Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Less Than 100 Days Left To Claim The Homebuyer Tax Credit

100 days remain for the Home Buyer Tax Credit ExpirationNovember 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 in Philadelphia and New Jersey 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.

In our marketplace, that's a substantial amount of money. Areas with much higher priced homes see onyl a moderate impact from these tax credits, but in our market, which has always been a more balanced market economically, these amounts can mean a significant benefit to the homebuyer lucky enough to qualify and smart enough to take advantage of the program.

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 less than 100 days to go.

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