We’ve received quite a few inquires from our customers about the federal home buyer tax credit and how it might apply to them. We’re not an expert on the topic; however, here’s an excellent FAQ published online with most of the same questions we’ve fielded. It should prove useful.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorizes a tax credit of up to $8,000 for qualified first-time home buyers purchasing a principal residence on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009.
The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, we strongly encourage you to consult a qualified tax adviser or legal professional about your unique situation.
- Who is eligible to claim the tax credit?
- What is the definition of a first-time home buyer?
- How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
- Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
- What is “modified adjusted gross income”?
- If my modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) is above the limit, do I qualify for any tax credit?
- Can you give me an example of how the partial tax credit is determined?
- How is this home buyer tax credit different from the tax credit that Congress enacted in July of 2008?
- How do I claim the tax credit? Do I need to complete a form or application?
- What types of homes will qualify for the tax credit?
- I read that the tax credit is “refundable.” What does that mean?
- I purchased a home in early 2009 and have already filed to receive the $7,500 tax credit on my 2008 tax returns. How can I claim the new $8,000 tax credit instead?
- 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?
- Can I claim the tax credit if I finance the purchase of my home under a mortgage revenue bond (MRB) program?
- I live in the District of Columbia. Can I claim both the Washington, D.C. first-time home buyer credit and this new credit?
- I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I claim the tax credit?
- Is a tax credit the same as a tax deduction?
- I bought a home in 2008. Do I qualify for this credit?
- Is there any way for a home buyer to access the money allocable to the credit sooner than waiting to file their 2009 tax return?
- The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development has announced that HUD will allow “monetization” of the tax credit. What does that mean?
- If I’m qualified for the tax credit and buy a home in 2009, can I apply the tax credit against my 2008 tax return?
- For a home purchase in 2009, can I choose whether to treat the purchase as occurring in 2008 or 2009, depending on in which year my credit amount is the largest?