November 6, 2009, Congress voted to extend and expand the First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit program. There’s 100 days left to claim it.
The expiration date of the up-to-$8,000 tax credit has been pushed forward to spring, requiring homebuyers to be under contract for a home no later than April 30, 2010, and to be closed no later than June 30, 2010.
In addition, “move-up” buyers were also added to the program’s eligibility list meaning you don’t have to be a first-time home buyer to be eligible for the tax credit. If you’ve lived in your home for 5 of the last 8 years, you meet the IRS requirements.
Move-up buyers are capped at a total tax credit of $6,500.
The tax credit’s basic eligibility requirements remain the same:
- You can’t purchase the home from a parent, spouse, or child
- You can’t purchase the home from an entity in which they’re a majority owner
- You can’t acquire the home by gift or inheritance
- All parties to the purchase must meet eligibility requirements
The new law includes some notable updates, however.
First, the subject property’s sales price may not exceed $800,000. Homes sold for more than $800,000 are ineligible. And, also, household income thresholds have been raised to $125,000 for single-filers and $225,500 for joint-filers.
And lastly, don’t forget that the program is a true tax credit — not a deduction. This means that a tax filer who’s eligible for the full $8,00 credit and whose “normal” tax liability totals $5,000 would receive a $3,000 refund from the U.S. Treasury at tax time.
The complete list of qualifying criteria is posted on the IRS website. Review it with a tax professional to determine your eligibility. Then mark your calendar for April 30, 2010.
There’s just 100 days to go.