Tax Credit – Time’s running OUT!

March 30, 2010 — Leave a comment

Time’s running out!!

Under the new law, an eligible taxpayer must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, a principal residence on or before April 30, 2010 and close on the home by June 30, 2010.

 Here are the links to each of the following:

 First time homebuyer tax credit & move-up buyer credit –  http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=204671,00.html

  1. Buyer scenarios (good info here) – http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206294,00.html
  2. First time homebuyer tax credit basic info FAQ’s (great info here) – http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206291,00.html
  3. Fort Worth Grant Money (for foreclosures within the City of Fort Worth and the 7 specific zip-codes –  http://www.fortworthgov.org/hed/housing/?id=61060

 

I am getting these questions a lot –

Q. I am in the process of buying a home. Can I claim the first-time homebuyer credit now? That would allow me to use the refund for a down payment.

A. No. You may not claim the credit in anticipation of a purchase that has yet to happen. Until you have finalized the purchase of your home, which for most purchasers occurs at the time of the closing, you do not qualify for the credit. IRS news release 2009-27, First-Time Homebuyers Have Several Options to Maximize New Tax Credit, contains details for filing options if the home is purchased after April 15, 2009.

Q. If I claim the first-time homebuyer credit for a purchase in 2009 or early 2010 and stop using the property as my principal residence before the 36 month period expires after I purchase, how is the credit repaid and how long would I have to repay it?

A. If, within 36 months of the date of purchase, the property is no longer used as your principal residence, you are required to repay the credit. Repayment of the full amount of the credit is due at the time the income tax return for the year the home ceased to be your principal residence is due. The full amount of the credit is reflected as additional tax on that year’s tax return. Form 5405 and its instructions will be revised for tax year 2009 to include information about repayment of the credit.

Q:  I’m already a homeowner. If I buy another home after Nov. 6, 2009, to use as my principal residence, do I have to sell my home to qualify for the homebuyer tax credit?

A: No. If you meet all of the requirements for the credit, the law does not require you to sell or otherwise dispose of your current principal residence to qualify for a credit of up to $6,500 when you buy a replacement home to use as your principal residence. The requirements are that you must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy, the replacement principal residence after Nov. 6, 2009, and on or before April 30, 2010, and close on the home by June 30, 2010. Additionally, you must have lived in the same principal residence for any five-consecutive-year period during the eight-year period that ended on the date the replacement home is purchased. For example, if you bought a home on Nov. 30, 2009, the eight-year period would run from Dec. 1, 2001, through Nov. 30, 2009. (11/17/09)

Q. Who is considered to be a first-time homebuyer?

A. Taxpayers who have not owned another principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase are considered first-time homebuyers. For example, if you bought a home on July 1, 2008, you cannot take the credit for that home if you owned, or had an ownership interest in, another principal residence at any time from July 2, 2005, through July 1, 2008. In addition, Long-time homeowners who buy a replacement home after Nov. 6, 2009 or in early 2010 can also qualify. Under this rule, you must have owned and used the same home as your principal residence for at least five consecutive years of the eight-year period ending on the date you by your new principal residence. For an eligible taxpayer who, for example, bought a home on Nov. 30, 2009, the eight-year period would run from Dec. 1, 2001, through Nov. 30, 2009. (11/19/09)

Q. How do I apply for the credit?

A. The credit is claimed on IRS Form 5405, First-Time Homebuyer Credit, and filed with your 2008, 2009 or 2010 federal income tax return. (11/12/09)

Q. Are there income limits?

A. Yes. The credit is reduced or eliminated for higher-income taxpayers. The credit is phased out based on your modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). Different income limits apply to purchases on or before Nov. 6, 2009 and those after that date. 

For purchases on or before Nov. 6, 2009, for a  married couple filing a joint return, the phase-out range is $150,000 to $170,000. For other taxpayers, the phase-out range is $75,000 to $95,000. This means that the full credit is available for married couples filing a joint return whose MAGI is $150,000 or less and for other taxpayers whose MAGI is $75,000 or less.

For purchases after Nov. 6, 2009, for a married couple filing a joint return, the phase-out range is $225,000 to $245,000. For other taxpayers, the phase-out range is $125,000 to $145,000. This means that the full credit is available for married couples filing a joint return whose MAGI is $225,000 or less and for other taxpayers whose MAGI is $125,000 or less. (11/19/09)

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