President Obama signs homebuyer tax credit extension, expansion into law
President Barack Obama has signed into law a bill that includes an extension and expansion of the current homebuyer tax credit, an important step in ensuring a real estate and economic recovery. The measure extends the present $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers through April 30, 2010. Current homeowners are eligible for a $6,500 tax credit through April 30, provided they have lived in the home they are selling, or have sold, as principal residence for five consecutive years in the past eight years. If potential homebuyers have a binding contract on or before that date, they will have until July 1 to close the transaction.
Income limits for eligible homebuyers are expanded to $125,000 for single buyers and $225,000 for couples. The purchase price of the home cannot exceed $800,000. To help guard against fraud, buyers are required to attach documentation of purchase to their tax return.
Click here for detailed information about the legislation.
Click here to listen to a podcast from NAR's Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, on the extended tax credit, and a market update.
Click here to view information from the IRS about the tax credit extension, including a YouTube video highlighting the main changes in the tax credit.
Who Qualifies for the Extended Credit?
First-time home buyers who purchase homes between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010.
Current home owners purchasing a home between November 7, 2009 and April 30, 2010, who have used the home being sold or vacated as a principal residence for five consecutive years within the last eight.
To qualify as a "first-time home buyer" the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.
The Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.
How Much Is Available?
The maximum allowable credit for first-time home buyers is $8,000.
The maximum allowable credit for current homeowners is $6,500.
How is a Buyer's Credit Amount Determined?
Each home buyer's tax credit is determined by tow additional factors:
The price of the home.
The buyer's income.
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, credit may only be awarded on homes purchased for $800,000 or less.
Buyer Income Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is effective on November 7, 2009, single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000-may receive the maximum tax credit.
These income limits have changed from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits. If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please see 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit.
If the Buyer(s)' Income Exceeds These Limits, Can He/She Still Get a Credit?
Yes, some buyers may still be eligible for the credit.
The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $125,000 and $145,000 for single buyers and between $225,000 and $245,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income-over $145,000 for singles and over $245,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.
Can a Buyer Still Qualify If He/She Closes After April 30, 2010?
Under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, as long as a written binding contract to purchase is in effect on April 30, 2010, the purchaser will have until July 1, 2010 to close.
Will the Tax Credit Need to Be Repaid?
No. The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during this three-year period, the full amount credit will be recouped on the sale.