As its June 30, 2010 closing deadline approaches, the federal home buyer tax credit is back in the news.
Unfortunately, the headlines are misleading.
Contrary to what you may have read (or heard), the federal home buyer tax credit has not been extended past June 30, 2010. At least not yet. And here’s why there’s confusion.
Look at these headlines from earlier this week:
- Senate Extends Date On Home-Buying Tax Credit (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- U.S. Senate Approves Extension Of Home Buyer Tax Credit (NASDAQ)
- Senate Approves Home Tax Credit Extension (Reuters)
Now, nothing above is factually incorrect, but each neglects a key piece of the country’s law-making process — it takes more than the Senate to pass a law. For a bill to become a law, it must pass the Senate and the House of Representatives and then it must be ratified by the President.
To date, we’ve only cleared just one of those 3 steps.
This means that the federal home buyer tax credit has not been formally extended. As of now, it’s still in discussion. Ultimately, though, if the extension does pass, it’s expected to extend the closing date deadline for home buyers beyond the original June 30, 2010 date into September 2010.
Homeowners must still have been in contract as of April 30, 2010 to claim up to $8,000 in federal tax credits.