being modified to add first time buyer as co-borrower and then removed 6-12 months later?

    Thank you

    dman July 5, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

    Can a contract for deed qualify when the new first time buyer is being added to the existing mortgage note owned by the seller as a co-borrower? The seller has agreed to add the buyer to his FHA loan as a c0-borrower through a streamline refinance and then be removed 6-12 month's later...can you modify the buyers taxes now to qualify for the 8000.00?

    Anonymous July 6, 2009 at 12:18 AM  

    can you qualify for tax credit if you refinance an ARMS mortgage in may 2009. Purchased 2007

    thank you

    Anonymous July 9, 2009 at 3:27 AM  

    I'm getting divorce.... I want to buy a house by my own and my ex wants to buy a house by his own. I want to get the 8000 credit and we don't know if both are gonna get it or just one of us, Should we get the divorce first and than buy the houses? Or we just need to file taxes sepaRately

    Anonymous July 9, 2009 at 9:20 PM  

    in order to both buy homes before the divorce you will file taxes seperatley and can only get half per individual unless like you said wait until the divorce is finalized then you will both qualify for the whole thing...hope this helps!

    Anonymous July 11, 2009 at 8:25 PM  

    If my husband purchased a mobile home in 2000 with his father as a co-signer, but he does not own land. We pay lot rent in a trailer park. And we are now purchasing a home that will close before December 1,2009. Will we qualify for the tax credit?

    Anonymous July 18, 2009 at 12:50 AM  

    If my fiance and I qualify for a home purchase but do not have the money up front for a down payment--can they use the 8,000 as the down payment (like an IOU of sorts to the bank). Is there a way to sign this money over before tax refund time and still buy a home now?
    Thakns

    Anonymous July 20, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

    This site explains exactly what a first time home owner is. http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/ref/sfhp3-02.cfm

    Anonymous July 21, 2009 at 3:12 AM  

    Okay so I have a complicated situation.

    My boyfriend (now fiance) bought a house in one city before we were that serious. I already own a home as well. Now we are planning on getting married next year and would prefer to live in the city I live in. Because I am school we would prefer to wait to sell either house until I graduate and get a job so we will likely be renting one out. Is there anyway we can legally keep the $8000 he will be getting?

    Things to keep in mind:
    -He will be living in his house for 1 1/2 years before potentially moving in with me.
    -Can he rent out some to all of the rooms in his house?
    -What if we file "married filing separately" for our taxes?

    Any ideas would be great because this has been rather stressfull.

    Anonymous July 22, 2009 at 1:23 AM  

    I was divorced in May, 2008. My name has been off the house my ex-husband and I built since that time. However, I moved out of that home in November, 2005 and rented until Feb., 2009. I purchased a home in February, 2009. Would I qualify for the $8,000 tax credit since I have not lived in the house since November, 2005, but my name just went off of it in May, 2008?

    Anonymous July 22, 2009 at 4:58 AM  

    my wife and i have a land contract with the owner of the home we have a contract with , we are thinking about getting a mortgage threw a bank to but out the owner. my Question is that if we get the house and deed in our names , do we qualify for the $8000 credit.

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