As part of the stimulus package earlier this year, a 2009 law enables first-time homebuyers are eligible to take a tax credit on the larger of $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price of the home if the home is purchased before 12/1/09. A few things to keep in mind:
- First-Time Homebuyer defined:
Any individual (and spouse if married) who had no present ownership interest in a qualifying principal residence during the 3-year period ending on the date of purchase of the principal residence for which a first-time homebuyer credit is being claimed.
- If you are scheduled to close on a property later than mid-November, you are cutting it very close given the Thanksgiving Holiday and other delays which are typical for loan closings.
- Taxpayers who qualify for the 2009 credit can elect to claim the credit either on their 2008 tax return [amend] or on their 2009 tax return.
- If you fail to meet the 12/1/09 deadline, you can still be eligible for up to a $7,500 tax credit from the 2008 law, however that credit must be repaid over a 15-year period. A rather bitter procrastinator pill to swallow.
- There is a chance the $8,000 credit — which does not have to be repaid — will be extended. But there are no guarantees at this point.
- For you wretched self-preparers out there, here is the IRS form to file [#5405] to claim the credit.